Southern Indiana

Off the beaten path

August 31, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Two thirsty cowboys descend from a winding forest trail and hitch their horses to a post. They saunter about 100 paces to the tavern to grab a beer, where a tattooed bartender is watching the only TV in town, and Patsy Cline’s voice drifts from the stereo. An elderly couple enjoys a post-lunch stroll in the garden, and in the distance, the high-pitched whine of a table saw means the handyman is hard at work, as usual. This is life in Story, a tiny patch of paradise that began as a logging town in 1850.
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Economic woes hitting state's public defense

August 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Years ago, those working in the Porter County Public Defender Office reported seeing a bright blue Post-it note tagged to their caseload reports that said, “HELP!” in huge hand-written print. That was a common occurrence at a time when the local public defender’s office faced a critical overload point because of skyrocketing caseloads and too few attorneys.
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Jefferson County celebrates reopening of courthouse

August 31, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A fire in May 2009 displaced the courts and government offices. After more than two years, they were able to move back into the courthouse.
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COA: Insurance policy covers deputy killed while directing traffic

August 25, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy that was killed while directing traffic was using her car at the time of the accident and was entitled to coverage under the county’s policy under the uninsured/underinsured motorist endorsement, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.
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Lawyer jailed on meth charges

August 17, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
A Southern Indiana attorney is in Harrison County Jail on drug charges.
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Rising CHINS cases cause concern

August 17, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Southern Indiana counties struggle with increase in child abuse cases.
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Judge reduces death sentences to life without parole

August 15, 2011
Michael Hoskins
If he’d had the ability more than three years ago to factor in a jury’s deadlocked view on the death penalty, a southern Indiana judge says he would have imposed life without parole rather than the death penalty for a man convicted of triple murder.
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Judges won’t revisit associational standing issue on same case

August 9, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Finding it had already ruled on an associational standing question six years ago in the same case, the Indiana Court of Appeals has denied an electric utility's attempt to re-litigate that issue based on the law-of-the-case doctrine.
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COA: Suit against sewer district isn’t a public lawsuit

August 9, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Spencer Circuit Court erred in finding a lawsuit filed by property owners challenging the requirement they connect to a new sewer system is a public lawsuit and the property owners must pay $9 million in bond to proceed with the suit, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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COA divided on whether 'bully' comments require new trial

August 3, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split in affirming a man’s drunk-driving conviction, with the dissenting judge finding the prosecutor’s questions to the jury and repeated reference to the defendant as a bully at trial made a fair trial impossible.
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Court reverses suspension of mother's parenting time

July 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the modification of a mother’s parenting time to end any visitation with her autistic son because the father didn’t present evidence justifying terminating the parenting time.
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Indiana securities attorney dies

July 5, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Prominent Indiana trial attorney Thomas A. Hargett, who obtained a $262 million jury verdict against a securities company nearly a decade ago, died last week after battling cancer.
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Southern District magistrate up for reappointment

June 22, 2011
IL Staff
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana is seeking comment as to whether Magistrate Judge William G. Hussmann Jr. should be recommended for reappointment. The current term of Magistrate Hussmann, who works in the Evansville Division, expires April 3, 2012.
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Supreme Court aligns with trial court in dog-attack case

June 21, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Supreme Court has affirmed a trial court judge’s finding that the city of Evansville and its animal control division are not liable in a dog attack that seriously injured a boy.
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Clark judges sue over budget cuts

June 8, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Clark Circuit and Superior judges have filed lawsuits against county officials over proposed budget cuts, restarting the kind of litigation that four years ago led to the Indiana Supreme Court’s urging that trial judges work with and share in the financial decision-making process rather than resorting to judicial mandates.
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Poseyville middle school students to compete in national civics event

May 23, 2011
IL Staff
Middle school students from North Posey Junior High School will compete in the National Project Citizen Showcase in August, after winning the state competition on May 17.
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ISBA conference registration deadline extended

May 20, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana State Bar Association has extended the early bird registration deadline for its Solo & Small Firm Conference to May 23.
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COA: Tractor sale contract not enforceable

May 19, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals says it’s against public policy to uphold any civil contract that’s based on an illegal action, and so the court says it won’t create a rule allowing that transaction agreement to be enforced.
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Perry County only preferred venue for wage suit

May 12, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In an issue with no clear precedent regarding statutory interpretation with respect to the Wage Claims Act, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that a trial court didn’t err in concluding Perry County was the proper venue for a suit filed by the Commissioner of Labor under the act.
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Justices divided on whether case should be before Tax Court

May 12, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court split Thursday on whether the attorney general’s attempt to recover an erroneously issued “tax refund” to a company should proceed in state court or in the Indiana Tax Court.
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Governor signs courts, judicial age bills

May 11, 2011
IL Staff
Gov. Mitch Daniels has signed into law changes to various courts around the state, as well as the legislation that removes age restrictions of certain judges who run for office.
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Bills on courts, forfeiture before governor

May 11, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Several Indiana counties will have their Circuit and Superior courts unified and certain judges will no longer have to be less than 70 years old when they take office, thanks to legislation passed during the 2011 session of the General Assembly.
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Evansville bar names Gresham award winner

May 4, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Evansville Bar Association presented the James Bethel Gresham Freedom Award to Vanderburgh Circuit Judge Carl A. Heldt on April 29 at its annual Law Day dinner.
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Pinched nerve causes chief justice to miss arguments, Evansville event

May 2, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard is dealing with a painful pinched nerve in his neck but is working on managing the pain and has not been hospitalized as a result of the condition, said Supreme Court Public Information Officer Kathryn Dolan.
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General Assembly wraps up on time

May 2, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 2011 session of the Indiana General Assembly ended on schedule despite the weeks-long walkout by House Democrats. Now, bills impacting Indiana’s courts and legal community make their way to the governor’s desk.
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  1. Hmmmmm ..... How does the good doctor's spells work on tyrants and unelected bureacrats with nearly unchecked power employing in closed hearings employing ad hoc procedures? Just askin'. ... Happy independence day to any and all out there who are "free" ... Unlike me.

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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