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Walking down sidewalk while drunk does not meet new conditions for public intox, COA rules

October 8, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Four criteria added to the state’s public intoxication statute in 2012 presented the Indiana Court of Appeals with a question of first impression when it considered a man’s arrest for being drunk in a public place.
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Legal aid group, IndyBar, church to join for refugee Green Card effort

October 8, 2013
IL Staff
About 70 refugees from at least seven nations are expected to receive free legal help this weekend thanks to efforts of the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic, the Indianapolis Bar Association, Grace Community Church and other volunteers.
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COA reverses involuntary termination order for a second time

October 8, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals sharply rebuked a trial court as having “committed clear error” by relying on old evidence and testimony in terminating a Vanderburgh County couple’s parental rights.
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Justices take appeal over who pays DCS record fee

October 7, 2013
Dave Stafford
A litigant whose award of $1,200 against the Department of Child Services for the cost of preparing an agency record was reversed by the Court of Appeals will have his case heard by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Firm must defend deceased lawyer’s ‘inflammatory’ counterclaim

October 7, 2013
Dave Stafford
Litigation that has outlived an attorney who filed a counterclaim accusing a northwest Indiana construction company of racketeering, among other things, still could cost the late lawyer’s former firm.
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Suspect’s disheveled appearance, not GPS, led to drug discovery

October 7, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A suspect’s attempt to pull up his unbuckled and falling pants as he stepped from his car negated any taint on the evidence caused by local law enforcement placing a GPS on his vehicle.
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Appeals court tosses injunction tied to non-compete clause

October 7, 2013
Dave Stafford
Terms of a non-compete clause in an agreement between an IT recruiter and his former employer are unreasonable, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday in throwing out an injunction that barred the recruiter from similar employment.
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Dickson to urge service as Pro Bono Month kicks off

October 4, 2013
IL Staff
Indiana Chief Justice Brent Dickson will address the importance of charitable legal work as judges and lawyers around the state plan events coinciding with October’s Pro Bono Month.
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Cappas appointed Lake Superior judge

October 4, 2013
IL Staff
Longtime Highland criminal defense attorney Sam Cappas has been appointed judge in the Lake Superior Criminal Division.
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Holiday World widow does not have to sell shares, COA rules

October 3, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl

The widow and children of the late William Koch Jr., can keep their shares in the southern Indiana theme park, Holiday World and Splashin' Safari, after a ruling by the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that William’s brother, Dan Koch, and Koch Development Corp. offered too little money for the shares.

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Appeals court partially reinstates colonoscopy malpractice claim

October 3, 2013
Dave Stafford
A northern Indiana court inappropriately granted summary judgment in favor of a doctor and medical practice defending a suit brought by a patient who claimed negligence after a colonoscopy, a divided panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Habitual offender amendment after jury empaneled ruled error

October 3, 2013
Dave Stafford
A habitual offender enhancement for a man convicted of robbery cannot stand because the state amended the underlying charges after a jury was empaneled, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Clarifications of statute still keep burden of proof on county assessor

October 3, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A county assessor’s attempt to shift the burden of proof onto a landowner in a dispute over a property assessment that increased more than 5 percent failed to convince the Indiana Tax Court.
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‘Living as if a spouse’ permits woman’s domestic battery conviction

October 3, 2013
Dave Stafford
A married woman convicted of domestic battery against a man with whom she was involved in an on-again, off-again romantic relationship couldn’t persuade an appeals court that it was a stretch to apply the criminal statute in her situation.
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Ex-college football players sue NCAA, helmet makers on concussion claims

October 3, 2013
IL Staff
Two former University of Washington football players are seeking class-action certification for brain-injury claims against the NCAA and helmet makers, including Riddell Inc.and All-Sports Corp.
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Annual survey finds fewer law school admissions and applications

October 2, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A majority of law schools across the United States are cutting their admissions for the second year in a row and a significant portion expect to continue the reduction in class size next year, according to the 2013 Kaplan Test Prep law school survey released Oct. 1.
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Legislature’s criminal law and courts committees continue interim studies

October 2, 2013
IL Staff
Indiana legislative study committees examining the criminal code and courts will hold separate hearings on Oct. 8 at the Indiana Statehouse.
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Justices to weigh civil court rulings in criminal wrongful death case

October 1, 2013
Dave Stafford
A Lake County civil case filed against a driver who hit a woman causing fatal injuries will go before the Indiana Supreme Court to determine whether the court’s preliminary motions delaying the case were proper.
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Misplaced court order not the same as undelivered, COA rules

October 1, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Reviewing an appeal arising from a misplaced court order, the Indiana Court of Appeals has made clear that relief under Indiana Trial Rule 72(E) requires evidence that counsel did not receive the court’s notice.
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Indecision over peremptory challenge waives defendant’s ability to appeal

September 30, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A defense counsel’s courtroom debate over how to use his final peremptory strike prohibited the defendant from appealing the trial court decision to retain a juror who raised concerns about impartiality.
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Failure to object to anonymous jury not ineffective assistance

September 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of murdering his 39-week-pregnant estranged wife cannot claim he received ineffective assistance of counsel because his attorney failed to object to an anonymous jury, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Ruling: Magistrate improperly heard support case assigned to special judge

September 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
A father whose lawyer was surprised to see a magistrate presiding at his child support modification hearing that had been docketed with a special judge won a new hearing from the Indiana Court of Appeals on Monday.
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No cash refund required for defective chest of drawers, COA rules

September 30, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the Indiana Court of Appeals noted that the adage “buyer beware” did not apply, it still found that a customer who discovered a defect in a piece of furniture after purchase was not entitled to a cash refund.
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Justices decline to suspend Marion Superior judge, appoint masters

September 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court on Monday declined to suspend Marion Superior Judge Kimberly Brown over a 45-count disciplinary complaint lodged against her, but appointed three special masters to hear the case on an expedited basis.
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Small-claims change of judge time limit further divides appellate courts

September 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
How long a small-claims court litigant has to request a change of judge is a question that divided a Court of Appeals panel Monday, where a majority found that an earlier appellate panel majority got it wrong. The dissenting judge authored the prior opinion, and said it shouldn’t be disturbed even if it may have been wrongly decided.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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