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Legislators meet for Organization Day

November 16, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Today is the 2011 Organization Day for Indiana lawmakers, typically a ceremonial day. But one tradition was slightly altered due to Secretary of State Todd Rokita’s absence.
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Court rejects man's explanation of 'briefly'

November 15, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A man charged with a drug dealing offense near a school wasn’t entitled to a jury instruction stating he was only “briefly” within 1,000 feet of school property because the drug transaction was short in time even though it happened at his house, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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No error in refusal to tender 'missing witness' instruction

November 15, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s drug convictions, finding the District Court didn’t err by refusing to give the jury a requested “missing witness” instruction.
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Despite out-of-court agreement, COA upholds motion to strike

November 15, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals encourages collegiality among attorneys when it comes to resolving issues outside of court, but it had to uphold the striking of documents because they were not timely filed with the trial court. The parties’ attorneys agreed to an extension of time to reply outside of court, but the trial court had no choice but to not allow the late reply.
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ICJI awards grant for study of juvenile courts

November 15, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Two Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs professors at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis have received a $200,000 grant from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute to study the records of juvenile delinquents in Indiana to determine if juvenile court personnel treated defendants differently based on race, the school announced today.
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Court upholds juvenile placement with DOC

November 12, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld placing a juvenile with the Indiana Department of Correction over his objections that there was a less restrictive alternative available.
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Justices disbar attorney

November 12, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court chose to disbar a Marion County attorney due to his pattern of neglect in clients’ cases.
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Plaintiff attorney chosen to serve on judicial commissions

November 11, 2010
Michael Hoskins
An Indianapolis plaintiff attorney has received the most votes from colleagues to join the Indiana Judicial Nominating and Judicial Qualifications commissions, and he’ll take a spot on a seven-person panel in January.
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Judge denies summary judgment in legal malpractice suit

November 11, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge denied summary judgment for an attorney and his law firm on legal malpractice and other claims, ruling the defendants failed to present a coherent argument to support summary judgment.
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COA to visit high school for oral arguments

November 11, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in a trespass and resisting law enforcement case at an Indianapolis high school Nov. 16.
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Northern District Local Rules amended

November 11, 2010
IL Staff
Four local rules have been amended in the U.S. District Court of Indiana, Northern District. Changes have been made to Local Rule 7.1, Motion Practice; Length and Form of Briefs; L.R. 56.1 Summary Judgment Procedure; L.R. 200.1, Bankruptcy Cases and Proceedings; and Appendix C, Notice to Pro Se Litigant.
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COA: State could charge man for leaving scene of fatal accident

November 10, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s conviction for failing to return to the scene of a fatal accident, finding the state wasn’t barred under collateral estoppel principles from prosecuting him for the same crime as another man who had already been convicted of causing the victim’s death.
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High court vacates transfer order

November 10, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has decided not to take the case of a man who claimed he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel.
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ATC chairman stepping down

November 10, 2010
IL Staff
P. Thomas Snow, a former judge in Wayne County, is resigning as chairman of the Alcohol & Tobacco Commission.
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SCOTUS mulling the future of class-action suits

November 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Defense and plaintiffs attorneys alike have their eyes on the Supreme Court of the United States, which has before it a case that some say could spell the end to class-action lawsuits in the name of contractual arbitration.
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Court affirms locked glove box search

November 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Without a case on point for the Indiana Court of Appeals to follow, the state’s second-highest appellate court has followed the direction of federal rulings and national precedent on allowing police to search locked glove boxes without a warrant.
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COA: jury should have had access to images

November 9, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
The Indiana Court of Appeals today reversed and remanded a jury verdict in favor of medical care providers in a medical-malpractice case involving a permanent eye injury following laser eye surgery. The appellate court concluded the trial court's evidentiary and instructional rulings constituted reversible error.
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SCOTUS reverses 7th Circuit a second time on capital case

November 8, 2010
Michael Hoskins
An Indiana case has prompted the nation’s highest court to reiterate that federal courts can’t issue any writ of habeas corpus to state prisoners whose confinements do not violate U.S. law.
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Commission sends Tax Court finalists' names on to governor

November 8, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission submitted the names of the three finalists for the Indiana Tax Court to Gov. Mitch Daniels Friday.
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Court divided on invasion of privacy charge

November 8, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split today as to whether a woman who had an order for protection against her should have been convicted of invasion of privacy when she spoke to the protected party during a court hearing.
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Ticket can't constitute 'testimonial hearsay'

November 8, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Because a chemical breath-test evidence ticket is a mechanically produced readout that can’t be considered “testimonial hearsay” under U.S. Supreme Court precedent, the Indiana Court of Appeals held a man’s Sixth Amendment rights weren’t violated when the equipment technician didn’t testify at his drunk-driving trial.
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DOC violated religious rights in denying kosher meals

November 5, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge has found the Indiana Department of Correction was wrong to stop serving kosher meals to those whose religious practices required them to eat the specially prepared meals.
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Judges: early retirement ends unemployment benefits

November 5, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the termination of unemployment benefits for an auto worker who accepted an early retirement package after she was laid off.
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Indiana attorney is still battling merit-selection in courts

November 4, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A Terre Haute attorney has been dealt another blow in his national effort to challenge judicial merit-selection systems in favor of popular elections.
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Dozens apply for new federal magistrate spot

November 4, 2010
Michael Hoskins
More than 40 attorneys have applied for a new magistrate spot in the Southern District of Indiana, the first new position since the 1980s.
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  1. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  2. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  3. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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