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Zachary's Law case could go to SCOTUS

January 30, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Attorney General's Office wants the nation's highest court to review the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling from last summer on a death-penalty case, which inspired Zachary's Law that requires convicted child molesters to register their addresses in a statewide public database.
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7th Circuit orders new defense counselRestricted Content

January 29, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
In an order handed down late Monday afternoon, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals relieved a court-appointed defense counsel from representing his client and will appoint new counsel in a future order.
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2 events focus on Kenya

January 24, 2008
Rebecca Berfanger
Two events in Indianapolis will offer a look at the connections between Indianapolis and Kenya, which includes a legal and sister city partnership, and an attorney who was in Kenya during the strife following that country's elections in late December.
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7th Circuit affirms arbitration awardRestricted Content

January 22, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a District Court's confirmation of an arbitration award, but it denied the plaintiff recovery of attorney fees and costs because he will be reimbursed those under the terms of the arbitration agreement.
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7th Circuit: Stop using specialist jargonRestricted Content

January 16, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a District Court ruling in a complex reinsurance case and asked attorneys to be mindful of the language they use in these types of cases.
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7th Circuit won't rehear prayer suit

January 15, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals won't rehear en banc Indiana's statehouse prayer suit.
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Court affirms stepfather's visitation rights

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals April 23 affirmed a trial court's decision that a stepfather may continue to have visitation rights with his stepdaughter even though the mother wanted his visitation rights terminated. In Nicole A. Shaffer v. Robert J. Schaffer, No. 22A04-0709-CV-513, Nicole requested Robert's third-party stepparent visitation rights with her daughter, M.S., be terminated because it was in her daughter's best interest to not have any more contact with Robert. Nicole and Robert were married when she had a child...
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Court grants transfer in prisoner suit

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case involving whether a man's request challenging his prison detainment should have been treated as post-conviction relief or a writ of habeas corpus.Justices granted transfer late last week in Floyd Tewell v. State of Indiana, No. 48A02-0701-PC-118, which comes after a Nov. 5, 2007, decision from the Court of Appeals that had affirmed a ruling from Madison Superior Judge Thomas Newman Jr.The appeal stems from the court's denial of Tewell's petition for writ...
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COA: insurer owed duty to defend

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
After nearly 10 years of litigation, the Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a grant of summary judgment in favor of an insurance company because the company couldn't show it was prejudiced by a late notice from its insured as a matter of law. In the unanimous 27-page opinion, Tri-Etch Inc., et al v. Cincinnati Insurance Co., No. 49A02-0709-CV-827, the appellate court ruled in favor of the appellants-plaintiffs in this appeal - Tri-Etch, which provides security services; the estate of Michael Young;...
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Court rules on out-of-state marriages

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
Even if a marriage is questionable in another state, Indiana will recognize that marriage if it complies with Hoosier law.An Indiana Supreme Court ruling late Tuesday gave that answer in Emma McPeek, et al. v. Charles McCardle, No. 58S01-0708-CV-305, which hails from Ohio Circuit Court and involves a technical issue regarding a couple not having an official out-of-state marriage license when they wed in Ohio, even though they'd had one from Indiana.The plaintiff-appellants in this case sued following their mother's death in...
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Justices: State must prove loaded gun

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The state has the burden to prove a gun was loaded when charging a defendant with pointing a firearm as a Class D felony, but it is up to the defendant to raise the issue when the state's evidence has not done so, the Indiana Supreme Court has decided. In Henry J. Adkins v. State of Indiana, No. 20S03-0709-CR-374, the Supreme Court Wednesday upheld Henry Adkins' conviction of pointing a firearm as a Class D felony because during the trial he failed...
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Non-firm job options: Recent law grads share advice

January 1, 2008
Rebecca Berfanger
When considering law school, students may have the idea that getting a law degree will equal a large salary or a lifestyle similar to television shows that portray lawyers in spacious apartments, wearing designer clothes, and hosting large events. The reality is that may be true for some. For those who would rather work in politics, as in-house counsel, or start their own business, the salary may be smaller, but depending on one's interests and career goals, it could be more...
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Courts must ID trade secrets

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned a northern Indiana judge's order to protect certain information and trade secrets, holding the District Court judge didn't adequately distinguish what shouldn't be released in a copyright and trade secrets dispute between two competing modular home builders.A unanimous three-judge panel ruled today in Patriot Homes, Inc. and Patriot Manufacturing, Inc. v. Forest River Housing, Inc., d/b/a Sterling Homes, No. 06-3012.The case involved Patriot Homes and Forest River Housing, who'd been competing contentiously for years,...
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New judicial speech rights suit filed

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A federal lawsuit challenging Indiana's rules prohibiting judicial candidates from responding to a survey about their views is picking up where a similar suit left off late last year.The nonprofit Indiana Right to Life Inc. filed a suit April 18 on behalf of Marion Superior Judge David Certo, who is running for the court for the first time after being appointed by Gov. Mitch Daniels to fill a vacancy last year, and Torrey Bauer, a candidate for Kosciusko Superior Court. The...
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Federal court rules in favor of Indy company

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A federal appeals court in Florida has upheld an Indianapolis-based company's right to sell distant networking programming to its customers, finding the company was acting in accordance with the Satellite Home Viewer Act (SHVA). The unanimous opinion from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Monday, CBS Broadcasting Inc., et al. v. EchoStar Communications d.b.a. DISH Network, et al. No. 07-10020, ruled National Programming Service (NPS), a proposed intervenor-cross-appellant on the case, has the right to lease satellite equipment from EchoStar Communications Corp....
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COA: Court has personal jurisdiction over CIDs

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana trial courts can assert personal jurisdiction over out-of-state companies for the purposes of enforcing an Indiana Attorney General's petition to enforce a civil investigative demand, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals today. In a case of first impression, the appellate court was asked to determine whether a trial court lacked personal jurisdiction over an Ohio company that had franchises located in but not registered in Indiana, and thus erred by granting the Attorney General's petition to enforce a civil investigative...
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Court rules on annexation, land dispute

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A county was able to establish an economic development area in unincorporated land that was also in the process of being annexed by a town because the annexation process hadn't been completed yet, ruled the Indiana Supreme Court. When the Boone County Redevelopment Commission (RDC) initiated proceedings to create an economic development area (EDA), the area included land on which Whitestown had initiated annexation proceedings just one week earlier in July 2006. In October 2006, the Boone County Board of Commissioners...
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Judge, attorneys to get national, state awards

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
A judge and two attorneys from Indiana will receive awards for their work in the legal community and media law.Dearborn Superior Judge G. Michael Witte will receive the Franklin N. Flaschner Award given by the National Conference on Specialized Court Judges Aug. 7 at the American Bar Association's annual meeting. The award recognizes a judge in a court of limited jurisdiction who has an excellent reputation, commitment to high ideals, and exemplary character, leadership, and competence in performing legal duties. Judge...
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Court: amended charges not allowed

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reinstated one conviction and reversed two others for a man charged with resisting law enforcement, auto theft, and battery. At issue in Donyea Fowler v. State of Indiana, No. 71A05-0704-CR-200, is whether the trial court properly reversed Fowler's conviction of resisting law enforcement. Fowler also appealed his convictions of auto theft and battery, arguing the charges were added after the time allowed by Indiana statutes. Police officers from several departments showed up to the home where Fowler...
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Inmates' child support orders can be modified

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
  In a decision that may affect child support modification orders, the Indiana Court of Appeals held today an earlier Indiana Supreme Court decision also applies to a request for a modification because of incarceration. In Todd Allen Clark v. Michelle D. Clark, No. 35A05-0801-CV-26, the appellate court used the Indiana Supreme Court's decision in Lambert v. Lambert, 861 N.E.2d 1176 (Ind. 2007), to determine whether Todd Clark's verified petition for abatement and/or modification of child support order should have been granted. ...
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COA: Parental rights termination set aside

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a juvenile court's termination of parental rights of both parents of an infant, finding evidence presented to support the termination wasn't clear or convincing. In In the matter of the termination of the parent-child relationship of A.B., and Angela B. and Brian J. v. Lake County Department of Child Services, No. 45A03-0712-JV-567, the appellate court ruled the court's judgment terminating the parental rights of Angela and Brian over A.B. was erroneous because the Lake County Department...
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Third-party settlement ends fund liability

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court held in a case of first impression in worker's compensation that when a settlement with a third-party ends an employer's liability, the liability of the Second Injury Fund will also be terminated. However, when the Indiana Worker's Compensation Board approves an agreement by the employer to continue paying worker's comp benefits after the settlement, the injured employee may make a claim to the Second Injury Fund. In Ronald Mayes v. Second Injury Fund, No. 93S02-0802-EX-0107, Ronald Mayes...
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Appeal likely in post-deadlocked capital case

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court may be asked to determine whether an Evansville judge correctly decided to uphold a death sentence after a jury's indecision regarding the penalty.Attorneys for death row inmate Daniel Ray Wilkes aren't taking issue with how Vanderburgh Circuit Judge Carl Heldt applied the law but rather the nature and constitutionality of the statute itself.Judge Heldt in late January decided on the death sentence for Wilkes, who was convicted in December on three murder counts for the April 2006...
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Court rules on marital estate divisions

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A trial court should assume that when a divorcing couple divides part of their marital assets on its own, that division is done justly and reasonably and the court should divvy up the remainder of their estate as the entire balance.The Indiana Court of Appeals made that holding in today's ruling on Thelma M. Nornes v. Raymond M. Nornes, No. 46A03-0712-CV-564, a divorce case out of LaPorte County. The two were married in 1998 and started the dissolution process in 2006.Prior...
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Court reverses grandparent visitation

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a father that his due process rights were violated when a trial court ordered grandparent visitation over his objection. The majority reversed the petition for grandparent visitation filed by the children's maternal grandparents, with one judge dissenting and writing the ruling would give parents a carte blanche to deny visitation for any reason. In James M. Hicks v. Gary Larson and Judy Larson, No. 26A01-0707-CV-302, Hicks had two children with Geri Hicks, the daughter of...
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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