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House passes St. Joseph judicial election bill

February 13, 2009
Michael Hoskins
In a historically notable vote, the Indiana House of Representatives passed a bill that would elect St. Joseph Superior judges rather than stick with a merit-selection and retention system in place for 35 years.
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Bill: Legal aid services can assess indigency

February 13, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Indiana lawmakers want the state's legal aid and pro bono programs to have one less hurdle to navigate through when representing indigent clients, agreeing that there's no need to always tie up court time in establishing indigency.
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Opinion examines history of Fireman's Rule

February 13, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
After delving into the history of caselaw involving Indiana's Fireman's Rule, the Indiana Court of Appeals determined a couple's complaint against an Indianapolis strip club is barred by the rule.
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Court upholds sentence-reduction denial

February 12, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
Even though a defendant may be eligible for a sentence reduction under new crack cocaine sentencing guidelines, it is up to the District Court's discretion to grant a reduced sentence, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Dinner to support IU Law - Indy LRAP

February 12, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
To help students and alumni who want to practice public interest law, even with law school loan debt, a group of Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis students will host a fundraiser March 7 for the school's loan repayment assistance program endowment.
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Order that law firm pay attorney fees reversed

February 12, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed today an order awarding attorneys fees based on the actions of an Indianapolis law firm in a dispute involving the dissolution of another firm, finding the record didn't provide any insight into why the trial court granted the award.
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Judges disagree on if remand is necessary

February 11, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed and remanded a trial court's grant of an ex-wife's petition for additional relief for funds, finding the trial court didn't hear evidence on certain "critical" factors. The judges on appeal didn't agree as to whether the case should be remanded.
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Court: ALJ's ruling had several errors

February 11, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
Finding an administrative law judge's decision to deny a woman's claim for disability benefits contained several significant errors, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the District Court's affirmation of the denial and remanded the case to the Social Security Administration.
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Attorneys leaving Bingham to form new firm

February 11, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Seven attorneys are leaving Indianapolis firm Bingham McHale to form a new insurance litigation firm, a move that one of the departing partners said came as a result of high rates and the large firm's practice group effectively pricing itself out of the market.
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Lake County fee bill moves forward

February 10, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The House Judiciary Committee met this morning to consider five bills that included assessing a $10 fee for Lake County court filings, which would be used to fund a consolidated judicial center.
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Court rules on upward sentence revision

February 10, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
The Indiana Supreme Court held today that appellate courts have the authority to increase a sentence on appeal, but the state can't initiate or cross-appeal review of the sentence and can't ask for a greater sentence if the defendant doesn't initiate an appeal.
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Law school symposium to discuss torture

February 10, 2009
IL Staff
The Valparaiso University School of Law, as part of its annual symposium lecture series, is offering "Torture: Justifiable?" which focuses on whether and under what circumstances torture may be justifiable.
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Judge named chairman of alcohol commission

February 10, 2009
IL Staff
A longtime Wayne County judge has been appointed the new chairman of the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission.
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Judge allows class action in hail damage suit

February 9, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
A U.S. District judge is allowing certain State Farm insurance policy holders to proceed in a class action suit against the company as a result of how the insurer handled roof claims following a 2006 hail storm in central Indiana.
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SCOTUS asked to take Indiana wine case

February 9, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States is being asked to consider the constitutionality of Indiana's wine shipping law, which requires in-person contact before any direct delivery is allowed.
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Courts celebrate Black History Month

February 9, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
The chair of the Department of Africana Studies and associate professor of history at Notre Dame University will speak to children and the general public in a lecture titled "Forging the Children of the Sun: The Human Spirit and Jim Crow," a Black History Month program Feb. 20 at the Federal Courthouse in Indianapolis.
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Teen court seeks help

February 9, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
Reach for Youth, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that oversees teen court programs in Marion and Johnson counties and over 250 teen court volunteers, must raise $15,000 by March 1 to keep afloat.
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Law firm forecast sees declining profits

February 6, 2009
Scott Olson
Declining profits could be on the dockets of many law firms again this year.
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Woman didn't prove she should get new trial

February 6, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Finding a defendant didn't meet her burden of proving her newly discovered evidence claim, the Indiana Court of Appeals today upheld the denial of her petition for post-conviction relief.
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COA rules on negligence claims in library case

February 6, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
he Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment today in favor of engineering and construction companies in a lawsuit filed by a central Indiana library, finding the economic-loss doctrine bars the library's negligence claims against the companies.
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Valpo law students help with taxes

February 6, 2009
IL Staff
It's tax time again, and that means Valparaiso University School of Law students are ready to help elderly and low-income taxpayers who need help completing their tax returns.
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Auction to benefit domestic-violence victims

February 5, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
The Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis' Women's Caucus is hosting its annual auction Feb. 12 to raise funds for the Protective Order Pro Bono Project. Proceeds from the auction will go to the project, which provides free legal advice for low-income victims of domestic abuse.
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St. Joseph judicial election bill out of committee

February 5, 2009
IL Staff
The bill requiring the non-partisan election of Superior Court judges in St. Joseph County has made it out of committee.
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COA: Statements not made in illegal detention

February 5, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a defendant's motion to suppress statements given to authorities while detained, finding he was legally detained because police already had probable cause to arrest him.
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Justices split in granting transfer

February 4, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court was split in its decision to deny transfer in a case in which a defendant claimed misconduct by the prosecutor when he read a poem about drugs during voir dire.
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  1. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

  2. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  3. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

  4. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  5. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

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