Latest News

Former Allen County judge dies

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Allen County has lost a former judge who served with distinction in the military's legal arm in the 1950s and returned to serve the county's legal community for four decades as an attorney and jurist.Senior Allen Superior Judge Vern E. Sheldon, who retired in 1998 after more than a decade on the bench, died in his home Sunday after a short illness. He was 77.Judge Sheldon was appointed to the bench in 1985 and elected in 1990, then re-elected without opposition...
More

Justices will consider corporal punishment case

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court will take up the issue of a mother's authority to discipline her child by applying corporal punishment, paving the way for justices to analyze the legal line between parental control and child battery.Justices granted transfer Wednesday in Sophia Willis v. State of Indiana, No. 49A02-06110-CR-982, which the Indiana Court of Appeals had decided May 17. Appellate judges affirmed the Marion Superior Court judgment finding sufficient evidence to convict Willis, mother of an 11-year-old, of misdemeanor child battery...
More

Justices grant two transfers

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has decided to consider whether trial courts can order restitution without determining a defendant's ability to pay, and an annexation case involving land in Boone County.Justices granted transfer this week in Brenwick Associates LLC, First Industrial Acquisitions Inc., and Town of Whitestown, Indiana v. Boone County Redevelopment Commission and the Board of Commissioners of Boone County, Indiana, No. 06A04-0611-CV-682; and Jeffrey Pearson v. State of Indiana, No. 45A03-0610-CR-507.In Brenwick, the court will get involved in a land dispute involving...
More

Legal services keeps funding in Hammond

January 1, 2007
Elizabeth Brockett
The city of Hammond will continue to give $20,000 to the local office of Indiana Legal Services Inc. after city officials initially recommended the council cut the funding entirely.The city council voted 5-4 Monday to distribute funds from a federal Community Development Block Grant. The ILS office has received $20,000 for several years from the disbursement; however, the city received less CDBG money than in previous years and reduced funding for several agencies.Richard P. Komyatte, an attorney who practices in Highland...
More

Former lawmaker, public defender champion dies

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
A former state senator who'd served the legal community as a public defender and lobbyist for the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association has died.Robert Hellmann, D-Terre Haute, died late last week at his home after a yearlong battle with cancer. He was 60.Once minority leader in the Indiana Senate, Hellman had been a part of state government since the early 1980s. He was a member of the House of Representatives for four years before being elected to the Senate in 1986, where...
More

Court rules on Merit Board election

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Court of Appeals ruled today that John Buncich can retain his elected position on the Lake County Sheriff's Merit Board. In Lake County Sheriff's Merit Board v. John Buncich, et al., the court affirmed the trial court's decision in favor of Buncich's complaint for declaratory judgment and preliminary injunction, and in the alternative a temporary restraining order to prevent a new election. Buncich ran for a vacant position on Lake County Sheriff's Merit Board in June 2006 and received 83...
More

Court criticizes appellate attorney for not citing material

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a lower court's decision that a man convicted of felony forgery must submit a DNA sample.But that's only part of today's seven-page decision in James Keeney v. State of Indiana, No. 21A01-0611-CR-495, which goes on to admonish an appellate attorney who filed a brief with uncited material.In this case, Keeney challenged last year Fayette Circuit Judge Daniel Pflum's order, which said Keeney needed to submit a DNA sample after pleading guilty to forgery and...
More

Law school announces directors, meeting

January 1, 2007
Rebecca Berfanger
A proposed law school for Indianapolis, the Abraham Clark School of Law, has selected its board of directors and set its next informational meeting.The board is composed of attorneys Jerrold Abramowitz, Richard Bash, Susan Williams, and Patrick Brown; Greg Kranz, who is in the information technology field; and Sonja Brown, a business owner and part-time legal assistant. Mark Montefiori is the founder and director of the law school with 13 years of experience in higher education. There is also an informal...
More

Indiana Black Expo offers look at legal world

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Visitors to the Indiana Black Expo this weekend will have a chance to see how being a lawyer is cool.Aside from games, giveaways, and the usual expo events, mock trials will be part of the Indianapolis Bar Association's booth during the final weekend of this year's expo, which is Friday through Sunday.For two hours each afternoon, teens from Reach for Youth's Teen Court program will conduct the mock trials, serving as judge, jury, attorneys, and the accused. Audience participation will also...
More

International law lecture Monday

January 1, 2007
IL Staff
"Poodles and Bulldogs: the U.S., Britain and the International Rule of Law" is a public lecture by Philippe Sands, Indiana University School of Law - Bloomington's 2007 Addison C. Harris Lecturer, to be presented in the Moot Court Room at noon Sept. 24. A reception will follow.Sands is professor of law at University College London. A practicing barrister, Sands has extensive experience litigating cases before the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the International...
More

Committed defendant can be charged

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed and remanded a pre-trial motion to dismiss a pending felony criminal recklessness charge against a defendant, ruling the length of time incompetent defendants are committed to a mental health institution does not allow for dismissal of charges. In State of Indiana v. Charlene Davis, 49A02-0706-CR-545, the state argued the trial court did not have the legal authority to dismiss a Class D felony criminal recklessness charge against Davis. Davis was found to be incompetent to stand...
More

Split court reinstates death sentence

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has reinstated the death sentence for a Vanderburgh County man who a lower court judge found was mentally retarded and should be sentenced to life without parole for the killing of his wife and two young children.A split court issued the 19-page opinion today in State v. Paul M. McManus, No. 82S00-0503-PD-78, with Justices Ted Boehm and Robert d. Rucker dissenting from the majority of Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard, and Justices Brent Dickson and Frank Sullivan.McManus...
More

High court hears 2 cases

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Justices heard arguments this morning on two cases, one asking whether mayors have veto power over certain zoning variances approved by local officials.First arguments before the Indiana Supreme Court came in Heidbreder, Inc. v. Board of Zoning Appeals of the City of Crown Point, 858 N.E.2d 1999 (Ind. Ct. App. 2006). The Court of Appeals in December reversed the trial court in its decision involving a special-use variance request. The case stems from a request by Heidbreder to locate a concrete...
More

Court revises sentence to fix double jeopardy issue

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Appellate courts must frequently address claims from convicted criminals that counsel was ineffective, sentences are unreasonable, or that the charges violate double jeopardy.Rarely does the state concede that convictions violate double jeopardy principles, as happened in a case decided Tuesday by the Indiana Supreme Court.In Chad E. Strong v. State of Indiana, No. 20S03-0612-CR-529, the Indiana Attorney General's Office acknowledged the defendant's claim that two convictions - one for murder and another for neglect of a dependent resulting in the same...
More

ND professor speaks on NPR about Supreme Court

January 1, 2007
IL Staff
Among Chief Justice John Roberts' first full term highlights were a number of decisions on race and public schools, free speech, and abortion. Richard W. Garnett, the John Cardinal O'Hara, CSC associate professor of law at Notre Dame University participated in a discussion with two other leading U.S. Supreme Court watchers in front of a live audience at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.The July 10 event analyzed highlights of the latest term of the Supreme Court and addressed the question,...
More

Firms focus on agriculture, energy, climate policy

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Two Indianapolis firms are forming new practice groups to focus on agriculture, energy, and climate-policy issues.Baker & Daniels is assembling an energy and climate policy group of about 10 attorneys with experience in legal areas such as anti-trust, Securities and Exchange Commission, intellectual property, and tax law, according to attorney Terry Hall who will head the group with a colleague in Washington, D.C.The firm has been working for about 18 months on forming the group, and its creation comes at a...
More

Excise tax allowed on couple's marijuana

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court granted summary judgment in favor of the Indiana Department of State Revenue in a controlled-substance excise-tax case, ruling Monday that charging the tax does not apply to Indiana's joinder and successive prosecution statutes.In John David Harrison and Jennifer A. Harrison v. Indiana Department of State Revenue, No.49T10-0409-TA-44, the Harrisons appealed the final determination of the Department of State Revenue, which assessed them with a controlled-substance excise tax (CSET) on the nearly 6,500 grams of marijuana police found in...
More

Court clarifies where tax disputes belong

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
General jurisdiction courts don't have the authority to consider cases involving tax law or the Department of Local Government Finance, and the Indiana Court of Appeals says it also doesn't have the authority to remand those cases to the Indiana Tax Court.An appellate panel made its point clear in an opinion on rehearing today in Wayne Township, Marion County, Indiana v. Indiana Department of Local Government Finance, and Martha Womacks, Marion County Auditor, No. 29A05-0611-CV-661. This comes as a clarification and...
More

Courts weighing execution, mental illness

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Execution and the mentally ill continue to be topics before the courts.The Supreme Court of the United States will hear arguments Wednesday in Panetti v. Quarterman, No. 06-640, a Texas case that asks whether it violates a constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment to execute a delusional inmate who does not understand why he is being put to death.That case is one that Indiana Supreme Court justices are closely watching to decide how they ;ll handle a condemned man ;s...
More

High court adopts 'substantial trustworthiness' test

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has adopted a "substantial trustworthiness" test to determine the reliability of hearsay evidence in probation revocation hearings.A 5-0 decision came today in George Reyes v. State of Indiana, 01S02-0612-CR-495, which comes from Adams Circuit Court and involves a man once convicted and imprisoned for aggravated battery. Reyes began probation in 2000 after his release from prison, but in February 2005 his probation officer filed a violation petition because Reyes tested positive for marijuana. An agreement with the...
More

Court reverses probation revocation

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
A mapping system showing a potential day-care center near a residence wasn't enough to convince to the Indiana Court of Appeals that a Marion County sex offender's probation should be revoked for staying at the residence one night.The court unanimously ruled today in Clinton Carden v. State of Indiana, 49A02-0608-CR-700. Marion Superior Magistrate Nancy Broyles had revoked Carden's four-year probation that was a result of his 2001 guilty plea to one felony count of child molesting and part of his overall...
More

Court reverses COA decision in zoning issue

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed that both the Board of Zoning Appeals of Evansville-Vanderburgh County and trial court were correct in denying the construction of a cellular tower that would be located too close to a residence under a county zoning code.In St. Charles Tower, Inc. v. Board of Zoning Appeals of Evansville-Vanderburgh County, 82S01-0702-CV-69, the state's highest court yesterday overturned the Court of Appeals ruling that found the BZA's decision to deny St. Charles the special-use permit was not supported by...
More

Choke hold violated man's rights, justices rule

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Police violated a man's constitutional protection rights when officers grabbed him by the throat and squeezed to stop him from swallowing a plastic baggie of cocaine, the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled.Justices issued a unanimous opinion Thursday in John Grier v. State of Indiana, No. 49S05-0702-CR-68. The Marion Superior case involved a traffic stop in August 2005, when officers stopped Grier for having an expired license plate. He was gagging after being ordered out of the car, and when he opened...
More

High court will select temporary judge

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court plans to appoint a judge pro tem for Lawrence Circuit Court within days after the local judge was found dead at his home earlier this week.Judge Richard D. McIntyre, 51, of Bedford was discovered in his detached garage Tuesday evening by his wife. The Lawrence County Coroner determined he died of likely self-induced carbon monoxide poisoning, according to an announcement this morning.The Lawrence County native had been the Circuit judge for nearly 20 years, and the county...
More

AG urges court not to review voter ID law

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The nearing 2008 presidential election is a key reason why the Supreme Court of the United States should not accept a challenge to Indiana's two-year-old voter identification law, the Indiana Attorney General's Office argues in a brief filed with the nation's highest court.Even while recognizing that the constitutionality of voter identification laws is a significant question that may eventually need review, the 29-page brief filed this week urges the court to deny a petition for certiorari.This reply follows the July petition...
More
Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Am I the only one who sees that the City is essentially giving away the MSA site AND giving millions to build new buildings on the site when this site would be the perfect place for the Justice Complex? Across from City-County, check; keeping it centrally located, check, etc. It's my understanding that the GM site must be purchased by the City from Motors Liquidation Company. STOP WASTING WHAT WE ALREADY HAVE AND OUR TAX DOLLARS! The Ballard Administration has not been known for it's common sense...never voted for him and never will!

  2. This guy sounds like the classic molester/manipulator.

  3. Louis D. Brandeis was born in 1856. At 9 years of age it would have been 1865. The Brandeis family did not own slaves. My source Louis D. Brandeis: A Life, by Melvin L. Urofsky.

  4. My name is Matthew Lucas Major, I recently went through a jury trial in Bloomington , In. It was the week of Feb 19-21. Although I have been incarcerated since August 5, 2014. The reason I 'am writing to you sir is on the 21 of February the jury came in with a very excessive and wrongful verdict of guilty on 6 child molesting charges against my daughter who was 9 at the time I was accused. I also had 2 other Felonies one of Intimidation and 1 of Sexual Vicarious Gratification. Judge Marc Kellam on the second day of trial gave me a not guilty on those 2 felonies. The jury was sent out during that time and when brought back Judge Kellam told them to not concern themselves with the 2 Felonies that he ruled on them. They were told to not let evidence they had already heard influence there verdicts. I never in my life touched any child sexually and definitely not with my own daughter. When I was arrested Detective Shawn Karr told me I would be convicted guilty just on my daughters word even without evidence. That's just what happened. my public defender did me so wrong he never once proved to the court and jury all the lies the child told, and Jeremy Noel my public defender could of proven the lies easily. The stories in Serenity's depositions and Forensic interview changed and were not consistent as Prosecutor Darcie Fawcett claimed they were. Yet my attorney never mentioned that. The facts that the child accused me of full penetration in her vagina and rectum was proven lies. Doctor Roberta Hibbard of Riley hospital in Indianapolis confirmed Serenity's hymen intact, no scars, no tearing, no signs of rape to her. Yet my attorney didn't use that knowledge . the DNA was all in my favor. I tell you I will spend my entire life in prison going through rape and beatings etc. even Judge Kellam abused his authority by telling the jurors to listen and believe what the prosecutors side in evidence like my daughters testimony. In one interview with the detectives my daughter got flustered with her mom and said on camera " I'm saying what you told me to mom"!! Yet Mr. Noel said nor did anything to even resemble a defense attorney. Judge Kellam allowed edited version of a taped conversation between the child and her mother. Also Judge Kellam allowed the Prosecutor too bring in to my case a knife found under my seat, the knife wasn't part of my case. She was allowed by my attorney and the judge to put a huge picture of it on the screen and huge picture of my naked privates in a full courtroom and open court. Ms. Fawcett says to jury see how easy Mr. Major could reach the knife and cut his Childs throat. Even though I had no weapons charge against these cases. This gave the jurors prejudice thought against me thinking I threatened her with that knife and how scared she would of been knowing i could get it and kill her. On my sentencing court March 19, 2014 my public defender told Judge Kellam he wish to resign from being my attorney and wished for the court to give me outside council to file a error to trial or appeal. We were denied. Now after openly knowing my public defender don't want to represent me he has to. Well when as parents we make our kids clean a room when they really don't wish to, well the child will but don't mean she will do a good job, that's where I'm at with Mr. Noel. please dont ignore mine and my families pleas for your help . we have all the legal proof you could need to prove Im innocent. Please dont make my spend years in prison innocent when you can fix this wrong. Im not saying Im a perfect man or that I was a perfect dad to my 2 children none of us are. Ive made some bad choices in life and I paid for them. But I didnt ever touch or rape my daughter . I love my children with all my heart. And now through needing attention and a ex-wife who told my granny several times she wish she could put me in prison to get me out of their lives. Well my ex finally accomplished her goal. Sad part is she is destroying our daughter with all this horrific lies and things she taught my daughter to say. My daughter will need therapist to ever hope for a chance of a normal life after what she had done to her by her mom and their side of the family. My daughter told everyone even on stand she had a dream months before i supposedly molested her in this dream I was molesting her and when I finally did it matched her dream perfectly. She admitted to watching movies about little girls being molested and watching U-Tube videos about child molesting all before it happened supposedly to her. Doesn't that sound very unusual that a non molested 9 yr old would need to know so much about being molested? The only reason I could think a 9 year old would need so much information is to be prepared to know what to say and be able to say how it felt what took place etc.. So when questioned by authorities she would be prepared. And there again sir if a parent is pre grooming a 9 year old child she would need intimate details . Like telling her daughter about a couple moles on my private area. The child admitted to sneaking my cell and looking many many times at nudes of me and my girlfriend even one where my penis was entering my girlfriends vagina. In that picture my moles are obvious. Yet when prosecutor showed everyone in court my privates and pictures of the moles she said the only way the child would know about them is if she saw them for herself. My attorney once again said nothing about the pictures my child saw. Or could a ex-wife be able to describe my moles to help her case against getting rid of me? I beg you help me. This is my very existence. Ive lost everything , a good job, a wonderful girlfriend, my freedom, but worse thing Ive lost is my children. They were my reason to get up every morning and strive to be better. The wonderful bond I had with my Serenity is gone. After this I would be afraid to even hug her for fear of what next can they do to me. I'm not afraid to tell you I sit here in this cell and try to hold back my tears. Everyone knows you cant show weakness in prison. My life has already been threatened here at Wabash Valley Prison. After only 3 days of arrival. I was tricked into signing a waiver now Im in G Block General Population with 6 child molesting felony charges. Mrs. Hart as a 18 year old I almost died hooked to machines in hospital almost 1 month and now I know that fear was childish compared to this . I cant help but put emotions in this, after all Mrs. Hart Im human and God help Me I never been more afraid in my life. I didnt hurt my little girl I didnt touch her sexually. As much as it shreds me and fills my mind what Im facing I worry more about my mom and granny because of their great love for me mam they are suffering so deeply. I aint done this things but my loved ones suffering right along beside me and If you take my case you will be in essence freeing them also. I sent momma this letter and asked her to email it to you. I'm scared I have been done so unjustly by our legal system and I need you to fix this and give me freedom. I ask you please don't just ignore my pleas. Here in America its nice to be able to trust our legal justice system, well they destroyed my and my loved ones trust in our justice system . And I'm trusting in You !!! My entire family is suffering this nightmare with me. My 77 year old granny had a stroke and isn't doing so well. My single mother that raised 3 kids alone is dying from Lupus and since my arrest has stayed so sick and weary. Our lives torn to peices by a government I was taught I could trust in. my momma has tried so many innocent project and wrongfully accused and cant get anywhere. please please help me. A quote from the late Nelson Mandela: To be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, But to live in a way that respects and enhances The Freedom Of Others. I have Faith in you and your clinic to cast my chains off and give me freedom I do deserve as a wrongfully accused Man, son, brother, father, friend. Matthew Major DOC# 246179 Cause # : 53c02-1308-FA-000779 God Bless you. Please contact me with your decision so I know you made a life changing decision for me , just please at least write me so I know you care enough about your citizens to respond to cries for your help. You can speak openly with my mother Charlotte Spain (828) 476-0406: 71 Lakeview Dr. Canton, NC 28716 Thank You Matthew Major I know yall get thousands of request and inmates claiming innocence, and each person who are innocent deserve to have organizations like yours willing to fight for them and I give yall so much Thanks and I thank God everyday yall are out there caring enough to help free the innocents. Since discovering firsthand how easily lives and families can be destroyed by Poor Defense attorneys not doing their job . And Prosecutors allowed to do as they please in court

  5. 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.

ADVERTISEMENT