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Court affirms probation revocation

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed the revocation of a man's probation and imposition of a 12-year sentence for his probation violation even though the trial court erred in not allowing him to explain why he missed his mandatory drug screenings. In Brian Woods v. State of Indiana, No.49S04-0808-CR-469, the court examined the concept and implications of a "strict compliance" probation, which Woods was on after previously failing to make mandatory drug screenings. The trial court warned him that if he violated his...
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Justices: Arrest was valid

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has reversed a Marion County judge's ruling that officers from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department don't have arresting authority because they didn't take an official oath following a merger.A unanimous ruling came today in State v. Cheryl Oddi-Smith, 49S00-0710-CR-396, which stems from Marion Superior Judge Rueben Hill's decision involving a three-car accident and subsequent drunk driving arrest a year ago. He ruled that Oddi-Smith's arrest was illegal because the arresting officer was not sworn in after the Jan....
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Justices rule on 'workplace bullying' case

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The phrase "workplace bully" was applicable to a plaintiff's claims of assault and is an entirely appropriate consideration in determining issues before a jury, ruled the Indiana Supreme Court April 8. However, the court did not define in the opinion what makes a "workplace bully." The majority of Indiana Supreme Court justices affirmed the trial court jury verdict of $325,000 and judgment on a claim for assault against a surgeon.In Daniel H. Raess, M.D., v. Joseph E. Doescher, No. 49S02-0710-CV-424, Dr. Raess...
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Circuit examines ministerial exception

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
Two former administrators of Salvation Army thrift stores in Indianapolis are appealing their lawsuit against the non-profit organization on grounds that they were wrongly denied overtime pay in violation of a federal labor law.But at issue in their federal case is whether they're classified as "employees" and whether a religious freedom exception barring courts from getting involved in church management can be applied to their employment law claims.The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Wednesday in Steve and Lorrie Schleicher...
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Attorney killed in car accident

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
Merrillville defense attorney Garry Weiss, 53, was killed Tuesday night in a car crash in northern Indiana. Police responded to the three-car crash around 10 p.m. Tuesday in Merrillville. The preliminary investigation shows a Jeep Grand Cherokee ran a stop sign and struck two cars, one of which Weiss was driving. The driver of the Grand Cherokee and the two people inside the Chevy Blazer were also killed. Police believe speed was a contributing factor in the crash. Weiss had his...
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Law firm celebrates 100 years with public event

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
The Evansville law firm Kahn Dees Donovan & Kahn is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a special community presentation May 1. The firm has brought in Dr. Daniel Shapiro of the Harvard Negotiation Project to speak at the program, "Negotiation Power at Work and Home: Using Emotions to Turn Conflict into Mutual Gain." Shapiro is a psychologist and lecturer at Harvard Law School and has trained world leaders, corporate managers, and individuals how to negotiate the resolution of international conflict, hostage...
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Court suspends Evansville attorney

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court today suspended an Evansville attorney who pleaded guilty to methamphetamine charges and received a six-year sentence in June.In its interim suspension notice dated July 14 In the Matter of Teresa L. Perry, No. 82S00-0806-DI-00307, the court ordered that the attorney is immediately suspended. Perry had been practicing law in the state since November 2000. The order remains in effect until further notice from the court.Perry had pleaded guilty in April to two counts of dealing a controlled...
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Split court chooses suspension, not disbarment

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court today suspended a Bloomington attorney for at least three years, though the chief justice and another justice wanted disbarment because this is the lawyer's fourth disciplinary proceeding since being admitted in 1970.The disciplinary decision came in the form of an 11-page per curiam opinion, In the Matter of David J. Colman, No 53S00-0607-DI-248. The court found that Colman engaged in attorney misconduct in several estate planning tasks: by participating in preparation of a will for a non-relative...
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Justices deny transfer in Home Place appeal

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court won't consider the annexation battle between Carmel and Home Place.Attorneys received notice March 4 about the court's 5-0 transfer denial in City of Carmel, Indiana v. Certain Home Place Annexation Territory Landowners, No. 29A04-0510-CV-578, which an online docket entry shows the court made Feb. 28.This means the Oct. 17, 2007, decision by the Court of Appeals stands. The appellate court had ruled in favor of Carmel, holding the city adequately proved it could afford to annex the 1.6-square-mile...
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Court denies rehearing, orders execution

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has refused to hear a condemned man's appeal and ordered his execution for May.Justices unanimously agreed this week to not rehear the case of Michael Dean Overstreet, who was convicted of the 1997 disappearance, rape, and strangulation of Franklin College freshman Kelly Eckart. He has been on death row since 2000, and the Supreme Court upheld the sentence in late November. His attorneys asked for a rehearing in January.Now, a docket entry sets the execution date for...
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Court affirms arbitration dismissal

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals today upheld the dismissal with prejudice of a bank's application to confirm an arbitration award regarding credit card debt because the bank failed to follow the proper procedure outlined in the Federal Arbitration Act. In MBNA America Bank v. Aaron Kay, No. 49A02-0711-CV-961, MBNA submitted a purported dispute over credit card debt by Aaron Kay to the National Arbitration Forum. Kay objected to the arbitration. The arbitrator found in favor of the bank and entered the...
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Federal child support act trumps state act

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today that a federal act supersedes Indiana's statute regarding exclusive jurisdiction over two parties' child support order and affirmed the transfer of exclusive jurisdiction to a California court. In its ruling, the court had to decide whether or not the father still was a resident of Indiana in order to determine if the federal act applied to him. In In re the marriage of Mahmoud M. Basileh v. Arwa G. Alghusain, No. 29A02-0712-CV-1132, the Court of...
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COA reverses order of restitution to county

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A nurse practicing in Indiana without a license had her convictions of forgery and practicing nursing without a license upheld April 22, but the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the trial court order that she pay restitution to the county where she worked. In Rebecca D. Lohmiller v. State of Indiana, No. 08A02-0710-CR-873, Lohmiller appealed her convictions and sentence for six counts of forgery and 21 counts of practicing nursing without a license. The court sentenced her to four years imprisonment with...
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Court interprets revised procedural statute

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has found strong and compelling evidence to apply retroactivity to a procedural state statute lawmakers changed last year following a ruling from Indiana Supreme Court.In Mark Hurst v. State of Indiana, No. 64A03-0710-CR-490, the appellate court affirmed a Porter Superior judge's ruling that the court properly amended charging information 15 months after the original omnibus date, that sufficient evidence of seriously bodily injury existed to support a felony battery conviction, and that Hurst was properly sentenced to...
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High court affirms summary judgment for bank

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A bank that opened an account for a man who used it to fraudulently deposit checks wasn't required under Indiana Code to exercise ordinary care when opening the account, ruled the Indiana Supreme Court. At issue in Auto-Owners Insurance Company v. Bank One, et al., No. 49S04-0701-CV-27 is whether Bank One violated Section 405 of the Indiana Uniform Commercial Code by not exercising ordinary care when it allowed Kenneth B. Wulf to open a fraudulent account. Wulf was a resident adjustor for...
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Northern District seeks comment on local rule

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
The U.S. District Court for Northern District of Indiana is accepting public comment on the revision of Local Rule 72.1 - again. The Local Rules Advisory Committee recommended the revision of the local rule and had a period of public comment. Due to a clerical error, the revision of the rule wasn't completed. Now, the corrected proposed Local Rule 72.1 is available free of charge at www.innd.uscourts.gov or at the Northern District Court's divisional offices. Comments will be accepted through Sept....
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High court: 'Contact' must be clearly defined

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has determined what kind of "contact" a convicted child molester can have without violating probation.In the court's 4-1 decision April 2 in Theron W. Hunter v. State of Indiana, No. 69S01-0708-CR-332, the justices reversed Ripley Circuit Judge Carl Taul's 2006 ruling to revoke Hunter's probation. The case is remanded with instruction to reinstate the probation.Hunter was convicted in 2000 of felony child molesting and sentenced to eight years, with four years suspended. He was released in July 2006 and placed...
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Court: Company must pay for suit

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a company that brought a frivolous lawsuit to pay for the attorney fees and other costs of the defending party. In Natare Corporation v. Cardinal Accounts, Inc., 49A05-0704-CV-210, the Court of Appeals granted Natare's motion to tax costs regarding a suit against them brought by Cardinal Accounts. The trial court reinstated Cardinal's complaint, which sat in limbo for months because Cardinal made no action in the case. When Natare appealed the complaint, the Court of...
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Judges go back to school

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
If your local judge wasn't on the bench the latter part of the week, it may be that he or she took some time to go to judicial school. The 2008 Spring Judicial College was Wednesday through today, offering jurists statewide a chance to brush up on certain areas of law or particular issues of interest. An estimated 250 Hoosier jurists converged on Indianapolis, coming and going for some or all of the annual college, Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard said."It's...
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Judges affirm juvenile adjudication case

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A 17-year-old male drove by the Indiana State Fairgrounds in a sports car last year with DVD-recorded nude and sexually explicit scenes playing on a video screen visible from the rearview window.Today, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed his adjudication as a delinquent juvenile for disseminating matter harmful to minors, an offense that would be a felony if committed by an adult. The court held that minors had visible access to the videos and that was sufficient evidence.In M.S. v. State...
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State must arbitrate with tobacco companies

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
States involved in a settlement agreement with certain tobacco companies to recover health care costs for smoking-related illnesses must participate in a single, national arbitration panel when arbitrating issues, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals today. In State of Indiana, ex rel., Stephen R. Carter, Attorney General of Indiana v. Philip Morris Tobacco Company, et al., No. 49A02-0706-CV-494, the state appealed the trial court order requiring Indiana to arbitrate with Philip Morris and other tobacco companies the decision of the independent auditor...
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Famous Civil War trial re-enactment March 4

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A famous Indiana Civil War trial that remains particularly relevant is being re-enacted on March 4, which is President Benjamin Harrison Day.About 250 middle and high school students are expected at the Indiana Statehouse for the educational re-enactment of the case, Ex Parte Milligan, 71 U.S. 2 (1866), which involved citizens and military tribunals. A resident of Huntington, Ind., Milligan was sentenced to death by a military tribunal for his outspoken opposition to President Abraham Lincoln's Civil War draft. Several famous...
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COA footnotes: more past delays found

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
Examples are still surfacing about how files had been delayed in getting transmitted to the Indiana Court of Appeals, although the Appellate Clerk's office has been backlog-free for about a month and these instances only highlight what had happened in the past.Two opinions in the past week show cases that were not transmitted from the clerk's office for eight months and almost two years, respectively. Both included footnotes explaining the situation, recent reforms, and advice to counsel about keeping tabs on...
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Law firm pays $50,000, ending $18M nightmare

January 1, 2008
An Indianapolis law firm has paid $50,000 to the Indiana Department of Insurance in a deal that extricates it from an $18 million jury verdict stemming from the collapse of a health insurance trust. The department released Fillenwarth Dennerline Groth & Towe from the massive judgment that a Marion County jury handed down against the law firm two years ago. In return, the firm transferred to the department the bad-faith claims it is pursuing against its malpractice insurer, Alabama-based ProNational Insurance...
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St. Joseph County seeks judicial applicants

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
Any St. Joseph County attorney who wants to be a trial court judge can now apply for that opportunity.The county's Judicial Nominating Commission is accepting applications until 5 p.m. Aug. 29 for the judicial vacancy when St. Joseph Superior Judge William T. Means retires Sept. 30. The commission, which will recommend candidates for consideration to the governor, met last week to set a schedule for the application process.Interviews for applicants will be Sept. 12 in South Bend.According to state law, the...
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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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