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SCOTUS sets date for second Indiana case

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States will hear its second case this term from Indiana on March 26, considering whether a defendant found competent to stand trial should also be allowed to represent himself.Justices granted certiorari in December for Indiana v. Edwards, No. 07-208, which follows an Indiana Supreme Court ruling in May 2007. The case stems from a July 1999 downtown Indianapolis incident in which Ahmad Edwards was caught on surveillance tape stealing shoes. He ultimately shot at police multiple...
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Justices grant five transfers

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has accepted five new cases. At its weekly conference Aug. 28, justices granted transfer in two civil cases, two criminal cases, and a tax court case. • Brenda and Darren Wagner v. Bobbi Yates, et al., No. 22A01-0710-CV-474: An underinsured motorist policy case from Floyd County. The Court of Appeals in April affirmed the lower court's granting of a motion for summary judgment in favor of American Standard Insurance Company of Wisconsin, the Wagners' automobile insurer. The court ruled that American Standard can set...
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Indiana District Courts amending local rules

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana has published the amendments made to its Local Rules. After considering the proposed amendments and comments received, changes have been made to several rules including Rule 5.1 - General Format of Documents Presented for Filing, Rule 56.1 - Summary Judgment Procedure, and Rule II - Discipline Imposed by Other Courts. To view all of the changes, visit the District Court's Web site and click on the "Notice of Amendments to...
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SCOTUS defines money-laundering 'proceeds'

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States has defined money laundering and tossed out the convictions of an East Chicago man in a split decision today.The high court ruled on U.S. v. Efrain Santos, et al., No. 06-1005, which involved a money-laundering ring in East Chicago. This was one of two money-laundering cases decided by the court today; the other came in Cuellar v. U.S., No. 06-1456, which held that mere concealment of money during a transport is not enough to support...
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State's justices set record together

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court made history this week.The current five justices reached a record-setting milestone Feb. 24 in the number of days they've served together on the state's highest court. Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard and Justices Ted Boehm, Brent Dickson, Robert Rucker, and Frank Sullivan have been together for 3,040 consecutive days, according to the Appellate Clerk's Office.To be clear: They've been together since Justice Rucker joined the court Nov. 19, 1999.The previous record goes back to 1985. Justices Alfred Pivarnik, Dixon...
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Settlement reached in equal pay suit

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A day before a multi-million dollar class action suit was supposed to go to trial, attorneys reached a settlement in the state employees' equal pay case that is expected to give every plaintiff what they asked for.The class - made up of as many as 15,000 former state employees - wanted compensation for hours they worked between 1973 and 1993 and didn't receive equal pay of fellow workers, who had only worked 37 1/2 hours compared to their 40 hours a...
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COA reverses contempt finding

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a trial court order finding a father in contempt of court for not complying with orders stemming from post-dissolution proceedings, ruling the father did comply with an order requiring he update his ex-wife with documents regarding a trust for his children's education. In David L. Bartlemay v. Nancy Witt, f/k/a Nancy Bartlemay, No. 89A04-0802-CV-50, David Bartlemay appealed a 2007 trial court order that he was in contempt of court for violating previous orders following the dissolution...
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Indiana General Assembly back in session

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana General Assembly reconvened today with property tax issues consuming much of the focus of the 2008 short session. Also receiving much attention are issues regarding sex offenders, education, and the environment. Another bill of interest to the legal community is House Bill 1045, which introduces a courthouse preservation advisory commission and courthouse preservation fund, and requires the commission to provide assistance for courthouse related projects. Grandparent visitation rights are dealt with in Senate Bill 48, which allows for a...
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High court grants 4 transfers

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted four transfers last week, though one was remanded to the state's Court of Appeals while another came with a significant ruling about community rental restrictions.In taking the cases, justices now have a chance to weigh in on the denial of post-conviction relief regarding a habitual offender enhancement and driving an ATV while drunk on private property.On May 13, the high court granted transfer in State of Indiana v. Adam L. Manuwal, No. 50A05-0703-CR-182, which asks whether the...
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Firm creates industry-based practice group

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
Baker & Daniels has established an advanced manufacturing and logistics practice group to work with Indiana businesses directly related to and affected by these industries. The practice group is comprised of more than 20 attorneys with experience in numerous areas of law including corporate, labor and employment, litigation, and intellectual property. Partner James S. Birge will lead the industry-based group.
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President signs new federal IP law: Legislation considers piracy issues, creates 'copyright czar'

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The United States is stepping up to better protect intellectual property. If there was any doubt before, it's official now with a new law signed by President George W. Bush Oct. 13. Known as the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008, or PRO IP for short, the law is designed to strengthen existing copyright laws, create civil forfeiture clauses so equipment believed to be used in an IP crime can be seized, and establish a cabinet-level position...
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COA differs on when 'critical stage' starts

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges agreed that a defendant's motion to suppress evidence of a polygraph test should have been granted by the trial court. But the judges had differing reasons for granting the reversal of the trial court, with the majority deviating from precedent on when the right to counsel begins.In Thomas E. Caraway v. State of Indiana, No. 47A01-0709-CR-416, Thomas Caraway appealed the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress and exclude all evidence of a...
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Court: father not responsible for late payment

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a trial court denial of a father's post-dissolution motion for rule to show cause why his ex-wife shouldn't be held in contempt, and remanded for the court to enter a new order. In John L. Richardson v. Susan E. Hansrote, No. 72A01-0706-CV-288, Richardson appealed the trial court denial, raising three issues: whether the trial court erred when it determined he had a child-support arrearage; whether the error by the court clerk, who mistakenly applied Richardson's child...
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COA: State can't claim adverse possession

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The state can't obtain title to a disputed tract of land through adverse possession because the state can't satisfy the tax requirements in Indiana statute regarding adverse possession, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today in a case of first impression.In State of Indiana v. Jeanette Serowiecki, No. 56A04-0710-CV-576, the state appealed the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Jeanette Serowiecki on the state's complaint to quiet title to an 18.6-acre tract of land in Newton County. Serowiecki is trustee...
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Non-violent orders challenged

January 1, 2008
Rebecca Berfanger
The Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence with the assistance of pro bono attorneys in Baker & Daniels' Indianapolis office filed notice of appeal July 22 for two non-violent contact orders issued in Marion County. The non-violent distinction means that the respondent can have contact with the petitioner as long as it isn't violent contact. Earlier on the same day in Indianapolis, Carl Wills allegedly killed his ex-wife, April Wills, her boyfriend, and then killed himself. Records show that Carl had a history of...
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Board to vote on top public defender

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
The Marion County Public Defender Agency's governing board plans to choose on Wednesday the person it wants to be the county's next chief public defender.A public meeting is scheduled for 11:45 a.m. in Room 260 of the City-County Building at 200 E. Washington St. The nine-person board plans to conduct final interviews with Indianapolis defense attorneys Robert J. Hill Jr. and Eric K. Koselke, who are vying to succeed David E. Cook who's leaving the agency for private practice.In late February,...
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Technical glitch, now fixed, hits revised opinions

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
Attorneys who logged on this morning to the Indiana Judiciary Web site to read and print opinions were met with a challenge: you could view, but couldn't print.The first Court of Appeals opinions of the New Year were password protected and locked so that people accessing the online opinions were unable to print them.That was an internal, unintended glitch and the problem's been resolved, according to Supreme Court Administrator and Appellate Clerk Kevin Smith.The opinions posted earlier this morning disappeared temporarily...
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IU Law class receives national recognition

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
A class designed and taught by an Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis associate professor has been recognized as a model by a national anti-trafficking group.Associate professor Karen E. Bravo created the course, "Illicit International Markets," which was selected by The Protection Project of John Hopkins University as a model for scholars in and outside the U.S. on how to integrate the issues of human trafficking into a higher education course. Bravo's course syllabus will be posted online by The...
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Governor appoints Bluffton judge

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
Gov. Mitch Daniels appointed a new Bluffton City Court judge Feb. 28, choosing a retired car dealership owner. Robert J. Bate succeeds Judge Gary Markley, who resigned Jan. 15.Bate was owner and president of Bob Bate Chevrolet Inc. in Ossian from 1979 to 2000. He was elected five times to serve on the Bluffton City Council between 1987 and 2007. Bate's appointment is effective immediately.
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Judge: Sex offender law goes too far

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
Those registered sex offenders who've served their time and are no longer on probation or under court supervision cannot be required to give blanket consent to authorities for home and computer searches, the U.S. District Court Southern District of Indiana's chief judge ruled late afternoon on June 24.U.S. District Judge David F. Hamilton in Indianapolis struck down a major portion of a new law set to take effect July 1, which would have required all convicted sex offenders to agree to...
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Post-conviction relief case gets transfer

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer May 2 to a case in which the defendant was denied post-conviction relief. In Roderick Lee v. State of Indiana, No. 27A04-0705-PC-257, Lee filed a petition for relief asserting he received ineffective assistance from his trial and appellate counsel. The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected Lee's arguments that his trial and appellate counsel - the same attorney - was ineffective because the attorney failed to argue that entering judgments on Lee's convictions of burglary and attempted robbery violate...
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Justices rule on sentencing scheme

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has once again influenced the state's criminal sentencing scheme in a pair of rulings that are the latest in a post-Blakely world.Justices issued decisions Thursday in Rosalio Pedraza v. State of Indiana, No. 49S04-0711-CR-516, and Michael Sweatt v. State of Indiana, No. 49S02-0805-CR-290, which when read together offer trial courts guidance about using a person's criminal history and enhancing penalties.The court held that double enhancements are allowed using a single element of criminal history, but consecutive sentences can't be...
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Allen County judge regrets misconduct

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
An Allen County judge has publicly expressed his deep regret for failing to control his emotions late last year when he verbally berated members of a defendant's family following a sentencing hearing.Allen Superior Judge Kenneth R. Scheibenberger filed a formal answer Aug. 8 to the charges lodged against him July 15 by the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications. The judicial disciplinary body has charged him with four counts of misconduct for his behavior in a fellow jurist's courtroom in November.At that...
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COA panel to consider public access

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A three-judge Indiana Court of Appeals panel wants to know why parties have not submitted what it calls "a meaningful public access set of briefs" related to product-liability claims against Indianapolis-based Guidant Corp. The state's second highest appellate court has a public hearing scheduled for 11 a.m. March 25 in Allianz Insurance Co., et al. v. Guidant Corp., et al., No. 49A05-0704-CV-216, where judges will consider the balance of public interest for access with the need for restricting access relating to the Marion...
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Parts of Indiana Code now in Spanish

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
Select portions of the 2006 and 2007 Indiana Code have been translated into Spanish, the Indiana Supreme Court has announced. An alphabetical index of terms and a glossary outlining topic areas also were translated. The goal of the translation is to better serve the Spanish-speaking population and those who represent them. By translating some of the basic codes, interpreters will be able to use the same terms for charges and it will create a standard document of legal terminology. The translations...
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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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