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COA finds attorney in contempt

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals issued an order Friday holding an attorney in contempt. The order came about because of questionable conduct by the court-appointed attorney. At a hearing Nov. 14, the attorney, Allen C. Mattson, admitted the allegations against him were true.Mattson was appointed to represent Michael A. Quillen in Blackford Circuit Court. Mattson was also appointed as appellate counsel for Quillen. From March 14 through July 30, 2007, Mattson filed two motions for extensions, a plea for extension of time...
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Supreme Court rules on med mal fees

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Medical malpractice attorneys are sighing in relief after a much-anticipated ruling by the Indiana Supreme Court this afternoon.Justices granted transfer and issued a per curiam opinion this afternoon on a case that had the potential to dramatically change how med mal attorneys recover fees in these types of cases.But instead of altering that, the unanimous ruling stipulates that the fee structure often used by these med mal attorneys can stand, and the court offers guidance for attorneys seeking to ensure fee...
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Lake County judge dies unexpectedly

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
A Lake County judge was found dead in his home Tuesday after not showing up for morning hearings.Superior Judge Robert A. Pete, 54, apparently died of natural causes, coroner's officials told a local newspaper, and the local legal community was reeling from his unexpected death. A bailiff went to the judge's home after he didn't arrive in court or notify staff about his absence.Judge Pete was appointed to the Superior Court's Civil Division 5 courtroom in Hammond in 2001 and faced...
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Court upholds drunk ATV driver ruling

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
A driver of an ATV shouldn't be prosecuted for driving under the influence on his own property because charges were brought under the wrong statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.In State of Indiana v. Adam L. Manuwal, No. 50A05-0703-CR-182, the state charged Manuwal with OWI with an alcohol concentration equivalent of at least .15 after he had crashed an ATV he was operating on his own property. Manuwal was injured as a result of the accident and while at...
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Merrillville attorney was considered foremost counsel on alcohol beverage law

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Indiana has lost an attorney considered by colleagues to be one of the most educated lawyers in the state about alcohol beverage law.Merrillville attorney Stephen M. Brenman died in his sleep early Tuesday morning. Colleagues said they were not yet aware of details and arrangements being finalized this week.Brenman, a second-generation lawyer, practiced with his son, Jeremy, at their full-service, boutique Law Offices of Stephen M. Brenman. His office is closed until Monday, according to a recording at his office today.The...
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Home day care presents first-impression

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Court of Appeals ruled on a case of first impression involving whether a licensed child care facility constitutes residential or commercial use of the owner's residence. In Jeannie Lewis-Levett v. Richard D. Day and Martha A. Day, 50A03-0705-CV-199, Lewis-Levett appealed the trial court's summary judgment ruling in favor of the Days. As owners and operators of Golfview Estates, the Days recorded covenants applicable to the lots there, which prevents buildings in the neighborhood being used for "any trade, business, manufacture or...
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Pleas as mitigating circumstance allowed

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted rehearing in a case to clarify that defendants who plead guilty do not give up the opportunity to claim on appeal that the trial court should have considered the guilty plea a mitigating circumstance, even if defendants fail to bring up this claim during sentencing. Alexander Anglemyer sought rehearing following the Supreme Court's decision Alexander J. Anglemyer v. State of Indiana, 43S05-0606-CR-230, affirming his sentences for robbery and battery. Anglemyer was charged with robbery as a Class...
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Court rules counsel was ineffective

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
A criminal defense attorney's failure to severe four burglary cases fell below an objective standard of reasonableness and prejudiced his client, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.In Darrel M. Maymon v. State of Indiana, No. 48A02-0611-PC-1060, the appellate court reversed a ruling by Madison Superior Judge Thomas Newman in denying relief on a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel at the post-conviction stage.That trial defense attorney is not named in today's opinion, but the defendant-appellant contended that his trial counsel...
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Court explores definition of tobacco manufacturing

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
  The Indiana Court of Appeals today delved into what it means to manufacture cigarettes under state law.A unanimous 30-page decision came in Steve Carter in his role as Attorney General v. Carolina Tobacco Company, Inc. http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/09170702jgb.pdf,No. 49A04-0503-CV-151, affirming a lower court decision that the state attorney general's office improperly refused to include an Indiana tobacco company in a yearly directory of manufacturers allowed to sell cigarettes in the state.The Marion County suit involves the "Roger" brand of cigarettes that began...
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SCOTUS sets Indiana voter ID arguments

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States will consider the constitutionality of Indiana's voter identification law in early 2008.A calendar published this morning puts the consolidated Hoosier cases on the high court's docket for 10 a.m., Jan. 9. The cases are Crawford v. Marion County Election Board (07-21) and Indiana Democratic Party v. Rokita (07-25).Both challenge the law that took effect July 2005. The 7th Circuit had previously affirmed a District judge's ruling that the law wasn't unconstitutional. Rep. William Crawford,...
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Justices grant 2 transfers

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court granted two transfers this week:One case involves the probation revocation that followed a man's questionable communications with minor children he wasn't supposed to be around. The other involves a question of which "home state" child custody and visitation issues should be heard based on federal and state statutes.In Theron W. Hunter v. State of Indiana, No. 69A01-0702-CR-061, the court will take up an issue addressed in an unpublished memorandum decision from the Court of Appeals in June. The...
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SCOTUS to hear money-laundering case

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States today agreed to take a case out of East Chicago in order to clarify the definition of money laundering.Federal circuit courts, including the 7th Circuit in Chicago, do not agree on an exact definition and have disagreed about whether it ;s considered money laundering to pay for the operation of a criminal enterprise with the profits of that illegal business. The nation ;s high court will determine whether the ban on the use of...
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Court affirms denial of new murder trial

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Just because a public defender paralegal chats with a deputy prosecutor before a hearing, it doesn't mean attorney-client privilege is being violated, the Indiana Court of Appeals has determined.A unanimous ruling today in Mustafa Nur v. State of Indiana http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/06060701tac.pdf, 49A02-0606-CR-486 broaches that topic. Nur appealed the denial of his motion for a new murder trial in Marion Superior Court. He argued the trial court erred by not providing an interpreter and also for allowing the deputy prosecutor to speak at...
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Justices deny request for additional proceedings in case

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has denied a request for successive post-conviction proceedings involving a man convicted of stabbing an elderly DeKalb County man more than two dozen times during a robbery in 1984.Issued Monday afternoon, the seven-page unanimous order states that David Leon Woods did not meet his burden of establishing a reasonable probability that he ;s entitled to relief based on claims he is mentally retarded and had a disagreement with his attorneys about strategy.A Boone County jury convicted Woods...
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Senate confirms Tinder for 7th Circuit

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The U.S. Senate voted late Tuesday to confirm U.S. Judge John D. Tinder to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, meaning he's the first Hoosier jurist appointed to the federal appellate court in two decades.Senators voted unanimously 93-0 in favor of Judge Tinder's appointment shortly after 11 p.m. Tuesday, after a day of voting on federal spending, alternative tax, and debate on various other issues. Seven senators didn't vote and he gained support from everyone else, including both Indiana senators -...
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COA rules on anonymous juries

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled on a case with a matter of first impression involving the use of anonymous juries and if they are reviewable under the harmless error analysis. In Carl A. Major v. State of Indiana, http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/09280701cjb.pdf 45A03-0610-CR-483, Carl Major appealed his convictions of murder in the perpetration of a robbery and aggravated felony, and his aggregate sentence of 175 years in prison, arguing the trial court erred in empanelling an anonymous jury and that his sentence is...
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U.S. Supreme Court accepts Indiana voter ID challenge

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States will decide whether Indiana's two-year-old law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls is constitutional. Justices accepted the pair of combined cases Monday and issued an order this morning. The court was considering about 60 potential cases, including two others from Indiana: Gilles v. Blanchard, et al., which involves religious speech on the public ground at Vincennes University; and Deb Mayer v. Monroe Community School Corp. involving a teacher fired for comments...
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Court overturns breach-of-contract ruling

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a Marion Superior Court decision granting partial summary judgment in favor of the defendant on an issue of breach of contract, ruling a state agency couldn't approve a cleanup that didn't comply to federal standards. In Indiana Department of Environmental Management v. Raybestos Products Co., No. 49A02-0609-CV-782, IDEM appealed the trial court's grant of partial summary judgment to Raybestos on the issue of a breeched agreed order and a judgment of more than $16 million...
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Court grants visitation for partner in guardianship case

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
When Patrick Atkins suffered a brain hemorrhage and subsequent stroke on a business trip in 2005, his partner of almost 30 years wanted to be there and visit.While Atkins' family didn't approve of the relationship, Brett Conrad was allowed to visit and have contact with his partner at first. But the family began cutting off that contact and eventually the two sides went to court over visitation rights and guardianship. Conrad lost in Hamilton Superior Court before Judge Steven Nation, who...
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Former Allen County prosecutor dies

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Glen J. Beams, a former Allen County prosecutor and respected attorney in Fort Wayne, died Saturday.Beams, 92, died of lymphoma at his home on Lake Wawasee in Kosciusko County. He had earned his law degree in 1939 from the Indiana School of Law and served as a partner in the Helmke Beams Law Firm from 1946 until his death. The northern Indiana community remembers him for winning the 1954 election race for county prosecutor, where he served one term before losing...
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Indiana Supreme Court won't review football death case

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court will not review a Marion County case involving a 17-year-old ;s death following football practice in July 2001.Justices denied transfer Thursday in Stowers v. Clinton Central, declining to vacate the Oct. 26 Court of Appeals decision that the school corporation, coaches, and athletic director were not negligent in the teenager ;s death. However, the ruling also stands that Marion Superior Judge Gary Miller erred by not including a jury instruction to describe the scope of school release...
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Federal judge lifts Marion County jail oversight

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker in Indianapolis has ended a 35-year federal oversight period of the Marion County jail that resulted from a lawsuit by the Indiana Civil Liberties Union in 1972.Judge Barker's June 8 order released Monday noted that jail and lockup expansions, court-ordered inmate releases, and the creation of a night court late last year show that legal requirements have been met and judicial supervision of the litigation is no longer needed. Dissolving the consent decree is "fair,...
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Supreme Court will hear 5 arguments this week

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
A mobile home demolished more than a year ago is the subject of one of several oral arguments the Indiana Supreme Court will hear this week.Justices will hear three cases Tuesday, and two more are scheduled for Thursday, but the court has granted transfer in only two of those cases so far.The mobile home-related argument tomorrow is in Ernestine Waldon v. Donna Wilkins, 18A04-0604-CV-199, which comes out of Delaware County. After deciding a mobile home was unfit to live in, the...
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Court rules on discovery of trade secrets

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
A tire making formula is considered a trade secret and doesn't have to be disclosed in discovery, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today.The unanimous 11-page ruling comes in a much-anticipated first impression case of Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc. v. Violet Mayberry, et al., No. 48A02-0504-CV-368, which stemmed from a fatal August 2001 accident in which a woman lost control of her vehicle on Interstate 69 after one of the tires came apart. Her family sued the tire maker; during discovery they asked for...
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Supreme Court operations find new space

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has reached an agreement to move some of its operations from the National City Center downtown to a property formerly occupied by Eli Lilly.The new, 10-year agreement is estimated to save taxpayers about $1 million over the course of the lease, and takes effect at the end of the year, said Justice Theodore Boehm, who has led the negotiations process for the state court.This agreement means divisions of the Supreme Court, such as the Indiana Judicial Center,...
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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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