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Courts see changing of judicial guard

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
Both state and federal courts in Indiana are saying good-bye to long-serving judges today and welcoming new faces to the bench.In a ceremony in South Bend, Joseph Van Bokkelen will be sworn in as a U.S. District judge in the Northern District to replace retiring Judge Rudy Lozano, who is taking senior status. Van Bokkelen has been a U.S. Attorney in that district.Meanwhile, Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Patrick D. Sullivan's 38-year tenure on the court will be celebrated today. A...
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Court mulls non-competes, parental rights

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Two sets of arguments before the Indiana Supreme Court this morning gave justices a look at the scope of non-compete agreements, and how much parental privilege exists when it comes to discipline and corporal punishment.First, the jurists posed questions in Central Indiana Podiatry P.C. v. Kenneth J. Krueger, Meridian Health Group P.C., 29S05-0706-CV-256, which the Court of Appeals ruled on in January. The appellate court overturned a lower court decision and held the podiatrist, Krueger, should have stopped working pending trial after...
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High court rules doctor can sue in med mal case

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled that summary judgment should not have been granted because it prohibited a doctor from asserting a statutory negligence claim against a medical malpractice claimant, her attorney, and her attorney's law firm.In the ruling Wednesday, Justices Brent Dickson and Ted Boehm concurred, with Chief Justice Randall Shepard concurring in a separate opinion. Justice Frank Sullivan concurred in part and dissented in part with a separate opinion in which Justice Robert Rucker concurred.In Eusebio Kho M.D. v Deborah...
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Court rules on inclusion of inherited property in marital estates

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Court of Appeals ruled today on a case of distributing inherited property during dissolution of a marriage, stating property inherited by either party should be included in the marital estate. In Sharren M. (Garrity) Grathwohl v. Steven T. Garrity, http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/07300703mpb.pdf the Court of Appeals remanded the case back to the trial court for the purpose of requiring the trial court to include both parties' inherited property in their marital estate, to value the properties, and to issue a new order...
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Mental retardation claim anticipated in Fort Wayne case

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
A mental retardation defense could prevent the state from seeking the death penalty in a case involving a Fort Wayne man accused of killing his wife and three children in 2005.Fort Wayne public defender Michelle F. Kraus plans to ask Allen Superior Judge Fran Gull to appoint an expert to evaluate accused killer Simon Rios in order to determine if he is mentally retarded.If that happens and an expert finds the 35-year-old Rios mentally retarded, state law does not allow him...
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Supreme Court accepts 4 cases

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer in four cases. Justices heard arguments Tuesday morning in Philip Littler v. State, 71A03-0510-CR-509, and granted transfer later that day. The case is a murder conviction appeal involving whether the trial court abused discretion in excluding certain testimony from the victim ;s mother, properly allowed the state to add a murder charge after the omnibus date, and whether sufficient evidence was provided to support the charge. The Court of Appeals had affirmed the...
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Former lottery chief discriminated, suit claims

January 1, 2007
IL Staff
The Hoosier Lottery's former corporate general counsel is suing the lottery, claiming she was discriminated against because she is disabled.Janna J. Shisler, a quadriplegic, asserts in the suit that former lottery director Esther Q. Schneider made working conditions so intolerable that she quit. Gov. Mitch Daniels appointed Schneider lottery director in January 2005. Her successor, Kathryn Densborn, was appointed last December. Lottery spokesman Andrew Reed would not discuss the suit, saying the Lottery doesn't comment on pending litigation.The suit, filed Sept....
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COA corrects, clarifies issues in taillight case

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/05210701mgr.pdfThe Indianapolis law professor who challenged in court the ticket he received for a broken taillight in Fort Wayne petitioned for a rehearing, and the Court of Appeals today issued an opinion that affirms but corrects and clarifies its earlier ruling.On May 21, the COA reversed and remanded Joel Schumm's case, Schumm v. State, to Allen Superior Court for a new trial. In that opinion, the appellate judges found the trial court improperly denied Schumm's Baston challenge.Schumm recently petitioned for a rehearing...
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Construction changes after-hours appeal filings

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
Anyone making after-hours filings in Indiana's appeals courts will notice a change in procedure this week.It's back to the old way, or at least one that closely resembled how the process worked before security measures altered that system earlier this year.Construction started Monday on the east doors of the Indiana Statehouse, which is where the legal community has been allowed to enter after hours for "Rotunda filing" of court documents for the Indiana Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and Tax Court....
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Diversity conference addresses issues

January 1, 2007
IL Staff
The Marion County Bar Association and Indiana Lawyer partnered to raise awareness and provide best practices regarding diversity and inclusion in the legal and business communities during the first Diversity in Practice conference."Diversity in Practice: Building a Culture of Inclusion" was in Indianapolis Sept. 27 and 28 and featured keynote speakers Edward James Olmos, noted actor/director and civic activist, and Roderick Palmore, executive vice president and general counsel for Sara Lee Corp., as well as educational breakout sessions. Also several individuals...
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Judicial free-speech cases dismissed

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, which ruled the "pledges" and "commitments" clauses of Indiana Code of Judicial Conduct were unconstitutional.In Indiana Right to Life, et al. v. Randall T. Shepard, et al., 06-4333, the Circuit Court dismissed Indiana Right to Life's complaint against the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications and the Indiana Disciplinary Commission that Canon 5A(3)(d)(i) and (ii) is unconstitutional, stating the group had no standing...
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Court rules on unemployment benefits case

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
Individuals who voluntarily quit a job in order to take care of a physically disabled relative are not entitled to unemployment benefits, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today. In Mildred Whiteside v. Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Unemployment Insurance Review Board and Division of Family & Children, 93A02-0703-EX-229, Whiteside appealed the decision of the Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development to deny her claim for unemployment benefits, saying the denial was contrary to Indiana law. Whiteside was a...
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ND Law hosts "What is war?"

January 1, 2007
IL Staff
"What Is War?" is the name and subject of a conference at the Hesburgh Center for International Studies Auditorium at the University of Notre Dame Sept. 14 and 15. The University of Notre Dame Law School, the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, and Mershon Center for International Security Studies at Ohio State University are sponsoring the conference. It is free and open to the public.The discussions will feature Gen. Sir Michael Rose (British Forces, retired), and Gen. William...
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Kids in custody must be read Miranda

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
Everyone being taken into custody must be advised of the Miranda rule, no matter what age the person is, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals in overturning a nine-year-old child's adjudication as a delinquent child. In C.L.M. v. State of Indiana, 35A05-0706-JV-342, C.L.M., appealed the ruling that he was a delinquent child for committing what would have constituted as a Class C felony child molestation if it was committed by an adult, arguing he was never read his Miranda rights while being...
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COA: Guidant suit to stay in Indiana

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The state's second-highest appeals court is allowing a class-action lawsuit involving Guidant Corp. defibrillators to proceed in Marion County, though the ruling won't affect similar federal or state suits.A three-judge Indiana Court of Appeals panel ruled Thursday in Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc. v. Ryan Terry and Linda Mason, No. 49A04-0704-CV-240, that Terry and Mason could continue a class-action product-liability lawsuit against Guidant over now-recalled defibrillators or pacemakers.Minnesota-based Cardiac Pacemakers Inc., a subsidiary of Guidant, manufactured the devices and wanted to get involved in...
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Justices decide on 3 death penalty cases

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court justices have the state's death penalty system on their minds.Three rulings handed down this week have involved capital cases, including one that sets a new execution date for a condemned inmate. But some of the written rationale shows reluctance on at least two justices' parts to impose the death sentence.In a ruling dated May 21in Michael Allen Lambert v. State of Indiana http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/05210701ad.pdf, No. 18S00-0412-SD-503, the court denied the latest appeal and ordered a new execution date...
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Justices accept 3 cases this week

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court will consider cases involving payments under the Worker's Compensation Act and also how to determine whether someone is a sexually violent predator, justices decided this week.Two transfers came Thursday in Christopher Brown, DDS, Inc. v. Decatur County Memorial Hospital, 93A02-0703-EX-236, and Alan C. Jones v. State of Indiana, 61A01-0704-CR-174. Justices also granted another case, Aaron Reid v. State, with an opinion that reduced an Anderson man's sentence by 20 years in a murder for hire plot.In Brown, the court...
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Court upholds dismissal of battery claim against medical student

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
An emergency medical technician student sued for battery after incorrectly performing a procedure on a patient did not commit battery, the Indiana Supreme Court has decided.The 5-0 decision came in W. Ruth Mullins and Johnce Mullins, Jr. v. Parkview Hospital, Inc., et al., http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/05020701fsj.pdf, No. 02S04-0608-CV-292, reversing a Court of Appeals decision that the student had battered patient Ruth Mullins, who was undergoing a hysterectomy in 2000 at Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne. During the procedure, the student, LaRea VanHoey, performed...
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Court grants absolute privilege case

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court will consider whether absolute privilege exists for communications made in the course of official proceedings brought under a university's anti-harassment policies.The court granted transfer Wednesday in Virginia Hartman and Suzanne Swinehart v. Dr. Gabe Keri , No. 02A03-0603-CV-135, which comes from Allen Superior Judge David Avery.Keri became an assistant professor of education in August 2000 at Indiana University-Purdue University - Fort Wayne and was notified in April 2003 that his contract wouldn't be renewed because of unsatisfactory...
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Parents sue over school uniform policy

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The newest First Amendment and freedom of expression case is playing out over mandatory school uniforms in Anderson.Parents Scott and Laura Bell filed a suit in Madison Circuit Court on Tuesday against the Anderson Community School Corp., claiming that a policy set to start next month would violate the constitutional right of children for a free education.The dress code, which is similar to those implemented in other Hoosier school districts such as the Indianapolis Public Schools, limits students to black, navy,...
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High court denies recount issues

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court won't get involved in a recount challenge to Terre Haute's mayoral election.Justices voted 5-0 Thursday to deny both a writ of prohibition and writ of mandamus requested by Terre Haute attorney James Bopp Jr., who represents the man who'd won the Nov. 6 mayoral election.Republican Duke Bennett won by 106 votes and was challenging recount petitions filed by incumbent mayor, Democrat Kevin Burke. Bopp argued Burke's petitions weren't valid and that Vigo Circuit Judge David Bolk didn't...
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Court rules on genetic testing on deceased

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The Court of Appeals ruled today that the interests and parties involved in a deceased person's estate must be represented when an order for genetic testing is given. In the case, In the Matter of the Paternity of C.M.R., a child born out of wedlock, http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/08070701tac.pdf Kari Schenkel brings an interlocutory appeal from the trial court's order for the genetic testing of her and her two children to determine if Joseph Miller, who is deceased, fathered C.M.R., the child of Jennifer...
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First female partner in Evansville wins Greshem Award

January 1, 2007
Rebecca Berfanger
The Evansville Bar Association presented Evansville attorney Sheila M. Corcoran with the James Bethel Greshem Award at the bar association's annual Law Day dinner. Corcoran practices with Berger & Berger in Evansville. The James Bethel Greshem Freedom Award recognizes and honors individuals who have distinguished themselves in activities or careers that have elevated respect for the law, promote freedom, or further the ideals of Law Day. The award's namesake lived in Evansville from 1901 to 1914 and is believed to have...
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Supreme Court revises rules, creates new committees

January 1, 2007
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has created two new committees to study issues relating to pro se litigants and child advocacy.The Planning Committee on Self-Represented Litigants will provide a long-range strategy for improving access to justice for pro se litigations, including protocols for judges and clerks or general guidance to courts, legal service providers, and public organizations. This group will meet at least four times a year and recommend policy or procedure changes to the Supreme Court.The number of members isn't outlined,...
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Court rules on habeas corpus competency case

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a case of first impression today regarding a prisoner's competency to continue on with habeas corpus proceedings. In its decision, the Circuit Court remanded to the District Court. Circuit Judge Richard Posner wrote the court finds it odd to think that someone who initiates a habeas corpus proceeding can then later freeze it by claiming to be mentally incompetent. That is what Eric Holmes is claming in Eric D. Holmes v. Edwin G....
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  1. Based on several recent Indy Star articles, I would agree that being a case worker would be really hard. You would see the worst of humanity on a daily basis; and when things go wrong guess who gets blamed??!! Not biological parent!! Best of luck to those who entered that line of work.

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  3. Don't believe me, listen to Pacino: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6bC9w9cH-M

  4. Law school is social control the goal to produce a social product. As such it began after the Revolution and has nearly ruined us to this day: "“Scarcely any political question arises in the United States which is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question. Hence all parties are obliged to borrow, in their daily controversies, the ideas, and even the language, peculiar to judicial proceedings. As most public men [i.e., politicians] are, or have been, legal practitioners, they introduce the customs and technicalities of their profession into the management of public affairs. The jury extends this habitude to all classes. The language of the law thus becomes, in some measure, a vulgar tongue; the spirit of the law, which is produced in the schools and courts of justice, gradually penetrates beyond their walls into the bosom of society, where it descends to the lowest classes, so that at last the whole people contract the habits and the tastes of the judicial magistrate.” ? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

  5. Attorney? Really? Or is it former attorney? Status with the Ind St Ct? Status with federal court, with SCOTUS? This is a legal newspaper, or should I look elsewhere?

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