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Federal judiciary: 1 new Southern District judge

March 18, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Judicial Conference of the United States Tuesday adopted a revised Code of Conduct for judges and released its recommendations for new federal judgeships.
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High court rules on self-representation issue

March 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed a trial court's ruling that a defendant who was competent enough to stand trial wasn't competent to represent himself at trial, an issue on remand from the Supreme Court of the United States.
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Military-leave suit targets law firm

March 17, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The U.S. Department of Justice says an Indianapolis law firm wrongfully refused to re-employ a staff attorney who'd returned from serving in Iraq as a member of the Indiana Army National Guard.
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Longtime Fort Wayne attorney dies

March 17, 2009
IL Staff
A Fort Wayne attorney who practiced law for more than 60 years died Monday.
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Judge Hamilton nominated for 7th Circuit

March 17, 2009
Michael Hoskins
An Indianapolis federal judge could be the next to take a spot on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Supreme Court seeking comment on 3 changes

March 16, 2009
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court is seeking comment on three issues: clarifying what constitutes pro bono work; change of venue; and whether custodial police interrogations should be recorded.
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High court rules on issue preclusion in tax case

March 16, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In an opinion handed down March 6, the Indiana Supreme Court had to decide whether a previous ruling barred the Indiana Department of Revenue from raising new contentions in support of a different method of allocation of income to the state.
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Case shows challenge of ending res gestae

March 16, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man's convictions and sentence for the 2007 murder and rape of a 14-year-old girl in Columbus, noting that the evidence the man objected to being admitted showed the challenges presented by eliminating the doctrine of res gestae.
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Foreclosure training in Griffith March 18

March 13, 2009
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has announced its second training session for attorneys, judges and mediators to learn how to handle foreclosure cases, including through pro bono representation.
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High court expands Lambert decision

March 13, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court issued two opinions today dealing with incarceration being considered as a substantial change in circumstances to justify modifying a child support order and what date a modification may take place.
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eBay suit presents issue of first impression

March 13, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In an issue of first impression in Indiana - and possibly in the United States - the Indiana Court of Appeals addressed specific jurisdiction questions in a suit filed by sellers on the online auction site, eBay.
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ILS budget likely to increase

March 12, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
Thanks to a $40 million increase in funding for Legal Services Corporations signed by President Barack Obama Wednesday, an official at Indiana Legal Services Inc. estimates that the only Indiana-based organization that receives funding from LSC will receive up to an additional $300,000 to $350,000 in funds for the organization's 2009 fiscal year, which runs Jan. 1 to Dec. 31.
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Court split in public defender 'firm' issue

March 12, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In a disciplinary action released Wednesday by the Indiana Supreme Court, the justices disagreed as to whether two public defenders who worked part time in the same public defender office of Putnam County were "associated in a firm."
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Justices disagree on judge's penalty

March 12, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A suspended Marion Superior judge will be able to return to the bench after another 60 days off the bench, this time without pay.
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Fort Wayne attorney dies

March 12, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A Northeastern Indiana attorney known for his ability to quote literature died March 9 at the age of 53. Russell Strunk practiced litigation and employment law in Fort Wayne.
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Downtown Indianapolis fire affects law firms

March 12, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
An early morning fire in downtown Indianapolis gave two nearby law firms a scare as flames poured out of the building.
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Court: Don't assume undue influence by child

March 11, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals used an opinion issued today to caution courts to not assume a child is exerting undue influence over a parent when analyzing cases involving adult children assisting an aging parent.
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Justices reprimand Allen Circuit judge

March 11, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court today publicly reprimanded Allen Circuit Judge Thomas Felts, who last summer was arrested for and later pleaded guilty to drunk driving.
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7th Circuit: Courts wrongfully denied re-litigation

March 11, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Finding Indiana state and District courts erred in denying a convicted killer the chance to re-litigate his claim for relief from execution because he is mentally retarded, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the District Court's denial of the man's habeas petition
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Judge suspended for 60 days, no pay

March 11, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has suspended Marion Superior Judge Grant W. Hawkins from the bench for 60 days without pay, though two justices wanted a yearlong penalty while two others wanted a month suspension.
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Attorneys get public reprimand

March 11, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In a disciplinary action released by the Indiana Supreme Court today, the justices held that the text of a 2004 version of the Indiana Professional Conduct Rule 1.15(b), as reinforced by Comment 3, required attorneys to promptly distribute undisputed portions of funds they held for clients or third parties.
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Courthouse commission members named

March 11, 2009
IL Staff
Gov. Mitch Daniels and Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard have selected the members of the Courthouse Preservation Advisory Commission. The commission will advise county officials on caring for Indiana's historic courthouses and provide recommendations on how they can be preserved.
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Court names temporary judges

March 10, 2009
IL Staff
Two temporary judges have been selected by the Indiana Supreme Court to fill vacancies in Wayne and Madison counties.
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Single order can have more than 1 disposition

March 10, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has clarified juvenile caselaw, telling trial courts they can order a juvenile be committed to the Department of Correction and in the same order also require probation after release.
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High court: land seller not liable in death

March 10, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Addressing an issue of first impression today, the Indiana Supreme Court considered under what circumstances a vendor of land may be liable to a third party for harm resulting from the condition of trees on the property near a road.
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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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