Legal News

7th Circuit wants rationale for sentence

May 5, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant was unable to get his revocation of probation overturned, but he is heading back to court for another sentencing after the District judge failed to give reasons for imposing a two-year jail term.
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Deaf litigant’s ADA case proceeds, minus state defendants

May 5, 2015
Dave Stafford
A judge has dismissed state defendants from a lawsuit brought by a deaf man who was denied a court-appointed interpreter during a mediation, but his lawsuit against the Marion Circuit Court will proceed.
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Indiana lawmakers could meet in June for technical session

May 5, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana lawmakers could return to the Statehouse next month to correct errors in new statutes or override a veto by the governor.
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Pence signs bill tightening Indiana's state ethics laws

May 5, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has endorsed an overhaul of state ethics laws that requires greater financial disclosure by lawmakers and expressly prohibits elected officials from using state resources for political purposes.
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Website domain dispute pulled from justices’ calendar

May 5, 2015
Dave Stafford
A dispute over a website address that had been scheduled for oral arguments Wednesday before the Indiana Supreme Court has been settled, an attorney involved in the case said.
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New law will give immunity to volunteer medical workers

May 5, 2015
 Associated Press
Doctors, nurses and other health care providers will have civil immunity for their volunteer work under a new Indiana law.
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Indiana Supreme Court approves amended pro bono reporting rule

May 4, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Supreme Court has amended the state’s new pro bono reporting rule, narrowing the focus to measuring only the direct representation given to indigent litigants.
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Justices to review ruling for father of fatally injured moped rider

May 4, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will hear a case, stemming from a fatal crash, in which the trial court and Court of Appeals reached different results.
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Judge allows woman's suit over jail miscarriage to proceed

May 4, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal judge has ruled that a northern Indiana woman can proceed with her lawsuit alleging negligence in a miscarriage she suffered while in custody.
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Central Indiana county seeks to develop work release program

May 4, 2015
 Associated Press
Officials in a central Indiana county are seeking to develop a community work release program that would keep the jail from becoming overcrowded and could save taxpayers the expense of having to expand or eventually build a new jail.
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Split 7th Circuit allows death penalty challenge asserting intellectual disability

May 4, 2015
Dave Stafford
A killer sentenced in Texas and awaiting execution on federal death row in Terre Haute will be allowed to proceed with efforts to present new evidence of intellectual disability that would make him ineligible for capital punishment, a 7th Circuit Court of Appeals en banc review determined in a 6-5 opinion.
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Legislation protects county assessments on big-box stores

May 4, 2015
Kathleen McLaughlin, IBJ Staff
A new measure on the taxation of big-box stores is expected to help Indiana counties avoid fiscal disaster, but national retailers aren't happy about it.
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Religious freedom turmoil likely to spill into next year

May 4, 2015
 Associated Press
The colorful fliers passed out by aides to Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and House Speaker Brian Bosma last week highlighted what both called numerous accomplishments of this year's legislative session.
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2015 Law Day celebrates the Magna Carta

May 1, 2015
IL Staff
This year’s Law Day recognizes the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta and its theme: No one is above the law.
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2014 law school grads see slight uptick in employment

May 1, 2015
IL Staff
National data released by the American Bar Association shows that the Class of 2014 has a slightly larger percentage of its graduates employed in long-term, full-time positions that require bar passage as compared with the Class of 2013.
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Indiana Tech Law School slips in first round of accreditation

May 1, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Tech Law School has failed to convince the American Bar Association to give provisional accreditation to its program, handing the Fort Wayne school a setback and raising questions about its students’ futures.
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Judge, attorney credited for robust recovery for victims of securities fraud

May 1, 2015
Greg Andrews, IBJ Staff
The more than 90 investors who lost $9.7 million in a securities fraud perpetrated by Fishers hedge fund manager Keenan Hauke will recover about 33 percent of their losses - a far better outcome than is typical in cases of its kind.
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Fugitive former Indiana surgeon caught in Arizona

May 1, 2015
 Associated Press
Authorities say a fugitive former surgeon convicted of stalking his ex-wife in Indiana has been caught in Arizona.
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Fort Wayne attorney named new Allen Superior magistrate

May 1, 2015
IL Staff
A private practice attorney and former Indiana Department of Child Services attorney has been chosen as magistrate judge in Allen Superior Court Family Relations Division.
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COA orders judgment in favor of woman on adverse possession claim

April 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because there is evidence that both the woman who purchased land from a trust and the trustee paid taxes on a disputed 1.8 acres of land for at least 10 years, the woman’s claim for adverse possession of the land should be granted, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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Court OKs admission of tweets, reverses criminal gang activity conviction

April 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
In a case of first impression regarding the authentication of social media posts, the Indiana Court of Appeals held that the testimony from the defendant's girlfriend that the Twitter account belonged to her boyfriend, as well as content from that account, sufficiently showed the defendant was the author of its tweets.
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Man’s conviction from controlled drug buy upheld

April 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Anderson man who was criminally convicted for selling drugs to a confidential informant waived both his arguments on appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. And, the judges found no fundamental error in a jury instruction given or the admission of cash found on the defendant by police.
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COA orders woman’s sentence revised to include credit time

April 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found Thursday that a trial court incorrectly calculated the sentence a woman should serve in the Department of Correction after she had her probation revoked.
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Terre Haute attorney to receive ITLA Lifetime Achievement Award

April 30, 2015
IL Staff
Terre Haute attorney Stephen L. Williams will receive this year's Lifetime Achievement Award from the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association. He is being recognized for his distinguished service to the organization and dedication to preserving the rights of the injured.
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Revised sentence modification statute not applicable in defendant’s case

April 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not err in denying a man’s petition to modify his sentence after finding that the current version of the sentencing modification statute is not applicable to his sentence, which he began serving in 1989. The Indiana Court of Appeals panel relied on a January decision by its colleagues to affirm the denial of Mitchell Swallows’ petition.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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