Legal News

The art of listening

February 1, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
Lawyers offer insight on how to better serve clients.
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Giving fee guidanceRestricted Content

February 1, 2012
Michael Hoskins
Indiana Supreme Court decisions on fee structures lack bright-line rules and have caused questions about practicality.
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Marion County judicial 'slating fees' subject of 2 inquiries

February 1, 2012
Michael Hoskins
An Indianapolis attorney and an Indianapolis Bar Association political action committee want the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications to look into how Marion County judicial candidates contribute to political parties as part of the process in running to be a judge.
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Litigation training in short supply

February 1, 2012
Michael Hoskins
Fewer jury trials leave young lawyers looking for experience outside of court.
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Expert's voice carries weightRestricted Content

February 1, 2012
Michael Hoskins
Indiana Court of Appeals finds single expert can establish standard of care for legal malpractice.
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Indiana Court Decisions

February 1, 2012
IL Staff
Read for publication opinions from Jan. 12 to 25, 2012.
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7th Circuit affirms denial of habeas corpus petition

January 31, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
A man who stabbed his wife repeatedly, leaving her with a collapsed lung and ruptured spleen, was unable to prove that he received ineffective counsel at trial, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held.
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Justices rule on admitting testimony in crash cases

January 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court released companion cases Tuesday on the issue of admitting certain expert testimony under Indiana Rule of Evidence 702 in two separate car accident cases.
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Officer did not violate 4th Amendment in finding gun in man's coat

January 31, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
A police officer who arrested a man and then found a gun in his coat did not violate the man’s rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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On petition for rehearing, appellate court affirms original opinion in drug case

January 31, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
A man convicted of Class D felony possession of methamphetamine asked the Indiana Court of Appeals to review its original opinion affirming the trial court.
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Appellate court affirms murder conviction; reverses on corpse abuse conviction

January 31, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The erroneous admission at trial of a statement a man made to police unquestionably influenced the jury verdicts regarding his convictions of burglary and abuse of a corpse, causing the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse those convictions. But the COA affirmed his conviction of and sentence for murder.
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COA affirms voyeurism charge for would-be prosecutor; Supreme Court issues suspension

January 31, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a voyeurism charge for William R. Wallace, a former candidate for Gibson County prosecutor. Wallace, who videotaped himself and a woman engaged in sexual intercourse, had filed an interlocutory appeal, claiming that he was innocent of Class D felony voyeurism because the sex was consensual.
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Indiana Supreme Court takes 4 cases

January 31, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer in four cases for the week ending Jan. 27 and denied transfer in 11 others.
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AG's office says disputes over legislative rules should not be decided in court

January 30, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court will hear the state's appeal in the lawsuit over collecting fines imposed on absent members of the Legislature. The state's highest court on Friday ruled 4-1 to accept jurisdiction of the interlocutory appeal sought by the Indiana attorney general's office, which represents the state and officials named as defendants in the legislative fines lawsuit, Crawford v. Berry.
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COA: Court erred in not granting request for change of judge

January 30, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
Indiana’s appellate court has reversed a trial court in denying a mother’s request for change of judge in a custody dispute.
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COA reverses trial court in OWI case

January 30, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a trial court’s grant of a truck driver’s motion to suppress evidence, holding that police did not violate his rights in an unusual traffic stop.
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Driver's appeal based on misinterpretation of previous COA decision

January 30, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
A woman convicted of Class A misdemeanor driving while suspended within 10 years of a prior infraction misinterpreted a prior case in support of her appeal.
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Governor signs human trafficking bill

January 30, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has signed Senate Enrolled Act 4, which more clearly defines human trafficking and strengthens penalties for that crime. The new law is effective immediately.
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15 apply to be Supreme Court justice

January 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Fifteen people have applied to be the next Indiana Supreme Court justice, the high court announced Friday. They are vying to replace Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard, who will leave the bench March 4.
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Tort Claims Act does not grant immunity for reckless conduct

January 27, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals held the Tort Claims Act does not grant immunity to law enforcement officers who fail to exercise reasonable care while driving.
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Webcasting allowed in 3 Lake County courtrooms

January 27, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has announced a new 18-month pilot project allowing trial court proceedings to be webcast in three Lake County courtrooms.
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Appellate court orders new trial in child molesting case

January 27, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
A man who was convicted of Class C felony child molesting is entitled to a new trial, according to the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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COA holds volunteer caretaker not entitled to damages

January 27, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a trial court’s finding that a man was not entitled to damages for taking care of a blighted property.
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Super Bowl to affect IU law school building and parking accessibility

January 27, 2012
IL Staff
From 5 p.m. Friday through Jan. 29, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law will be locked. The surface lot west of the school will also be closed through the weekend.
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IU Maurer to host federal sentencing talk

January 27, 2012
IL Staff
Indiana University Maurer School of Law will host 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge David Hamilton for a discussion on federal sentencing on Jan. 31. IU Maurer professor Ryan Scott will join Hamilton in discussing the comparative severity of federal prison sentences.
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  1. Am I the only one who sees that the City is essentially giving away the MSA site AND giving millions to build new buildings on the site when this site would be the perfect place for the Justice Complex? Across from City-County, check; keeping it centrally located, check, etc. It's my understanding that the GM site must be purchased by the City from Motors Liquidation Company. STOP WASTING WHAT WE ALREADY HAVE AND OUR TAX DOLLARS! The Ballard Administration has not been known for it's common sense...never voted for him and never will!

  2. This guy sounds like the classic molester/manipulator.

  3. Louis D. Brandeis was born in 1856. At 9 years of age it would have been 1865. The Brandeis family did not own slaves. My source Louis D. Brandeis: A Life, by Melvin L. Urofsky.

  4. My name is Matthew Lucas Major, I recently went through a jury trial in Bloomington , In. It was the week of Feb 19-21. Although I have been incarcerated since August 5, 2014. The reason I 'am writing to you sir is on the 21 of February the jury came in with a very excessive and wrongful verdict of guilty on 6 child molesting charges against my daughter who was 9 at the time I was accused. I also had 2 other Felonies one of Intimidation and 1 of Sexual Vicarious Gratification. Judge Marc Kellam on the second day of trial gave me a not guilty on those 2 felonies. The jury was sent out during that time and when brought back Judge Kellam told them to not concern themselves with the 2 Felonies that he ruled on them. They were told to not let evidence they had already heard influence there verdicts. I never in my life touched any child sexually and definitely not with my own daughter. When I was arrested Detective Shawn Karr told me I would be convicted guilty just on my daughters word even without evidence. That's just what happened. my public defender did me so wrong he never once proved to the court and jury all the lies the child told, and Jeremy Noel my public defender could of proven the lies easily. The stories in Serenity's depositions and Forensic interview changed and were not consistent as Prosecutor Darcie Fawcett claimed they were. Yet my attorney never mentioned that. The facts that the child accused me of full penetration in her vagina and rectum was proven lies. Doctor Roberta Hibbard of Riley hospital in Indianapolis confirmed Serenity's hymen intact, no scars, no tearing, no signs of rape to her. Yet my attorney didn't use that knowledge . the DNA was all in my favor. I tell you I will spend my entire life in prison going through rape and beatings etc. even Judge Kellam abused his authority by telling the jurors to listen and believe what the prosecutors side in evidence like my daughters testimony. In one interview with the detectives my daughter got flustered with her mom and said on camera " I'm saying what you told me to mom"!! Yet Mr. Noel said nor did anything to even resemble a defense attorney. Judge Kellam allowed edited version of a taped conversation between the child and her mother. Also Judge Kellam allowed the Prosecutor too bring in to my case a knife found under my seat, the knife wasn't part of my case. She was allowed by my attorney and the judge to put a huge picture of it on the screen and huge picture of my naked privates in a full courtroom and open court. Ms. Fawcett says to jury see how easy Mr. Major could reach the knife and cut his Childs throat. Even though I had no weapons charge against these cases. This gave the jurors prejudice thought against me thinking I threatened her with that knife and how scared she would of been knowing i could get it and kill her. On my sentencing court March 19, 2014 my public defender told Judge Kellam he wish to resign from being my attorney and wished for the court to give me outside council to file a error to trial or appeal. We were denied. Now after openly knowing my public defender don't want to represent me he has to. Well when as parents we make our kids clean a room when they really don't wish to, well the child will but don't mean she will do a good job, that's where I'm at with Mr. Noel. please dont ignore mine and my families pleas for your help . we have all the legal proof you could need to prove Im innocent. Please dont make my spend years in prison innocent when you can fix this wrong. Im not saying Im a perfect man or that I was a perfect dad to my 2 children none of us are. Ive made some bad choices in life and I paid for them. But I didnt ever touch or rape my daughter . I love my children with all my heart. And now through needing attention and a ex-wife who told my granny several times she wish she could put me in prison to get me out of their lives. Well my ex finally accomplished her goal. Sad part is she is destroying our daughter with all this horrific lies and things she taught my daughter to say. My daughter will need therapist to ever hope for a chance of a normal life after what she had done to her by her mom and their side of the family. My daughter told everyone even on stand she had a dream months before i supposedly molested her in this dream I was molesting her and when I finally did it matched her dream perfectly. She admitted to watching movies about little girls being molested and watching U-Tube videos about child molesting all before it happened supposedly to her. Doesn't that sound very unusual that a non molested 9 yr old would need to know so much about being molested? The only reason I could think a 9 year old would need so much information is to be prepared to know what to say and be able to say how it felt what took place etc.. So when questioned by authorities she would be prepared. And there again sir if a parent is pre grooming a 9 year old child she would need intimate details . Like telling her daughter about a couple moles on my private area. The child admitted to sneaking my cell and looking many many times at nudes of me and my girlfriend even one where my penis was entering my girlfriends vagina. In that picture my moles are obvious. Yet when prosecutor showed everyone in court my privates and pictures of the moles she said the only way the child would know about them is if she saw them for herself. My attorney once again said nothing about the pictures my child saw. Or could a ex-wife be able to describe my moles to help her case against getting rid of me? I beg you help me. This is my very existence. Ive lost everything , a good job, a wonderful girlfriend, my freedom, but worse thing Ive lost is my children. They were my reason to get up every morning and strive to be better. The wonderful bond I had with my Serenity is gone. After this I would be afraid to even hug her for fear of what next can they do to me. I'm not afraid to tell you I sit here in this cell and try to hold back my tears. Everyone knows you cant show weakness in prison. My life has already been threatened here at Wabash Valley Prison. After only 3 days of arrival. I was tricked into signing a waiver now Im in G Block General Population with 6 child molesting felony charges. Mrs. Hart as a 18 year old I almost died hooked to machines in hospital almost 1 month and now I know that fear was childish compared to this . I cant help but put emotions in this, after all Mrs. Hart Im human and God help Me I never been more afraid in my life. I didnt hurt my little girl I didnt touch her sexually. As much as it shreds me and fills my mind what Im facing I worry more about my mom and granny because of their great love for me mam they are suffering so deeply. I aint done this things but my loved ones suffering right along beside me and If you take my case you will be in essence freeing them also. I sent momma this letter and asked her to email it to you. I'm scared I have been done so unjustly by our legal system and I need you to fix this and give me freedom. I ask you please don't just ignore my pleas. Here in America its nice to be able to trust our legal justice system, well they destroyed my and my loved ones trust in our justice system . And I'm trusting in You !!! My entire family is suffering this nightmare with me. My 77 year old granny had a stroke and isn't doing so well. My single mother that raised 3 kids alone is dying from Lupus and since my arrest has stayed so sick and weary. Our lives torn to peices by a government I was taught I could trust in. my momma has tried so many innocent project and wrongfully accused and cant get anywhere. please please help me. A quote from the late Nelson Mandela: To be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, But to live in a way that respects and enhances The Freedom Of Others. I have Faith in you and your clinic to cast my chains off and give me freedom I do deserve as a wrongfully accused Man, son, brother, father, friend. Matthew Major DOC# 246179 Cause # : 53c02-1308-FA-000779 God Bless you. Please contact me with your decision so I know you made a life changing decision for me , just please at least write me so I know you care enough about your citizens to respond to cries for your help. You can speak openly with my mother Charlotte Spain (828) 476-0406: 71 Lakeview Dr. Canton, NC 28716 Thank You Matthew Major I know yall get thousands of request and inmates claiming innocence, and each person who are innocent deserve to have organizations like yours willing to fight for them and I give yall so much Thanks and I thank God everyday yall are out there caring enough to help free the innocents. Since discovering firsthand how easily lives and families can be destroyed by Poor Defense attorneys not doing their job . And Prosecutors allowed to do as they please in court

  5. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

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