Legal News

Governor signs 'religious freedom restoration' bill into law

March 26, 2015
IBJ Staff
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said he signed the controversial “religious freedom restoration” bill into law Thursday morning in a private ceremony.
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Justice Rucker honored by Valparaiso Law School

March 26, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Supreme Court Justice Robert Rucker will return to his law school alma mater Thursday to give the first speech in a new lecture series named in his honor.
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IU Maurer gets $20 million gift from Class of ’64 alum

March 26, 2015
IL Staff
Indiana University Maurer School of Law announced that 1964 graduate Lowell E. Baier has made a $20 million estate gift to the Bloomington law school that will enhance facilities and the school’s long-term renovation and expansion.
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Plaintiffs in bar shooting were owed protection

March 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
When a customer pulled a gun and started shooting, the bar had a well-established duty to protect its other customers, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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State statute protects taxpayers from loan dispute

March 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Ruling that taxpayers should not be penalized for a bank’s lack of diligence, the Indiana Court of Appeals has held a financial institution cannot recoup the outstanding balance on a loan for a fire truck.
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Justices spell out required 'presumption of innocence' jury instruction

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
A convicted murderer who didn’t receive a requested jury instruction on the presumption of innocence lost his appeal Wednesday, but the Indiana Supreme Court used the case to impart an exact instruction trial courts must use going forward upon request.
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COA reverses neglect resulting in death verdict against mom

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis mother was wrongly convicted of neglect of a dependent child resulting in death, the Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday in reversing the jury’s verdict. Judges found evidence against Chelsea Taylor was insufficient to support the conviction.
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Bragging is admissible in court, COA rules

March 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant’s statement to law enforcement that he could “read” people was a boast and not a character reference, according to the Indiana Court of Appeals, so it was admissible at trial.
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Termination of parental rights waiting period requires no services

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
Parents of children removed from the home for 15 of the prior 22 months before a hearing on termination of parental rights may not argue that a lack of services during that time tolls the waiting period, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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COA reverses lease judgment for tenant, finds for landlord

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
A medical office that leased space from a landlord lost a judgment in its favor in a dispute over owed rent. The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed and ordered judgment in favor of the property owner.
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SCOTUS sides with ex-UPS worker who claims pregnancy bias

March 25, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court is giving a former UPS driver another chance to prove her claim of discrimination after the company did not offer her lighter duty when she was pregnant.
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Appeals court sets April hearing on Obama immigration action

March 25, 2015
 Associated Press
A court hearing has been set for April 17 on whether a temporary hold on President Barack Obama’s immigration executive action should be lifted, a federal appeals court announced Tuesday.
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Boyer selected new Allen County Small Claims Court magistrate

March 25, 2015
IL Staff
Thomas P. Boyer, a magistrate for Allen Superior Court Family Relations Division, has been named the newest magistrate judge of the Allen Superior Court Small Claims Division. Boyer replaces Magistrate Jerry Ummel, who recently announced his retirement after 27 years on the bench.
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Windsor counsel to speak at IU Maurer

March 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Roberta “Robbie” Kaplan, counsel who represented Edith Windsor in the landmark marriage equality case, will speak about the civil rights battle for same-sex marriage at Indiana University Maurer School of Law on March 26.
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State closes 2 businesses for unpaid taxes

March 25, 2015
IL Staff
An Indianapolis architecture firm and a Greenfield restaurant were ordered closed Tuesday because the businesses owe the state almost $900,000 combined in taxes. Indiana courts issued temporary restraining orders preventing both from transacting business.
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Indy incubator program is designed to launch solo practices

March 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Two legal organizations are partnering with Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law to create an incubator – a program that provides the infrastructure and overhead to allow a newly admitted lawyer to focus on establishing a solo practice.
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Indiana schools rise and fall in recent national law school rankings

March 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
For law schools not occupying the front seats in the U.S. News & World Report’s national ranking, this year’s release of the annual “how prestigious is my school” evaluation brought another twist to the rollercoaster ride the assessment has come to resemble.
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A lifetime of service

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
Imagine reviewing your bosses’ expense claims and finding something that raises red flags. Now imagine it’s your job to go to your bosses and reject their claims.
Incidentally, your bosses are judges. And there are 15 of them. You’ve just imagined one of the routine tasks of veteran Indiana Court of Appeals administrator Steve Lancaster. If you can negotiate this task and dozens of others for the court’s judges and 18 administrative staff members, you may be the person to take Lancaster’s place.
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Commemorating a legal legacy

March 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
In his hometown of Evansville where he is known to friends and colleagues as “Randy,” retired Indiana Chief Justice Randall Shepard is being recognized in a way that members of the legal community say will appropriately honor his legacy. Money from private donors and legal organizations is being put toward two commemorations. The first is a plaque noting Shepard’s contributions to Indiana that will hang outside the Randall T. Shepard Courtroom in the historic Vanderburgh County Courthouse. The second is a lecture series which will bring nationally known lawyers and legal scholars to Evansville to talk about law and leadership.
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Workplace equality: Employers must be of aware court-ordered requirements

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
The advice labor and employment attorneys provide companies is changing in light of recent court decisions on Indiana’s laws governing same-sex marriage, and it may change again when the Supreme Court of the United States rules on the issue.
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Justices hear textbook case of errors in evidence

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who stabbed his son-in-law and was convicted of battery with a deadly weapon argues trial court errors prevented him from presenting evidence that he acted in self-defense. The appellant claims the victim was the first to strike, whacking him with a 2-by-4 piece of lumber.
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Aiding Conour victims ‘The right thing to do’

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana State Bar Association’s announcement that it will distribute $100,000 among 24 victims of former attorney and convicted fraudster William Conour is a modest but meaningful gesture from the legal community, attorneys involved with the decision say.
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Inside the Criminal Case: The admissibility of Robert Durst’s confession

March 25, 2015
James Bell, K. Michael Gaerte
If we had told you three weeks ago that a man walked into the bathroom with a live microphone and did some things he would live to regret, you would have probably thought we were referring to a scene from “The Naked Gun” movie. By now, however, you know that we are referring to the statements suspected murderer Robert Durst made while “mic’d up” for an HBO documentary.
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25-year-old Evansville courtesy code reminds lawyers how to behave

March 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Evansville Bar Association’s Professional Courtesy Code started with attorney Edward Johnson sitting at his desk and putting on paper the way attorneys should behave when practicing law.
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Lawyer who tried to trade representation for sex suspended

March 24, 2015
Dave Stafford
A former Marion County public defender accused of offering to trade legal service for sex with a prostitute has been suspended from the practice of law.
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  1. 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

  2. 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!!!

  3. 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.

  4. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  5. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

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