Legal News

Governor names new general counsel

December 16, 2011
IL Staff
Gov. Mitch Daniels announced Friday that Anita Kolkmeier Samuel, assistant general counsel and policy director for the governor, has been named general counsel. Samuel replaces David Pippen, who has resigned to accept a position with Indianapolis law firm Bose McKinney & Evans.
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63 claimants will accept settlement in State Fair stage collapse

December 15, 2011
IL Staff
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General has heard from all 65 claimants who were offered settlements stemming from the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair in August, and 63 will accept the settlements.
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Justices rule man not disenfranchised under the Infamous Crimes Clause

December 15, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court hesitantly answered Thursday a certified question from the federal court as to whether misdemeanor battery is an “infamous crime” under Article II, Section 8 of the Indiana Constitution.
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IJA honors colleague and journalist

December 15, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
An Allen Superior judge and a Louisville journalist received the Community Relations Committee awards this year from the Indiana Judges Association.
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7th Circuit affirms dismissal of plaintiffs

December 15, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals could rule on the dismissal of multiple plaintiffs from a civil rights and breach of contract lawsuit, the appellate court had to determine if it had jurisdiction to rule on the plaintiffs’ appeal.
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Grand jury indicts 2 attorneys, real estate broker

December 14, 2011
Cory Schouten
A grand jury in South Bend has returned a 14-count criminal indictment against two attorneys and a real estate broker from central Indiana over a state lease deal in Elkhart.
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Woman loses appeal for overtime pay

December 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A sewing manager who sued her former employer to obtain overtime pay for work she did before her shift started lost her appeal because the employer didn’t know that she was working prior to her shift, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Evidence properly admitted under independent source doctrine

December 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found no plain error in a District Court’s decision to admit evidence of a telephone number on a defendant’s cell phone in 2007 at the man’s trial several years later.
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Judges reverse termination of parents' rights

December 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In a case filled with several errors and discrepancies, the Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed the termination of parental rights of a mother and two fathers because the Department of Child Services failed to meet the burden of proving that termination is in the best interest of the children.
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New St. Joe magistrate judge to begin duties Jan. 2

December 14, 2011
IL Staff
Elizabeth C. Hurley has been selected as the newest magistrate judge in St. Joseph Circuit Court. She replaces Magistrate Judge David T. Ready, who is retiring from the bench.
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Judge won't allow auto-dialer statute enforcement during appeal

December 13, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Balancing free speech rights with the public interest in preventing automated political calls from out-of-state entities, U.S. Judge William Lawrence in Indianapolis denied the state’s request to continue enforcing Indiana’s auto-dialer statute while a higher court is considering his ruling from two months ago that blocked enforcement.
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Justices: emotional distress actions not barred

December 13, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court held Tuesday that separate actions by parents seeking damages for emotional distress from experiencing the stillbirth of their child are not barred by the Indiana Child Wrongful Death Act or the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act.
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COA rules on right of first refusal issue

December 13, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that the right of first refusal set forth in a purchase agreement of land between neighbors could only be exercised between the two neighbors and didn’t apply to the sale of land by an estate.
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Court clarifies original ruling on spousal maintenance

December 13, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
On rehearing, the Indiana Court of Appeals addressed the issue of an ex-husband’s ability to pay incapacity maintenance to his spouse, but affirmed its original opinion in all respects.
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1.8M cases filed in Indiana in 2010

December 13, 2011
IL Staff
Nearly two million new cases were filed in Indiana courts in 2010, a 3 percent increase as compared to 2001, according to the annual Indiana Judicial Service Report released Tuesday.
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Maurer law school names interim dean

December 13, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana University board of trustees appointed Hannah L. Buxbaum as acting dean of the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, effective Feb. 1. Buxbaum will serve as dean while the current dean, Lauren Robel, is interim provost for the school’s Bloomington campus.
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SCOTUS takes Arizona immigration case, 7th Circuit bankruptcy case

December 12, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States has accepted several cases, including the high-profile Arizona immigration lawsuit and a bankruptcy case from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Justices take guest statute case

December 12, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has accepted a case that deals with whether a tort claim filed by a son against his father should be precluded by the Indiana Guest Statute. The case prompted each judge on the Indiana Court of Appeals panel that heard the case to author an opinion.
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District judge and state senator to receive honorary BSU degrees

December 12, 2011
IL Staff
U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt and Indiana Sen. Luke Kenley will receive honorary doctor of laws degrees from Ball State University at its winter commencement Dec. 17.
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Former IURC chairman indicted

December 12, 2011
IL Staff
The former chairman of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, David Lott Hardy, has been indicted by a Marion County grand jury on felony official misconduct charges, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office announced Monday.
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Shepard to speak at IU commencement

December 9, 2011
IL Staff
On the heels of the announcement that Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard is retiring from the Indiana Supreme Court, Indiana University announced this week that the justice will address graduates at the Bloomington campus’ winter commencement Dec. 17.
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Judges dismiss man's untimely appeal

December 9, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s argument that even though his appeal was untimely, the court should still address his appeal because of “considerations of justice.”
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Appellate court upholds murder conviction

December 9, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals found the circumstantial evidence presented at trial was sufficient to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that a man killed his wife.
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COA to consider journalistic shield protections for anonymous online comments

December 9, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals hears arguments Monday on a question of first impression for the Internet-savvy 21st century: whether news outlets have any First Amendment or state journalistic shield protection from being required to disclose information that could help reveal the identities of people posting anonymous comments online.
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ISBA seeks speakers for Lincoln outreach program

December 9, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana State Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section is seeking speakers for its “Why Lincoln Was a Lawyer” outreach program.
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  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  5. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

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