Legal News

US House chops legal aid budget

June 4, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Budget cuts to legal aid funding approved June 3 by the U.S. House of Representatives could mean layoffs and office closures nationwide.
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Panel splits over interpretation of corrupt business influence statute

June 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The majority on a Court of Appeals panel tossed out a man’s corrupt business influence conviction after finding his criminal activity did not pose a threat of future criminal conduct. But the dissenting judge noted the majority was inserting a new element into the Indiana statute that does not exist.
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Judge to allow recordings from Indy blast at trial

June 4, 2015
 Associated Press
The judge hearing the trial of a man charged in an Indianapolis house explosion says he'll allow prosecutors to present an audio recording of the screams of a man who initially survived the blast before dying.
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Whitestown likely to appeal Zionsville case to Supreme Court

June 4, 2015
Lindsey Erdody
A ruling from the Indiana Court of Appeals allowing Zionsville to merge with Perry Township is likely to be challenged before the state Supreme Court.
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Tax Court orders more proceedings on sale of racetrack and card club

June 3, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Department of State Revenue scored a partial victory in Tax Court on Wednesday when the court granted the agency's motion for summary judgment regarding whether I.C. 6-3-2-2.2 applied in its taxing of a portion of the gain generated by a Las Vegas-based corporation's sale of a horse racetrack and card club to an out-of-state company. But there are issues of genuine material fact as to whether the department correctly classified Pinnacle Entertainment's gain as business income.
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Inconsistency by trial court leads to partial reversal

June 3, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because a trial court hearing a child support matter at first declined to impute the income of the stepfather to the child's mother, but later treated their income as the same when it came to the cost of her child's health insurance, the Indiana Court of Appeals partially reversed a Hamilton Superior Court's 2014 ruling.
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Legislature continues support of We the People program

June 3, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana's We the People program, a civics education curriculum that teaches elementary, middle and high school students about U.S. history and government, has received another round of funding from the Statehouse.
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Justices: Adoption agency didn’t breach duty to couple

June 3, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled 4-1 in favor of an adoption agency that it did not have any duties with respect to the putative father registry in excess of statutory requirements. A couple who adopted a baby through the agency – only later to have her removed from their care after the biological father contested the adoption – sued the agency alleging negligence.
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AG may appeal death penalty reversal in deputy’s slaying

June 3, 2015
IL Staff
The state is considering whether it will appeal a federal court ruling Tuesday that reversed the death penalty imposed on a man convicted of killing a Morgan County deputy sheriff nearly 14 years ago.
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Appeals court sides with EPA on air pollution limits

June 3, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Environmental Protection Agency complied with the law in deciding which areas of the country failed to meet federal limits on smog-forming pollution that can cause asthma and respiratory illness.
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NCAA's top lawyer ready to keep fighting in O'Bannon case

June 3, 2015
 Associated Press
Donald Remy has an answer for those who believe the NCAA is waging a losing battle against Ed O'Bannon: Think again.
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Supreme Court pulls plug on audio-video transcript pilot project

June 3, 2015
Dave Stafford
Transcripts generated by video cameras have had their day in court in Indiana. The verdict is in favor of keeping paper records.
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Criminal defense attorney Robert Hammerle joins Pence Hensel

June 3, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Between them, the three defense attorneys have handled a range of cases from murder and the death penalty to fraud, civil business litigation and even treason. But on a recent morning, the trio of legal minds was gathered around the conference room table discussing the most pressing matter of that day – office furniture.
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Supreme Court appoints team to look at pro se litigant problems

June 3, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Less than two years after appointing a commission to expand civil legal services for the indigent, the Indiana Supreme Court has assembled another group to examine the nagging problems caused by pro se litigants.
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Injured man fails to convince COA he was mentally incompetent

June 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A split Indiana Court of Appeals found that affidavits from an injured man’s family members as to his mental competency were not sufficient to overcome his failure to file a complaint before the statute of limitations had expired.
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Plan to establish commercial courts in Indiana moves forward

June 2, 2015
IL Staff
The move to create commercial courts in Indiana, first mentioned by Chief Justice Loretta Rush during her State of the Judiciary address in January, is a step closer to becoming a reality. The Indiana Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it has named a working group to recommend policies and procedures for the courts, which could be hearing cases as early as 2016.
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Death sentence reversed in 2001 slaying of Morgan deputy

June 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
The death sentence imposed on a man for the killing Morgan County Deputy Sheriff Daniel Starnes in 2001 has been reversed by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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COA finds Zionsville has authority to incorporate neighboring township

June 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Describing itself as having a “hybrid status,” Zionsville successfully argued it had the authority to reorganize with Perry Township and convinced the Indiana Court of Appeals to overturn a lower court’s order blocking its efforts to incorporate the township.
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COA widens class-action suit against Lincoln National

June 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
A former policyholder’s class-action lawsuit claiming Lincoln National Life Insurance breached its contract was expanded Tuesday by a Court of Appeals ruling.
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Monroe County wants to bring trained dogs to court

June 2, 2015
 Associated Press
Efforts are underway in Monroe County to bring trained dogs to the courthouse in Bloomington.
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Parents sue Hobart school district over prayers at school events

June 2, 2015
 Associated Press
A Hobart school district faces a lawsuit over prayers that are said before athletic events, graduations and school board meetings from parents who say the prayers violate the First Amendment.
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Proposed rule bans T-shirts, gum-chewing in courtrooms

June 2, 2015
 Associated Press
A new rule being considered by judges in a southwestern Indiana county would prohibit lawyers, litigants and spectators from wearing T-shirts or shorts or chewing gum in courtrooms.
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More than 300 suspended for CLE, fee or IOLTA violations

June 2, 2015
IL Staff
More than 300 lawyers have been suspended for failing to pay registration fees, meet their continuing legal education requirements or submit certification of Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts.
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Justices reinstate med-mal suit against doctor in stillbirth

June 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court reinstated a medical malpractice case against a Richmond doctor accused of failing to meet the standard of care in examining a pregnant woman whose child subsequently was stillborn.
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Justices affirm stabbing conviction in evidence appeal

June 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Anderson man convicted of stabbing his son-in-law lost his appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court Tuesday. The man claimed the trial court wrongly excluded evidence that the victim told others that he had struck the man with a two-by-four piece of lumber before the knife attack.
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  1. Actually, and most strikingly, the ruling failed to address the central issue to the whole case: Namely, Black Knight/LPS, who was NEVER a party to the State court litigation, and who is under a 2013 consent judgment in Indiana (where it has stipulated to the forgery of loan documents, the ones specifically at issue in my case)never disclosed itself in State court or remediated the forged loan documents as was REQUIRED of them by the CJ. In essence, what the court is willfully ignoring, is that it is setting a precedent that the supplier of a defective product, one whom is under a consent judgment stipulating to such, and under obligation to remediate said defective product, can: 1.) Ignore the CJ 2.) Allow counsel to commit fraud on the state court 3.) Then try to hide behind Rooker Feldman doctrine as a bar to being held culpable in federal court. The problem here is the court is in direct conflict with its own ruling(s) in Johnson v. Pushpin Holdings & Iqbal- 780 F.3d 728, at 730 “What Johnson adds - what the defendants in this suit have failed to appreciate—is that federal courts retain jurisdiction to award damages for fraud that imposes extrajudicial injury. The Supreme Court drew that very line in Exxon Mobil ... Iqbal alleges that the defendants conducted a racketeering enterprise that predates the state court’s judgments ...but Exxon Mobil shows that the Rooker Feldman doctrine asks what injury the plaintiff asks the federal court to redress, not whether the injury is “intertwined” with something else …Because Iqbal seeks damages for activity that (he alleges) predates the state litigation and caused injury independently of it, the Rooker-Feldman doctrine does not block this suit. It must be reinstated.” So, as I already noted to others, I now have the chance to bring my case to SCOTUS; the ruling by Wood & Posner is flawed on numerous levels,BUT most troubling is the fact that the authors KNOW it's a flawed ruling and choose to ignore the flaws for one simple reason: The courts have decided to agree with former AG Eric Holder that national banks "Are too big to fail" and must win at any cost-even that of due process, case precedent, & the truth....Let's see if SCOTUS wants a bite at the apple.

  2. I am in NJ & just found out that there is a judgment against me in an action by Driver's Solutions LLC in IN. I was never served with any Court pleadings, etc. and the only thing that I can find out is that they were using an old Staten Island NY address for me. I have been in NJ for over 20 years and cannot get any response from Drivers Solutions in IN. They have a different lawyer now. I need to get this vacated or stopped - it is now almost double & at 18%. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

  3. I am in NJ & just found out that there is a judgment against me in an action by Driver's Solutions LLC in IN. I was never served with any Court pleadings, etc. and the only thing that I can find out is that they were using an old Staten Island NY address for me. I have been in NJ for over 20 years and cannot get any response from Drivers Solutions in IN. They have a different lawyer now. I need to get this vacated or stopped - it is now almost double & at 18%. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

  4. Please I need help with my class action lawsuits, im currently in pro-se and im having hard time findiNG A LAWYER TO ASSIST ME

  5. Access to the court (judiciary branch of government) is the REAL problem, NOT necessarily lack of access to an attorney. Unfortunately, I've lived in a legal and financial hell for the past six years due to a divorce (where I was, supposedly, represented by an attorney) in which I was defrauded of settlement and the other party (and helpers) enriched through the fraud. When I attempted to introduce evidence and testify (pro se) in a foreclosure/eviction, I was silenced (apparently on procedural grounds, as research I've done since indicates). I was thrown out of a residence which was to be sold, by a judge who refused to allow me to speak in (the supposedly "informal") small claims court where the eviction proceeding (by ex-brother-in-law) was held. Six years and I can't even get back on solid or stable ground ... having bank account seized twice, unlawfully ... and now, for the past year, being dragged into court - again, contrary to law and appellate decisions - by former attorney, who is trying to force payment from exempt funds. Friday will mark fifth appearance. Hopefully, I'll be allowed to speak. The situation I find myself in shouldn't even be possible, much less dragging out with no end in sight, for years. I've done nothing wrong, but am watching a lot of wrong being accomplished under court jurisdiction; only because I was married to someone who wanted and was granted a divorce (but was not willing to assume the responsibilities that come with granting the divorce). In fact, the recalcitrant party was enriched by well over $100k, although it was necessarily split with other actors. Pro bono help? It's a nice dream ... but that's all it is, for too many. Meanwhile, injustice marches on.

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