Legal News

In-court marijuana field test ruled error, but not reversible

July 16, 2012
Dave Stafford
An appeals court panel ruled that a deputy’s in-court field test to prove a substance was marijuana should not have been allowed, but it declined to use the error as a basis to reverse a man’s misdemeanor conviction.
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Justices deny transfer in 16 cases

July 16, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court denied transfer in 16 cases it reviewed in the week ending July 13, according to the transfer list released Monday.
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Appeals court upholds rape conviction

July 13, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of rape based on DNA evidence and his admission that he had sex with the victim failed to prove to the Indiana Court of Appeals that he was denied a fair trial due to the admission of hearsay testimony and a sustained objection to an attempt to refresh the victim’s memory.
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Divided appeals court affirms summary judgment for community action program

July 13, 2012
Dave Stafford
A divided Indiana Court of Appeals panel on Friday affirmed a Marion Superior Court ruling that dismissed a case against a government-funded agency because the victims in a vehicle accident failed to provide notice under the Indiana Tort Claims Act.
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Court reverses ruling in Plymouth church insurer's suit against contractors

July 13, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals reinstated an insurer’s case against contractors who built a Plymouth church gymnasium addition in 2008 in which the basketball court floor was ruined when a frozen sprinkler burst eight months later.
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BrightPoint settles 2 suits against rival Brightstar

July 13, 2012
Scott Olson
Indianapolis-based BrightPoint Inc. has agreed to settle two lawsuits it brought against similarly named rival Brightstar Corp.
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Justices order new trial for Ripley County man

July 12, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Ripley County man convicted of conspiring to commit burglary is entitled to a new trial due to ineffective assistance of his trial counsel and prosecutorial misconduct, the Indiana Supreme Court held.
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Payment changes for appellate filing fees in Northern District

July 12, 2012
IL Staff
Beginning Monday, the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Indiana will require online credit card payments, via CM/ECF, for filing fees associated with civil and criminal notices of appeal.
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7th Circuit certifies questions for Kansas Supreme Court

July 12, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals was unable to determine under Kansas law how that state’s Supreme Court would rule on whether FedEx drivers are employees or independent contractors, so the court sent two certified questions to the Kansas justices.
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Man who killed girlfriend may be retried for reckless homicide

July 12, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The post-conviction court erred in denying Andrew McWhorter relief when he challenged his conviction of voluntary manslaughter in connection to the death of his girlfriend, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded. McWhorter may not be retried on the same charge, but may face retrial for reckless homicide.
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42 members of Indianapolis motorcycle club indicted

July 11, 2012
IL Staff
In what has been described by Southern District U.S. Attorney Joseph Hogsett as the largest federal organized crime prosecution in Indianapolis history, 42 members of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club in Indianapolis have been indicted on various offenses, including extortion and drug charges.
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Supreme Court Justice Rucker to run for retention

July 11, 2012
Dave Stafford
Indiana Supreme Court Justice Robert Rucker will stand for retention, ending speculation that he might become the fourth justice to step down in the last two years.
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Deadline to accept State Fair settlement extended

July 11, 2012
IL Staff
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General, at the request of attorneys representing claimants in lawsuits stemming from the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair in August 2011, has moved the deadline to respond to a settlement offer to Aug. 1. The original deadline was Friday.
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Lake County local rule requires e-filing of certain cases, fee increase implemented

July 11, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Beginning July 16, all civil collection, civil tort, civil plenary and miscellaneous cases filed in the County Division Courts Room 2 or 3 in Lake County will have to be filed electronically using the county’s new e-filing system. The change is a result of an amendment to Local Rule 45-A.R.16-17.
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Judges disagree over impact of mental illness label at sentencing

July 11, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Diane Wood believed that Michael Dean Overstreet, who was convicted of killing Franklin College student Kelly Eckart in 1997, was prejudiced by his attorneys’ decisions at sentencing regarding which experts should testify about his mental illness.
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COA rules trial court should have allowed DCS to withdraw adoption consent

July 10, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Department of Child Services’ failure to investigate a child’s aunt as a possible adoptive parent – and a trial court’s refusal to allow DCS to withdraw consent for foster parents to adopt after acknowledging its failure – prompted the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse a trial court order granting the foster parents’ petition to adopt.
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AG’s video conferences train Mexican prosecutors

July 10, 2012
IL Staff
About 50 prosecutors in Mexico are learning about the American legal system through video conferences this week arranged by the Indiana attorney general’s office.
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Shepard joins Old National board

July 10, 2012
IL Staff
Retired Indiana Chief Justice Randall Shepard has been appointed to the board of directors of Old National Bancorp, the Evansville-based company announced Monday.
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Columbus-area businessman faces federal fraud charges

July 10, 2012
Dave Stafford
A Columbus-area businessman is facing multiple federal charges that he defrauded banks, credit unions and investors of more than $10 million.
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Supreme Court justices reject 12 cases

July 9, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court added no cases to its docket last week, denying or dismissing transfer in a dozen cases.
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Hauke receiver files suit against his former accounting firm

July 9, 2012
Scott Olson
The receiver representing investors in the Ponzi scheme run by convicted money manager Keenan Hauke has sued Hauke's former accounting firm, charging that its negligence contributed to millions of dollars in investor losses.
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State to defend Planned Parenthood ban after adverse Medicaid recommendation

July 9, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General continues to defend a 2011 state law that denies Medicaid funding for health care services to Planned Parenthood because the organization performs abortions.  A federal hearing officer recommended that the Department of Health and Human Services disapprove the state Medicaid plan amendment in the law.
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Zoeller goes after closed Allcare Dental chain

July 9, 2012
IL Staff
A chain of dental offices that abruptly closed multiple Indiana locations in December 2010 left patients without care, refunds or records, according to a complaint filed by the Office of the Indiana Attorney General.
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7th Circuit upholds conviction over DEA agent withholding evidence

July 6, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of federal charges of distributing cocaine was not deprived a fair trial after a government agent failed to record or relay exculpatory evidence from a co-defendant, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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7th Circuit affirms life sentences in prostitution ring

July 6, 2012
Dave Stafford
Two men sentenced to life in prison on an assortment of federal charges related to a prostitution ring involving underage girls that operated in northwest Indiana failed in their appeal before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday, but judges asked the trial court to clarify the sentence for a third defendant.
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  1. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  2. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

  3. This outbreak illustrates the absurdity of the extreme positions taken by today's liberalism, specifically individualism and the modern cult of endless personal "freedom." Ebola reminds us that at some point the person's own "freedom" to do this and that comes into contact with the needs of the common good and "freedom" must be curtailed. This is not rocket science, except, today there is nonstop propaganda elevating individual preferences over the common good, so some pundits have a hard time fathoming the obvious necessity of quarantine in some situations....or even NATIONAL BORDERS...propagandists have also amazingly used this as another chance to accuse Western nations of "racism" which is preposterous and offensive. So one the one hand the idolatry of individualism has to stop and on the other hand facts people don't like that intersect with race-- remain facts nonetheless. People who respond to facts over propaganda do better in the long run. We call it Truth. Sometimes it seems hard to find.

  4. It would be hard not to feel the Kramers' anguish. But Catholic Charities, by definition, performed due diligence and held to the statutory standard of care. No good can come from punishing them for doing their duty. Should Indiana wish to change its laws regarding adoption agreements and or putative fathers, the place for that is the legislature and can only apply to future cases. We do not apply new laws to past actions, as the Kramers seem intent on doing, to no helpful end.

  5. I am saddened to hear about the loss of Zeff Weiss. He was an outstanding member of the Indianapolis legal community. My thoughts are with his family.

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