Legal News

Judges disagree on whether use of names or initials is appropriate

September 14, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A clear divide exists at the Indiana Court of Appeals these days and is anything but confidential. Judges are debating whether parties’ names on certain cases should be released publicly or be shielded through use of initials only.
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New magistrate takes the oath

September 14, 2011
U.S. Magistrate Denise K. LaRue was sworn in Sept. 8 as the Southern District of Indiana's newest magistrate.
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Fall protection mandatory for residential jobsRestricted Content

September 14, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
On Oct. 1, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration will begin enforcing fall protection plans for residential contractors. The regulations have long applied to commercial construction, but this year marks the first that OSHA will begin requiring residential contractors to exercise the same level of caution when employees are working more than six feet above the ground.
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2 Indiana lawyers part of legal team representing plaintiffs in 9/11 litigationRestricted Content

September 14, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Even now, chills run down Mary Beth Ramey’s spine when she stands along the canal in downtown Indianapolis and thinks about how that spot ties into the litigation she’s been involved in for the past decade.
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Recent medical malpractice opinion causes some lawyers concernRestricted Content

September 14, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Attorneys have asked the Indiana Supreme Court to weigh in on a recent ruling that has left some people wondering about the future of medical malpractice law.
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Constructing contracts for safety

September 14, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Indiana Supreme Court case examines construction manager's liability.
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Court reverses decision denying trial counsel appointment

September 13, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has determined a Jay Superior judge didn’t look at a defendant’s “total financial picture” when assessing his need for a court-appointed attorney. It has ordered a new indigency evaluation and trial for the misdemeanor battery charge.
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Justices split on appellate review of prisoner litigant's claim

September 13, 2011
Michael Hoskins
One of Indiana's most well-known pro se prisoner litigants convinced two of the state justices that his latest appeal should get their attention, but the other three denied transfer relating to how the Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed the case.
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Court sends reminder on permanent withdrawal rules

September 13, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Note to Indiana attorneys: don’t permanently relinquish your law license in this state unless you’re absolutely sure you won’t ever want to return. If you do, don’t be surprised if you have to take the bar exam again.
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COA: surety agency's lack of timely action justifies fines

September 13, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a trial court’s determination that a surety agency failed to comply with Indiana Code and is therefore liable for a deceased man’s bond.
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Damage of personal property not unconstitutional taking

September 12, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of a sanitary district in a suit against it alleging an unconstitutional taking of homeowners’ personal property after sewage backed up into their homes. The judges relied on a case from Nevada to support their decision.
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Supreme Court takes 4 cases

September 12, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer to four cases, including two cases dealing with double jeopardy issues.
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Appeals court sets arguments in Camm case

September 12, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals has schedule oral arguments in the case of the former Indiana State Police trooper accused of killing his wife and children in 2000.
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COA affirms lower court in shoe-killing case

September 9, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a post-conviction court’s determination that a man convicted of kicking another man to death cannot appeal his conviction.
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Mexican officials visit law school

September 9, 2011
IL Staff
Eduardo Arnal Palomera, Mexican Consul General in Chicago, and Alberto Foncerrada Berumen, of the Chicago Mexican Consulate Office of Relations with Local Governments, visited Valparaiso University and Valparaiso University Law School on Aug. 31 to talk with students and university leaders.
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Bar foundation names 'legendary lawyer'

September 9, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Fellows of the Indiana Bar Foundation have chosen Leslie Duvall as the 2011 Legendary Lawyer. On Sept. 27, Indianapolis firm Lewis & Kappes will hold a ceremony in his honor.
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Civic health study results available Sept. 14

September 8, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court announced Thursday that the results of the first-ever Indiana Civic Health Index will be released Sept. 14. The study release is in conjunction with an advanced screening of the movie “We the People,” which chronicles America’s history and its founding documents.
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Judges: State-law claims can proceed

September 8, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has allowed a woman’s state claim against a sheriff following the suicide of her son in jail to go forward even though she previously had accepted an offer of judgment in District Court on a federal claim.
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Criminal code study group meets Friday

September 8, 2011
IL Staff
The Criminal Code Evaluation Commission will have its fifth meeting Friday. According to the meeting agenda, Rep. Ralph Foley, R-Martinsville, will give a presentation on unspecified data and Deborah Daniels will give a presentation on penalties for sex offenders.
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Judge dismisses challenge to NCAA bylaws

September 7, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Two former NCAA athletes whose scholarships were revoked following injuries have lost their suit that argued without certain NCAA Division I bylaws, they would have received multi-year athletic scholarships that would have covered the cost of their bachelor’s degrees.
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Summary judgment inappropriate in slip-and-fall case

September 7, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals stopped short Wednesday of saying in a negligence suit involving a slip and fall that under any circumstance a home detention officer visiting a detainee at his place of employment is a business visitor.
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Indianapolis to host health law compliance conference

September 7, 2011
IL Staff
Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis has planned its inaugural Biomedical and Health Industry Law Compliance Conference for Sept. 21. The keynote speaker is Joyce R. Branda, director of the Fraud Section of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Commercial Litigation Branch.
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Magistrate judge’s investiture ceremony Thursday

September 7, 2011
IL Staff
The formal swearing-in ceremony for Magistrate Judge Denise K. LaRue of the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, is at 2 p.m. Sept. 8 in Courtroom 202 of the Birch Bayh Federal Building and United States Courthouse in Indianapolis. The event is open to the public.
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Justices take 3 cases

September 6, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer to three cases, including one that led to a split in the lower appellate court in a child support case.
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Judges uphold contempt order against attorney

September 6, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A Morgan Circuit judge had jurisdiction to order a Unionville attorney to pay $75,000 to the county clerk after finding the attorney in contempt, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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  1. This guy sounds like the classic molester/manipulator.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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