Legal News

Annual trivia contest benefits Evansville legal services

December 2, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Members of the Evansville bench and bar tested their knowledge of minutiae and raised money for legal services during the Evansville Bar Association’s annual Trivia Night.
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Federal court rules amendments take effect

December 2, 2014
IL Staff
Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure amendments took effect Monday governing the appellate, civil, bankruptcy and evidence rules.
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Justices weigh free speech rights, Facebook threats

December 1, 2014
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States struggled Monday over where to draw the line between free speech and illegal threats in the digital age.
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Evidence of felon’s gun tattoo not error

December 1, 2014
Dave Stafford
A defendant who took the stand in his federal trial for felony firearm possession failed to convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Nov. 26 that the evidence of his gun tattoo should not have been admitted.
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MCBA ‘saddened and disappointed’ by grand jury decision in Ferguson shooting

December 1, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Saying the justice system has failed the African-American community, the Marion County Bar Association has denounced the Ferguson, Missouri, grand jury’s decision in the shooting death of an unarmed teenager.
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Statements by insurance provider do not constitute defamation, COA rules

December 1, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A surgery center’s defamation claim that an insurance provider was making false statements purposefully to harm the center’s business reputation was dismissed because the communication did not allege any misconduct in business practices or trade. 
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Otte to retire as S.D. bankruptcy judge

December 1, 2014
IL Staff
Judge Frank J. Otte will retire at the end of 2014 after 28 years on the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
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Southern District amends filing under seal, pro se notice rules

December 1, 2014
IL Staff
Federal court rules for the Southern District of Indiana pertaining to filing documents under seal and providing notice to pro se litigants will be amended effective Jan. 1, 2015, Clerk Laura Briggs announced.
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Eagle Creek deer hunt goes forward

November 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
A city-sponsored deer hunt at Indianapolis’ Eagle Creek Park will proceed this weekend after a judge refused to block the first such hunt in the park’s history.
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Enhancement to sentence upheld by COA

November 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding Indiana’s criminal gang enhancement statute can be understood by individuals of ordinary intelligence, the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s challenge to his 175-year aggregate sentence.
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Allegation of conspiracy not enough to support civil conspiracy claim

November 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A parts supplier failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that a civil conspiracy claim against several co-defendants named in a breach of contract dispute can stand without showing every alleged conspirator committed an underlying unlawful act.
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Appeals panel offers direction to abusive pro se litigant

November 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals has heard about enough from pro se litigant Eddie G. Love.
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Man convicted of brutal beating loses appeal despite errors

November 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man who was convicted of the brutal beating of his stepfather lost an appeal Wednesday that argued his 2008 traumatic brain injury, prosecutorial misconduct and other factors should have reversed or mitigated his 20-year sentence.
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COA reverses custody evaluation granted to grandparents

November 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
A trial court that expressed in the record reservations about the legal status of granting a visitation evaluation sought by grandparents of children in the care or another grandparent had those doubts confirmed Wednesday when the Court of Appeals reversed.
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St. Joseph County’s proposed abortion doctor law stalls

November 26, 2014
 Associated Press
A push in South Bend to require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital has stalled.
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Man gets 11 years for $1M copper wire theft

November 26, 2014
 Associated Press
A northern Indiana man who admitted to stealing $1 million worth of copper wire from a recreational vehicle plant where he worked has been sentenced to 11 years in prison.
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Justice Ginsburg undergoes heart surgery

November 26, 2014
 Associated Press
Supreme Court of the United States Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has had surgery to place a stent in her right coronary artery.
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Tax Court records migrating to Odyssey

November 25, 2014
IL Staff
Indiana Tax Court records will migrate to the Odyssey case management system effective Dec.1, the first state appeals court to transfer records to the system. Records will be available at no charge online at mycase.in.gov.
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Constitutional guarantee at issue in Supreme Court bus fee case

November 25, 2014
 Associated Press
Indiana Supreme Court justices quizzed lawyers in a case over school busing fees Monday about the limit of the state's constitutional guarantee of a free public education.
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Indiana Tech names new law school dean

November 25, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Tech Law School has tapped Charles Cercone to serve as dean, concluding a search that began in May.
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$1.75B justice center could stretch budgets

November 24, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
Mayor Greg Ballard's office has said the city intends to pay no more than about $50 million a year over 35 years for a proposed criminal justice facility, bringing the cost to about $1.75 billion.
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Volunteers needed for civics contest and law student competitions

November 24, 2014
Volunteers are needed to help judge students learning about Democracy and studying to be future lawyers.
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Perjury voids conviction; COA refers prosecutor for discipline

November 24, 2014
Dave Stafford
A St. Joseph County man’s burglary conviction was reversed Monday by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The state’s knowing use of perjured testimony to obtain the conviction led the panel to refer the case for possible disciplinary action against a prosecutor.
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Evidence does not support grandparent visitation order, COA rules

November 24, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding the evidence did not support the trial court’s ruling, the Indiana Court of Appeals tossed a visitation order in favor of the maternal grandparents.
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Indiana Supreme Court hearing bus fees case

November 24, 2014
 Associated Press
Indiana Supreme Court justices quizzed lawyers in a school busing fee case about the limit of the state's constitutional guarantee of a free public education.
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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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