Legal News

Lawsuit filed over bus crash near Indianapolis

October 16, 2014
 Associated Press
Four people who were on board a double-decker passenger bus that crashed near Indianapolis are suing the bus company.
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Justices affirm denial of Crime Victims Relief Act liability

October 15, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed a trial court’s decision to not impose Crime Victims Relief Act liability on a couple who sold their home knowing it had defects. And although the Indiana Court of Appeals also affirmed, Chief Justice Loretta Rush pointed out the high court has different reasons for leaving the trial court’s judgment in place.
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‘Common sense’ requires ruling in favor of inmate, judge says

October 15, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed judgment in favor of jail officials on an inmate’s complaint that he was denied medical access while in jail. The judges did not agree with the magistrate judge’s decision that Randy Swisher had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies by not filing a written grievance.
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Judges affirm denial of child molester's PCR petition

October 15, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals decided Wednesday that it did have jurisdiction to hear a prisoner’s petition for post-conviction relief that was filed 31 days after the trial court denied him relief. But the man was unsuccessful before the appellate court.
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IU Maurer to give scholarships to Purdue engineer grads

October 15, 2014
IL Staff
Indiana University Maurer School of Law announced Wednesday its third program with an in-state school to provide scholarships and mentoring to students who attend IU Maurer for law school. The school has partnered with Purdue University’s College of Engineering.
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Judiciary interim study committee to vote on magistrates

October 14, 2014
IL Staff
The Interim Study Committee on Courts and the Judiciary is expected to vote Thursday on endorsing magistrate judge requests from seven Indiana counties.
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Former NAACP president to deliver IU Maurer Harris Lecture

October 14, 2014
IL Staff
Julian Bond, the former president of the NAACP and first president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, will give the Harris Lecture at Indiana University Maurer School of Law on Wednesday.
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ABA provides guidance on sale of law practice

October 14, 2014
IL Staff
The American Bar Association has issued a formal opinion on the sale of a law practice, specifically as it relates to the seller in terms of “practice” and billing matters.
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Man gets 55 years for murder of hospital roommate

October 14, 2014
 Associated Press
A man expressed remorse for killing another state hospital patient before a judge sentenced him to 55 years imprisonment.
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Expungement fair aimed at helping individuals with a juvenile record

October 13, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Children’s Policy & Law Initiative of Indiana is partnering with Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and Marion County Public Defender Agency to help individuals who have a juvenile record start the expungement process.
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Amended bankruptcy rules take effect Oct. 27

October 13, 2014
IL Staff
The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana has amended its local rules. The amendments, which take effect Oct. 27, include new rules and changes to existing rules.
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Assistant US attorney chosen as federal magistrate

October 13, 2014
IL Staff
An assistant U.S. attorney in Hammond has been tapped as the newest magistrate judge for the Fort Wayne Division of U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.
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IU McKinney to host talk on Ebola

October 13, 2014
IL Staff
Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law is hosting a multi-disciplinary talk Oct. 24 on Ebola, law and public health.
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New Bloomington mental health court starting up

October 13, 2014
 Associated Press
A new Monroe County mental health court is aimed at keeping people mentally stable and out of trouble and the community safe, officials said.
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Conour malpractice carrier wins rescission of coverage

October 10, 2014
Dave Stafford
The insurance company that provided malpractice coverage to ex-attorney and convicted fraudster William Conour prevailed in its civil suit against him, but his many victims still may receive a small amount from the case.
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Appeals court revives inverse condemnation claim

October 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who sued after town and county officials worked on a drainage project on her property without her permission will be able to present her claim for inverse condemnation. The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal of that claim in her lawsuit against officials but affirmed she acted too late to present a trespass claim.
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Strip club case heads to federal appeals court

October 10, 2014
 Associated Press
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago will hear arguments on whether a northeastern Indiana city acted properly when it prevented a Fort Wayne couple from opening a strip club.
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Judge finds Marion County judicial election system unconstitutional

October 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge in Indianapolis has ruled that the statute outlining how Marion Superior judges are elected is unconstitutional. Because a stay has been issued, the ruling will not impact next month’s election.
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IU Maurer establishes scholarship for Vassar College grads

October 9, 2014
IL Staff
Vassar College becomes the seventh school Indiana University Maurer School of Law has partnered with to establish a scholarship and mentoring program for students interested in pursuing legal education.
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Indiana Tech begins search for law school dean

October 9, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Tech Law School has started the process of finding a new dean, but the institution is releasing few details about the search.
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Judges uphold convictions for death of child at unlicensed home daycare

October 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The state presented sufficient evidence that a Hamilton County woman operated a child care home under the law, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday in affirming her convictions related to a death of a child while in her care.
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School discipline summit highlights problem of suspensions and expulsions

October 9, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Speaking to a group of Indiana educators, school administrators and legal professionals, retired Judge Irene Sullivan drew applause when she stated school suspensions and expulsions should be illegal under federal law.
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Garage door company on hook for $21M jury award

October 9, 2014
IBJ Staff
A Plainfield garage door company has been ordered to pay $21.3 million in damages to an Indianapolis man who suffered permanent, disabling spinal injuries in 2006 due to a malfunctioning garage door.
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Humvee maker wins $27.9M judgment against supplier

October 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
A supplier of armored doors for Humvees made for the military overcharged the manufacturer, a federal judge ruled Monday, awarding South Bend-based AM General LLC a $27.9 million judgment.
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Justices vacate transfer in insurance policy lawsuit

October 8, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court decided Tuesday that the Court of Appeals decision regarding an insurance policy sold by Settlers Life Insurance Co. should stand, so it vacated transfer of a case it took in August.
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  1. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  2. 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

  3. 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!!!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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