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. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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