Legal News

Judge dismisses civil forfeiture suit against state prosecutors

April 6, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A Marion Superior judge has tossed a lawsuit against 78 county prosecutors being accused of breaking the law by not turning over seized assets from criminals to a school construction fund. In doing so, the judge expressed concern about the lack of reasoning and consistency demonstrated by prosecutors throughout the state.
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State won't immediately appeal IBM 'deliberative processes' ruling

April 6, 2011
Michael Hoskins
At least for now, the Indiana Court of Appeals isn’t being asked to consider a Marion County judge’s decision that held a “deliberative process” privilege exists in Indiana.
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Coroner's office loses 2nd reverse-discrimination appeal

April 5, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a reverse-discrimination case against Marion County should be able to proceed in federal court in Indianapolis because evidence shows the former county coroner’s decision to terminate a forensic pathology company’s contract may have been based on race.
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Notre Dame professor to train human rights lawyers

April 5, 2011
IL Staff
Sean O’Brien, professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School, is in Tunis, Tunisia this week to participate in the training of North African human rights lawyers.
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Federalist Society to host national ethics expert for lecture

April 5, 2011
IL Staff
Edward Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., will lecture about “Lessons of the Sotomayor and Kagan Confirmation Processes: The Political Triumph of Judicial Conservatism,” from noon to 2 p.m. April 14. The lecture, hosted by the Indianapolis chapter of The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, will be at the Conrad hotel, 50 W. Washington St., Indianapolis.
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Federal judge upholds Evansville man's death sentence

April 4, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A federal judge in Indianapolis has upheld the death sentence of a condemned man who killed his wife and two young children in Evansville a decade ago.
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COA reverses judgment in title insurance issue

April 4, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has declined to extend to an insurance agent the duty of an insurer as declared by the state’s highest court. In doing so, the judges reversed the denial of a title insurance company’s motion for summary judgment.
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Circuit Court orders new trial on Rule 404(b) grounds

April 4, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has found an Indiana federal court should not have allowed evidence of a defendant’s prior drug convictions under Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b). As a result of the violation, the judges reversed the man’s drug conviction and ordered a new trial.
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Case asks whether school board members can run for political office

April 1, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A Lake Superior judge may not be breaking any new legal ground with an election-related ruling this week, but he’s set the stage for an appeal that could clear up confusion about whether nonpartisan school board members must give up their right to run for a public office that requires the candidate to declare their political party affiliation.
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Bankruptcy courts seek comments on local rules

April 1, 2011
IL Staff
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Indiana is seeking public comment on several proposed changes to local rules, and the addition of a new local rule.
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COA to hear appeal at University of Southern Indiana

April 1, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals will be in Evansville April 4 to hear an appeal regarding methamphetamine convictions.
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7th Circuit rules on Rolls-Royce job-bias case

March 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A day after the nation’s highest court heard arguments on the largest female gender-discrimination case in history, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has delved into that same territory and upheld a federal judge’s decision denying class certification in a sex discrimination suit in which a group of female Rolls-Royce employees accused the manufacturer of paying women less than men for the same or similar work.
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Judges: defendant should be able to confront witness

March 31, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered the District Court to grant a convicted murderer’s habeas petition, finding the admission of out-of-court statements at his trial violated the man’s Sixth Amendment right of confrontation.
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Indy lawyer pays $371,000 to settle Fair Finance lawsuit

March 31, 2011
Greg Andrews
Fair Finance Co.’s bankruptcy trustee has reached a $371,000 settlement with Stephen Plopper, an Indianapolis attorney accused of defaulting on a 2003 loan from the Tim Durham-owned business.
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Court: DNR case can proceed despite 11-year delay

March 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has looked past a trial rule calling for diligent prosecution of claims, finding that a state Department of Natural Resources land ownership dispute can proceed despite an 11-year delay in prosecuting because it’s of great public importance and should be decided on the merits.
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Maurer School of Law to present symposium on globalization and migration

March 31, 2011
IL Staff
International scholars will meet at Indiana University in April to discuss the relationships between globalization and migration.
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Court: 'ingress' and 'egress' doesn't include parking

March 30, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a trial judge on a land use dispute between two sets of neighbors, finding that the clear meanings of “ingress" and "egress” do not include parking as two of the Porter County residents had argued based on past caselaw.
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SCOTUS asked to take Indiana stun belt case

March 30, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States is being asked to consider an Indiana case about a convicted murderer’s claim that he was improperly restrained with a stun belt during his trial and that led to a wrongful conviction.
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COA to hear appeal in stalking case at IU-South Bend

March 30, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments Thursday at Indiana University – South Bend.
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Valparaiso University to dedicate Heritage Hall

March 30, 2011
IL Staff
Following a two-year reconstruction, Valparaiso University School of Law’s oldest building – Heritage Hall – has become the newest learning space for law students.
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Legal analysts use media to educate public about issues

March 30, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
Lawyers and judges who eat, sleep, and breathe the law might find it easy to forget that not everyone understands the finer points of how the justice system works. This is where legal commentators – analysts of the inner workings of the legal system – come into play.
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Protective Order Pro Bono Project offers training

March 30, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
For the last 10 years, volunteer attorneys and students in central Indiana have been helping domestic violence victims obtain protective orders, but before embarking on this process, volunteers must be trained on various matters.
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Respected leaders in U.S. Attorney's Office for Southern District retireRestricted Content

March 30, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Two longtime leaders in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District are retiring this month, taking with them more than a half century of combined legal experience.
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Notario publico issues surface again

March 30, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Years ago, the Indiana Supreme Court made it clear what non-lawyers could and could not do related to immigration services. Crossing the line might be considered the unauthorized practice of law. Now, two people in Indiana are facing the consequences of doing exactly that.
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Revising rules on agency lawyersRestricted Content

March 30, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Attorneys from outside Indiana should know this: The process for practicing before state administrative agencies, even temporarily, is changing and may impact your ability to practice law in this state.
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  1. I can understand a 10 yr suspension for drinking and driving and not following the rules,but don't you think the people who compleate their sentences and are trying to be good people of their community,and are on the right path should be able to obtain a drivers license to do as they please.We as a state should encourage good behavior instead of saying well you did all your time but we can't give you a license come on.When is a persons time served than cause from where I'm standing,its still a punishment,when u can't have the freedom to go where ever you want to in car,truck ,motorcycle,maybe their should be better programs for people instead of just throwing them away like daily trash,then expecting them to change because they we in jail or prison for x amount of yrs.Everyone should look around because we all pay each others bills,and keep each other in business..better knowledge equals better community equals better people...just my 2 cents

  2. I was wondering about the 6 million put aside for common attorney fees?does that mean that if you are a plaintiff your attorney fees will be partially covered?

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  4. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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