Legal News

Justices grant relief to man who maintained innocence

January 26, 2017
Olivia Covington
The justices of the Indiana Supreme Court have reversed the denial of post-conviction relief to a man convicted of attempted murder and attempted burglary, holding that because the man maintained his innocence even as he pleaded guilty, the trial court erroneously denied his relief.
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House panel advances Marion County judicial selection bill

January 26, 2017
Dave Stafford
Despite public concerns that a bill for choosing Indianapolis judges would reduce diversity on the bench, deprive Marion County residents of the right to directly elect jurists and elevate political considerations, a House committee Wednesday advanced a merit-selection measure supported by lawyers, judges and the business community.
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Lawmakers consider funding for lead crisis in East Chicago

January 26, 2017
 Associated Press, IL Staff
State lawmakers are considering two plans allocating a total of $15 million in state funds for the lead crisis in East Chicago.
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Lawmaker drops pay-hike push for governor, others

January 26, 2017
 Associated Press
An Indiana lawmaker has decided to withdraw his proposal that would have given a big pay increase to the governor and other top elected state officeholders, calling instead for a study of those salaries compared with other states.
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House panel OKs needle exchange bill despite AG’s opposition

January 26, 2017
 Associated Press
A proposal that would give counties and municipalities control over creating needle-exchange programs in their communities advanced through a legislative committee Wednesday, despite opposition from new Attorney General Curtis Hill.
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Supreme Court upholds man's life sentence

January 25, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
An Elkhart County man who smoked synthetic marijuana then stabbed his girlfriend to death was unable to convince the Indiana Supreme Court that his sentence of life without parole was unconstitutional.
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Bankruptcy filings continue to fall

January 25, 2017
Olivia Covington
Bankruptcy filings hit a 10-year low nationwide in 2016, a new federal judiciary report shows.
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Justices revise sentence of man with mental illness

January 25, 2017
Olivia Covington
The justices of the Indiana Supreme Court have revised the sentence of a Daviess County man with a history of mental illness who was convicted of burglary, drawing on the dissent of Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Paul Mathias, who advocated for treatment for offenders who are mentally ill.
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7th Circuit vacates denial of prisoner’s request for help finding counsel

January 25, 2017
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has vacated a district court order denying a request to help an inmate living in another state recruit counsel for an Indiana case, noting that without counsel or a medical expert, the inmate will be unable to build a strong legal case.
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COA: Restitution must be based on value of damaged car, not upgraded vehicle

January 25, 2017
Olivia Covington
Trial courts must award restitution based on the cost of an item that was stolen or damaged, not the cost of upgrading to a new item, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday, so the Marion Superior Court erred when it ordered restitution based on the cost a woman incurred in purchasing a newer vehicle after a wreck.
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7th Circuit affirms denial of evidentiary hearing, post-conviction review

January 25, 2017
Olivia Covington
The appointed public defender for a man convicted and sentenced for distributing cocaine tried to advise his client to accept a plea agreement, so that client cannot appeal on the basis of ineffective assistance of counsel, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Trump intends to announce his Supreme Court pick on Feb. 2

January 25, 2017
 Associated Press
President Donald Trump said Wednesday he intends to announce his nominee for the Supreme Court on Feb. 2, and three federal appeals court judges are said to be the front-runners to fill the lifetime seat held by the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative icon.
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ABA House of Delegates turning its attention to law schools

January 25, 2017
IL Staff
The American Bar Association is poised to dial up the pressure on law schools by linking bar exam passage rates to accreditation.
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Report: number of black attorneys decreasing in large firms

January 25, 2017
Olivia Covington
The decline may be due to a lack of African-American partners at the firms and more black attorneys choosing to open their own practices.
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Retiring Rucker urges diversity on court

January 25, 2017
Dave Stafford
As the first African-American to serve on the state’s appellate bench, retiring Indiana Supreme Court Justice Robert Rucker said he doesn’t think of himself as a trailblazer, but he said it’s important the state’s high court look like the population it serves.
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Rush praises ‘Partners in Justice’ during address

January 25, 2017
Olivia Covington
In her third State of the Judiciary address as chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, Loretta Rush highlighted how partnerships in the state’s judicial system are serving to further three initiatives to the benefit of litigants and legal professionals alike.
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Former IDEM employee's lawsuit highlights risks, rewards for whistleblowers

January 25, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
Suzanne Esserman claims the Indiana Department of Environmental Management fired her for questioning payments to private contractors, so she's filed a whistleblower lawsuit.
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Young attorneys, law students prone to mental health issues

January 25, 2017
Olivia Covington
Stresses from school and adapting to one's first legal job can lead to poor health and self-medicating, but confidential assistance is available.
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For small and solo firms, financial and succession planning takes commitment

January 25, 2017
Dave Stafford
At 41, Cumberland family law and estate attorney Jessica Lacy thinks a lot about her 10-month-old daughter’s future, but she’s also mindful of the years ahead for those who work with her.
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Funding ‘critical’ to continue criminal code reform initiatives

January 25, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
As lawmakers hammer out another biennial budget, officials backing Indiana’s criminal justice reform say money is the key to keeping the effort moving forward.
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Open government advocates find victory in Groth decision

January 25, 2017
Olivia Covington
Not much was changed in terms of government transparency when the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected former Gov. Mike Pence’s argument that the Indiana executive branch’s responses to open record requests are exempt from judicial review. But, according to open government advocates, that lack of change is actually a good thing.
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District court declines to stop Supreme Court disciplinary hearing

January 24, 2017
Olivia Covington
A federal judge has declined to intervene in an Indiana Supreme Court disciplinary proceeding against a northern Indiana attorney who claims he is being discriminated against in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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Supreme Court suspends attorney for misrepresentation, domestic battery

January 24, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court has suspended from practice a Chicago attorney who misrepresented his abilities to a client and was convicted of battery against his wife.
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Birth certificate battle headed to 7th Circuit

January 24, 2017
IL Staff
Indiana’s battle over who can be listed on a birth certificate is headed for another round with the state filing an appeal of a federal court’s ruling that allows non-birth mothers to be listed on their children’s birth certificates.
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Common Cause Indiana opposes Sessions for attorney general

January 24, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
Common Cause Indiana stepped into Sen. Joe Donnelly’s Indianapolis office Tuesday afternoon and turned over a petition with more than 4,000 signatures opposed to the nomination of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions for U.S. Attorney General.
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