Legal News

East Chicago casino case still alive

July 26, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A years-long court battle over millions of dollars in East Chicago casino revenue remains alive after a Marion County judge vacated an earlier dismissal of the civil suit and blocked the release of $8 million in disputed funds that had been part of a settlement.
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Nominations sought for numerous awards

July 23, 2010
IL Staff
If you know of a lawyer or judge who demonstrates dedication and professionalism above and beyond most, there are several awards for which they may be considered. Deadlines are quickly approaching.
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COA: Trial court to decide pre-sentencing educational credit time

July 23, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
A trial court is the proper authority to determine credit if a defendant earns educational credit time prior to sentencing, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Defendants entitled to competency hearing in probation revocations

July 22, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Defendants are entitled to a competency hearing as part of their due process rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded today, addressing the issue for the first time.
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Plain English jury instructions now available

July 22, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Model Civil Jury Instructions, which were prepared by the Civil Instructions Committee of the Indiana Judges Association and are written in plain English, are now available.
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President names former deputy sheriff for U.S. Marshal

July 22, 2010
IL Staff
President Barack Obama nominated Myron M. Sutton, a former deputy sheriff in Newton County in 1998-2007, as United States Marshal for the Northern District of Indiana.
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Judges disagree on whether grandfather can adopt

July 21, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Judges on the Indiana Court of Appeals disagreed as to whether a grandfather could adopt his biological granddaughter but allow the mother to retain her parental rights under Indiana law.
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Medicaid applications review policy doesn't violate federal law

July 21, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
An administrative law judge’s refusal to consider evidence of conditions that aren’t disclosed on a Medicaid disability application doesn’t violate federal law and the Due Process Clause, a majority on the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Mom sues over girls' high school basketball schedule

July 21, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A Franklin County mother is suing the Indiana High School Athletic Association and multiple school districts claiming discrimination against the girl’s basketball team based on when the girls play their games.
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Terre Haute attorney dies

July 21, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A Terre Haute attorney and former member of the Indiana House of Representatives died Monday.
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Judge faces 4 charges

July 21, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A Marion Superior judge presiding over the county’s traffic court faces four judicial misconduct charges as a result of his general handling of traffic infraction cases and one suit in particular, where the state justices have described him as being “biased.”
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'Posnerian' wisdom featured in professor's new bookRestricted Content

July 21, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
It’s no secret judicial clerks help with writing opinions at some point in the process – whether it’s the research, writing a first draft, reading and writing memos to judges on their drafts, or in some cases rewriting the judge’s first draft or outline into a final draft.
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Patient wins case following disclosure of HIV statusRestricted Content

July 21, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Considering how much information is out there on just about every individual – a simple Google search can prove that – it’s difficult to say what is or isn’t private anymore.
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State changes victim alerts

July 21, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
The Indiana Department of Correction recently changed how it will notify those who register to find out where someone is in the system, whether it’s a transfer from one jail to another, a change in status, or a legal hearing.
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9 semi-finalists in running for justice spot

July 21, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Nine attorneys remain in the running to be the next Indiana Supreme Court justice after a seven-member commission narrowed down a list of nearly three-dozen applicants earlier this month for the court opening.
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Hogsett tapped for U.S. Attorney post

July 21, 2010
Michael Hoskins
When Indianapolis attorney Joe Hogsett received the news that he’d been tapped by President Barack Obama to be the next U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, one of his first thoughts was that this could be the next home run in his career.
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Disciplinary rulings explore 'knowing' standard

July 21, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Attorneys faced misconduct cases involving incorrect citation, agreement-signing.
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Attorneys assist young entrepreneurs

July 21, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
When an attorney in a bar association’s program for young lawyers learned that a program that helps at-risk youth to start and maintain their own businesses was in transition and needed a little help, he suggested his group step in.
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SJCBA welcomes new members

July 21, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
The St. Joseph County Bar Association hosted its annual “An Evening at the Cove” June 30 for new members of the SJCBA at Coveleski Regional Stadium, home of the South Bend Silver Hawks baseball team.
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Lawyer elected U.S. Libertarian Party officer

July 21, 2010
Peter Schnitzler
Mark Rutherford wants America’s third-largest political party to make inroads by showing competence at the grassroots level of government.
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Anything you tweet may be used against you...Restricted Content

July 21, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Instant updates on Facebook and Twitter are becoming a staple in people’s lives, and those social media networks are becoming a more common part of the litigation process in state and federal courts.
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Justices consider juvenile placements

July 21, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court is considering a case where a St. Joseph County juvenile judge has declared unconstitutional three statutes involving child placements, a controversial issue that’s pitted many within the state judiciary against the Indiana Department of Child Services for the past two years.
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Furniture designer uses old law books

July 21, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
One Indianapolis furniture designer make benches, tables, a screen, and even a functioning chandelier out of book bindings.
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Former Indiana appellate deputy clerk dies

July 21, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A former deputy clerk for Indiana’s appellate courts died July 5 in Wisconsin from complications following a heart transplant.
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Attorney fees not recoverable under adult wrongful death statute

July 20, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
The Indiana Court of Appeals today disagreed about an issue of first impression regarding recovery of attorney fees under the adult wrongful death statute.
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  1. This guy sounds like the classic molester/manipulator.

  2. Louis D. Brandeis was born in 1856. At 9 years of age it would have been 1865. The Brandeis family did not own slaves. My source Louis D. Brandeis: A Life, by Melvin L. Urofsky.

  3. My name is Matthew Lucas Major, I recently went through a jury trial in Bloomington , In. It was the week of Feb 19-21. Although I have been incarcerated since August 5, 2014. The reason I 'am writing to you sir is on the 21 of February the jury came in with a very excessive and wrongful verdict of guilty on 6 child molesting charges against my daughter who was 9 at the time I was accused. I also had 2 other Felonies one of Intimidation and 1 of Sexual Vicarious Gratification. Judge Marc Kellam on the second day of trial gave me a not guilty on those 2 felonies. The jury was sent out during that time and when brought back Judge Kellam told them to not concern themselves with the 2 Felonies that he ruled on them. They were told to not let evidence they had already heard influence there verdicts. I never in my life touched any child sexually and definitely not with my own daughter. When I was arrested Detective Shawn Karr told me I would be convicted guilty just on my daughters word even without evidence. That's just what happened. my public defender did me so wrong he never once proved to the court and jury all the lies the child told, and Jeremy Noel my public defender could of proven the lies easily. The stories in Serenity's depositions and Forensic interview changed and were not consistent as Prosecutor Darcie Fawcett claimed they were. Yet my attorney never mentioned that. The facts that the child accused me of full penetration in her vagina and rectum was proven lies. Doctor Roberta Hibbard of Riley hospital in Indianapolis confirmed Serenity's hymen intact, no scars, no tearing, no signs of rape to her. Yet my attorney didn't use that knowledge . the DNA was all in my favor. I tell you I will spend my entire life in prison going through rape and beatings etc. even Judge Kellam abused his authority by telling the jurors to listen and believe what the prosecutors side in evidence like my daughters testimony. In one interview with the detectives my daughter got flustered with her mom and said on camera " I'm saying what you told me to mom"!! Yet Mr. Noel said nor did anything to even resemble a defense attorney. Judge Kellam allowed edited version of a taped conversation between the child and her mother. Also Judge Kellam allowed the Prosecutor too bring in to my case a knife found under my seat, the knife wasn't part of my case. She was allowed by my attorney and the judge to put a huge picture of it on the screen and huge picture of my naked privates in a full courtroom and open court. Ms. Fawcett says to jury see how easy Mr. Major could reach the knife and cut his Childs throat. Even though I had no weapons charge against these cases. This gave the jurors prejudice thought against me thinking I threatened her with that knife and how scared she would of been knowing i could get it and kill her. On my sentencing court March 19, 2014 my public defender told Judge Kellam he wish to resign from being my attorney and wished for the court to give me outside council to file a error to trial or appeal. We were denied. Now after openly knowing my public defender don't want to represent me he has to. Well when as parents we make our kids clean a room when they really don't wish to, well the child will but don't mean she will do a good job, that's where I'm at with Mr. Noel. please dont ignore mine and my families pleas for your help . we have all the legal proof you could need to prove Im innocent. Please dont make my spend years in prison innocent when you can fix this wrong. Im not saying Im a perfect man or that I was a perfect dad to my 2 children none of us are. Ive made some bad choices in life and I paid for them. But I didnt ever touch or rape my daughter . I love my children with all my heart. And now through needing attention and a ex-wife who told my granny several times she wish she could put me in prison to get me out of their lives. Well my ex finally accomplished her goal. Sad part is she is destroying our daughter with all this horrific lies and things she taught my daughter to say. My daughter will need therapist to ever hope for a chance of a normal life after what she had done to her by her mom and their side of the family. My daughter told everyone even on stand she had a dream months before i supposedly molested her in this dream I was molesting her and when I finally did it matched her dream perfectly. She admitted to watching movies about little girls being molested and watching U-Tube videos about child molesting all before it happened supposedly to her. Doesn't that sound very unusual that a non molested 9 yr old would need to know so much about being molested? The only reason I could think a 9 year old would need so much information is to be prepared to know what to say and be able to say how it felt what took place etc.. So when questioned by authorities she would be prepared. And there again sir if a parent is pre grooming a 9 year old child she would need intimate details . Like telling her daughter about a couple moles on my private area. The child admitted to sneaking my cell and looking many many times at nudes of me and my girlfriend even one where my penis was entering my girlfriends vagina. In that picture my moles are obvious. Yet when prosecutor showed everyone in court my privates and pictures of the moles she said the only way the child would know about them is if she saw them for herself. My attorney once again said nothing about the pictures my child saw. Or could a ex-wife be able to describe my moles to help her case against getting rid of me? I beg you help me. This is my very existence. Ive lost everything , a good job, a wonderful girlfriend, my freedom, but worse thing Ive lost is my children. They were my reason to get up every morning and strive to be better. The wonderful bond I had with my Serenity is gone. After this I would be afraid to even hug her for fear of what next can they do to me. I'm not afraid to tell you I sit here in this cell and try to hold back my tears. Everyone knows you cant show weakness in prison. My life has already been threatened here at Wabash Valley Prison. After only 3 days of arrival. I was tricked into signing a waiver now Im in G Block General Population with 6 child molesting felony charges. Mrs. Hart as a 18 year old I almost died hooked to machines in hospital almost 1 month and now I know that fear was childish compared to this . I cant help but put emotions in this, after all Mrs. Hart Im human and God help Me I never been more afraid in my life. I didnt hurt my little girl I didnt touch her sexually. As much as it shreds me and fills my mind what Im facing I worry more about my mom and granny because of their great love for me mam they are suffering so deeply. I aint done this things but my loved ones suffering right along beside me and If you take my case you will be in essence freeing them also. I sent momma this letter and asked her to email it to you. I'm scared I have been done so unjustly by our legal system and I need you to fix this and give me freedom. I ask you please don't just ignore my pleas. Here in America its nice to be able to trust our legal justice system, well they destroyed my and my loved ones trust in our justice system . And I'm trusting in You !!! My entire family is suffering this nightmare with me. My 77 year old granny had a stroke and isn't doing so well. My single mother that raised 3 kids alone is dying from Lupus and since my arrest has stayed so sick and weary. Our lives torn to peices by a government I was taught I could trust in. my momma has tried so many innocent project and wrongfully accused and cant get anywhere. please please help me. A quote from the late Nelson Mandela: To be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, But to live in a way that respects and enhances The Freedom Of Others. I have Faith in you and your clinic to cast my chains off and give me freedom I do deserve as a wrongfully accused Man, son, brother, father, friend. Matthew Major DOC# 246179 Cause # : 53c02-1308-FA-000779 God Bless you. Please contact me with your decision so I know you made a life changing decision for me , just please at least write me so I know you care enough about your citizens to respond to cries for your help. You can speak openly with my mother Charlotte Spain (828) 476-0406: 71 Lakeview Dr. Canton, NC 28716 Thank You Matthew Major I know yall get thousands of request and inmates claiming innocence, and each person who are innocent deserve to have organizations like yours willing to fight for them and I give yall so much Thanks and I thank God everyday yall are out there caring enough to help free the innocents. Since discovering firsthand how easily lives and families can be destroyed by Poor Defense attorneys not doing their job . And Prosecutors allowed to do as they please in court

  4. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  5. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

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