Legal News

Judge: not all farm expenses are tax deductible

December 8, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A probate court incorrectly allowed an estate to deduct three farm-related expenses from its inheritance tax return, but affirmed the deduction of the remaining nine in question, the Indiana Tax Court ruled Tuesday.
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Appellate court rules traffic stop legal

December 8, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A police officer had reasonable suspicion to stop the car of a man who parked illegally in a handicapped spot after the car made it on to the street, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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SCOTUS takes case on whether vehicular flight from police is a 'violent felony'Restricted Content

December 8, 2010
Michael Hoskins
No one disputes fleeing in a vehicle from police is a crime. But whether that crime is considered a “violent” one worthy of an enhanced sentence under a long-standing federal career criminal statute is a legal nuance now an issue before the nation’s highest court, and Indiana is playing a key role.
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Small law firm dissolving as 9 attorneys go to Bose McKinney

December 8, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Most of the lawyers at a civil litigation firm in Indianapolis are departing for one of the city’s largest law firms at the end of the year, dissolving a firm with a rich history that’s been around in some form since the early 1980s and has included some high-profile attorneys such as Birch and Evan Bayh.
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Encouraging diversity at law schoolsRestricted Content

December 8, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
When asked if diversity played a role in their decisions on where to attend law school, a handful of minority law students in Indiana said while it wasn’t the biggest or only factor, it often was a consideration.
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Judge and his wife use son's death to discuss prescription drug abuseRestricted Content

December 8, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The scream that pierced the silence one morning almost two years ago is one that haunts Marion Superior Judge Bill Nelson every day, and it likely will for the rest of his life.
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Fewer filings, newer trends

December 8, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The number of cases filed in the state courts dropped slightly in 2009 from the previous year, but the nearly two million filings still amounted to the second-highest number ever for Indiana.
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Attorneys help wounded warriors

December 8, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Since June, a number of Indiana-based Army Reservists have been helping American soldiers in their greatest hour of need.
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Justices order Marion traffic judge's suspension

December 8, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has suspended the Marion County traffic judge who’s admitted he imposed excessive fines and treated people unfairly in his court partly because he wanted to discourage future litigants from exercising their constitutional right to trial.
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Local courts, educational program named after 3 Indiana jurists

December 8, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The practice of naming a building after someone is a longstanding tradition throughout the country, but one of the most common practices in those renamings is waiting until someone dies to dedicate that place.
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ITLA focuses on education, legislation, amicus briefs

December 8, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
As the year comes to a close, the president of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association said the organization of about 1,000 members will continue its three major goals: to provide educational opportunities, to write amicus briefs when there is a broader issue that can apply to cases and clients of trial attorneys, and to track bills as they are submitted by legislators for the 2011 session of the Indiana Legislature.
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Judge's collection inspired military museum in Vincennes

December 8, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
After starting his collection of World War II memorabilia as a child, almost three decades ago a judge in southern Indiana had amassed enough artifacts, including jets and tanks, to open a museum in Vincennes.
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Job fair connects diverse students to jobs

December 8, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
To help a diverse group of 2L students find summer employment in central Indiana, and to help Indianapolis-area employers connect with diverse, qualified students looking for summer associate positions, the Indianapolis Bar Association hosted its third diversity job fair at a downtown Indianapolis hotel in August.
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COA: student loan funds exempt from garnishment

December 7, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
The Court of Appeals today found that student loan funds that had been deposited in a personal account were exempt when it came to whether those funds could be taken from a defendant’s bank account to satisfy a judgment regarding legal fees the defendant owed to the plaintiff.
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Court reverses because of DCS notification policy

December 7, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed the parental right termination decision made by a trial court, ruling that both the court and Indiana Department of Child Services in Porter County denied a biological father his due process by not notifying him of CHINS proceedings that ultimately led to his paternal rights being taken away.
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Judges uphold denying visitation to ex-partner

December 7, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today that lawmakers didn’t intend to allow parents to establish joint custody with third parties under Indiana Code Section 31-17-2-3 by simply filing a joint petition with a trial court. Doing so would allow parents and third parties to circumvent the requirements of the Adoption Act.
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Free CLE offered for pro bono volunteers

December 7, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Bar associations and pro bono districts are working together to encourage attorneys to sign up to participate in the annual statewide Talk to a Lawyer Today event taking place Jan. 17, 2011. Free CLE, which is offered in December and January to lawyers who volunteer their time with TTALT but is not required to participate in the event, is a video replay of a CLE that originally took place in Indianapolis in October.
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Sale to trust creates first impression

December 6, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A sale of a home to a trust that included disputed errors in a sales disclosure form presented an issue of first impression for the Indiana Court of Appeals Monday.
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Court splits on duty owed by independent contractor

December 6, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge dissented from his colleagues because he believed the majority’s ruling placed an “impossible burden” on contractors regarding whether a homebuyer was rightfully on the premises the day she was injured.
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Social-services recipients entitled to injunctive relief

December 3, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Family and Social Services Administration’s adverse action notices pertaining to public benefits programs that don’t name specific missing eligibility documents don’t comport with the requirement of procedural due process, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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COA: Man’s intoxication doesn’t prevent recovery

December 3, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of a bar because the trial court was incorrect in ruling that an injured man’s voluntary intoxication precluded any recovery under the Dram Shop Act.
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Court orders attorney’s fees following bad faith appeal

December 2, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a Colorado attorney and his brother engaged in procedural bad faith in appealing the third amended final accounting of their deceased mother’s estate and ordered them to pay appellate attorney’s fees to the estate.
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7th Circuit: judge erred when sentencing man

December 2, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered an Indiana District Court to take another look at a man’s sentence because the judge cited incorrect information during sentencing.
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Ice Miller elects new chief managing partner

December 2, 2010
IL Staff
Phillip L. Bayt has been chosen as the new leader for Indianapolis-based law firm Ice Miller. Bayt will take over chief managing partner duties Jan. 1 from Byron Myers, whose term expires at the end of the year.
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Judges: Officers lacked reasonable suspicion to stop and detain man

December 1, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man’s detention following a traffic stop wasn’t supported by reasonable suspicion, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed his drug conviction today.
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  1. I like the concept. Seems like a good idea and really inexpensive to manage.

  2. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  3. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  4. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  5. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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