Legal News

SCOTUS won't take Indiana lab tech case

June 14, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The nation’s highest court won’t take a case from the Indiana Supreme Court, which decided last year that it did not violate a man’s Sixth Amendment rights for a lab technician who’d processed DNA evidence to not testify at trial.
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COA refuses to rule defendants get blanket immunity

June 11, 2010
Jennifer Nelson

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that an arrestee brought to the hospital by police who was forced to have a catheter to obtain a urine sample can’t sue the health-care providers under the Medical Malpractice Act. The appellate judges also ruled the health-care providers weren’t entitled to blanket immunity.

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Senate to vote on Judge Pratt Tuesday

June 11, 2010
Michael Hoskins

The U.S. Senate plans to vote on a Marion Superior judge’s nomination for the federal bench on Tuesday, according to a spokesman in Sen. Evan’s Bayh’s office. Senators agreed Thursday to consider the nomination of Marion Superior Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, whom the president chose in January for the Southern District of Indiana to succeed Judge David F. Hamilton. Judge Hamilton was elevated to the federal appeals bench late last year.

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Court rules on liability in nursing home accident

June 10, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals today turned to an issue that has been dealt with few times in state court history:

What happens when a nursing home facility brings a local string band to play for the residents, and one of those volunteers arrives on the property and drives into the building before the performance, jumping a curb and striking a nursing home resident on the front porch before crashing into the building itself?
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Supreme Court denies transfer to four

June 10, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger

The Indiana Supreme Court denied transfer in four cases June 3. As of today’s Indiana Lawyer daily deadline, the court had not yet posted transfers since those from the week ending June 4.

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Judges: no private cause allowed for not reporting abuse, neglect

June 10, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Standing behind a decision made by appellate judges about 20 years ago, the Indiana Court of Appeals has again declined to interpret state statute in a way that allows for a private right of action for failing to report child abuse or neglect.
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Justices say sentencing scores can be used

June 10, 2010
Michael Hoskins
State trial judges can consider sentencing scores to help tailor penalties to individual defendants, as long as those results aren’t used as final aggravating or mitigating factors in deciding a penalty length, the Indiana Supreme Court says
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Judges uphold sentence increase on appeal

June 10, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the defendant’s sentence that they had increased on appeal in March in an opinion on rehearing today and addressed the characteristics of an Indiana Appellate Rule 7(B) review.
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Court rules on literacy program, educational credit time

June 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
While applauding a prison inmate for pursuing higher education while behind bars, the Indiana Court of Appeals has determined that man shouldn’t receive additional educational credit time for a program the state system doesn’t consider to fit into its definition of “literacy and life skills” programs.
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Justices asked to revisit Indian family law

June 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
At least one Indiana Court of Appeals judge believes the state’s highest court should revisit how it applies a three-decade old statute to tribal Indian family adoption issues inside Indiana.
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Justices differ on defining 'youth program center'

June 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Two Indiana Supreme Court justices objected to affirming a man’s drug sentence for possession within 1,000 feet of a “youth program center” because the church that ran the programs wasn’t easily identifiable as regularly running programs for kids.
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Articles about pending cases raise concernsRestricted Content

June 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
At least two attorneys are questioning how some legal publications have included articles, columns, or other types of coverage on pending cases, and they worry that these articles may influence the judges on the cases.
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Center, interns address migrant workers' legal rightsRestricted Content

June 9, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Indiana Legal Services Migrant Farm Workers Center, led by Melody Goldberg, helps migrant workers understand their legal rights.
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Indiana Justice Boehm stepping down after 14 years

June 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
After more than a decade on the Indiana Supreme Court, Justice Theodore Boehm is ready to enter the next stage of his life and career.
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Criminal tax evasion offers legal option in targeting dog, puppy millsRestricted Content

June 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A July 2009 law put more strength behind local prosecutors and state regulators who can now more diligently pursue illegal animal activity of puppy mills who don't pay taxes.
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Groups to offer August seminars on attorney retirement

June 9, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
There’s an old joke in the legal profession that attorneys never retire.So the Indiana State Bar Association and Indiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program have partnered to present three conferences in late August about retirement preparation.
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Schedule set to fill upcoming Indiana Supreme Court vacancyRestricted Content

June 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Anyone who wants to be the next Indiana Supreme Court justice has until the end of June to apply for upcoming vacancy on the state’s highest court.
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Tippecanoe bar gets new officers

June 9, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
The Tippecanoe County Bar Association, which has about 100 active dues-paying members, has elected the several Lafayette attorneys to be officers.
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County official wants review of new ethics leaderRestricted Content

June 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A Dearborn County commissioner alleges the county’s former attorney has wrongly accused two officials of violating federal law and has asked the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission to launch an investigation of its soon-to-be leader who starts in that office June 21.
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Disciplinary Actions - 6/9

June 9, 2010
IL Staff
Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission actions from the June 9 Indiana Lawyer.
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Senate votes on federal magistrate's nomination

June 9, 2010
Michael HoskinsMore

Justices order new trial based on traffic judge's conduct

June 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has set the stage for a judicial disciplinary action against a Marion County Traffic Court judge for his courtroom conduct on a speeding and suspended license case last year.
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Pizza chain sued for Rockwell-themed ads

June 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The owners of the rights to Normal Rockwell art are suing a Michigan-based pizza company for re-creating a famous painting to sell pizzas during the holidays.
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Lawyer elected vice chairman of Libertarian Party

June 9, 2010
IL Staff
Indianapolis attorney Mark Rutherford is the new vice chairman of the Libertarian National Committee.
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Officer's questions went beyond seat belt act

June 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The inquiry by a police officer to a driver stopped for a seat belt violation about the "large, unusual bulge" in his pants went beyond the state's Seatbelt Enforcement Act, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
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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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