Legal News

Justices rule on trust mill UPL case

April 14, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana State Bar Association has won an unauthorized practice of law action against an estate planning services company, but wasn't able to completely sway the state's highest court that all "costs and expenses" should be completely granted for the prosecution of the case.
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Judges disagree on case involving juror strikesRestricted Content

April 14, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A Marion County deputy prosecutor's striking of potential jurors has divided an Indiana Court of Appeals panel, with judges disagreeing about whether it should second-guess a lower court's finding that no racial discrimination was in play in striking the African-American jurors.
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Practitioners say recent tax rulings help clarify precedentRestricted Content

April 14, 2010
Michael Hoskins
When Indianapolis attorney Larry Stroble read two recent rulings from the Indiana Tax Court, he saw one consistent message that speaks broadly to an overall inadequacy of the legal system.
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SCOTUS chief visits law school as part of lecture seriesRestricted Content

April 14, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
The chief justice of the Supreme Court of the United States was warmly greeted by a full house April 7 at Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis at the annual James P. White Lecture on Legal Education.
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Johnsen bows out out 15-month partisan battleRestricted Content

April 14, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Indiana has lost a chance at having one of its own law professors be chosen to lead a top Department of Justice post, where she would have helped advise the president and executive branch on questions about the Constitution and interpretation of the law.
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Legal community reflects on prosecutor issuesRestricted Content

April 14, 2010
Michael Hoskins
As controversy swirls around the Marion County Prosecutor's Office, attorneys throughout Indiana have their eyes on how the ethical issues can be a lesson for the state's legal community.
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Valparaiso sports law clinic keeps busyRestricted Content

April 14, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
While a Sports Law Clinic at an Indiana law school hasn't gone to the Olympics since the 2006 winter games in Torino, Italy, it doesn't mean they haven't been busy.
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Supreme Court disbars attorney

April 14, 2010
The Indiana Supreme Court disbarred a northern Indiana attorney April 1 for violating the terms of a previous suspension, entering into an improper business transaction with a client, and engaging in dishonest conduct.
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IP attorney heads fundraising campaign for United WayRestricted Content

April 14, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Possibly the first practicing attorney to take on a task of this nature, veteran lawyer Don Knebel has set out as the 2010 campaign chair to expand the United Way donor base and raise as much as $40 million this year in central Indiana.
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Brizzi regrets perception damage

April 14, 2010
Michael Hoskins
If he had it to do over again, Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi said he wouldn't get involved in a real estate deal with a local criminal defense attorney.
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Indiana chief justice getting national award

April 13, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard will receive a prestigious award from the American Judicature Society, recognizing his judicial excellence in the state.
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AG objects to East Chicago settlement

April 12, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Attorney General has filed an objection to a City of East Chicago deal with Second Century, a for-profit company that has received casino money, that would settle a lawsuit between the parties.
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Court reverses handgun conviction

April 12, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed today a defendant's conviction of carrying a handgun without a license because the circumstantial evidence doesn't support that the man had the requisite intent to constructively possess the gun.
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Law professor ends 15-month nomination battle

April 12, 2010
Michael Hoskins
On a historic day when a longtime U.S. Supreme Court justice announced his retirement and an Indianapolis judge marked his investiture to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, an Indiana law professor withdrew her name from consideration for a post with the Department of Justice.
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SCOTUS chief visits law school

April 8, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
The chief justice of the United States talked about the history of the Supreme Court to a full house Wednesday night at Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis and took audience questions at the annual James P. White Lecture on Legal Education.
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Justices grant 2 transfers

April 6, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has agreed to consider cases that involve a trial court's handling of a mentally ill murder defendant, and whether the First Amendment protects a volunteer firefighter's e-mails about the township department's financial situation.
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Indiana soldiers refile suit against contractors

April 5, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Members of the Indiana National Guard have refiled a toxic exposure suit against Texas contractors in a Houston federal court. The suit, originally filed in Indiana federal court in 2008, was dismissed in February for lack of personal jurisdiction.
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Judge dissents on qualified immunity issue

April 5, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Judges on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed as to whether law enforcement officers were entitled to qualified immunity for their use of flash-bang devices in attempting to remove a suicidal man from his home.
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Court puts death penalty case on hold

April 2, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed an Indianapolis judge's decision on a death penalty case, putting a condemned convict's death penalty appeal on hold indefinitely because of his current mental state.
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FMLA leave doesn't accrue hours for benefits

April 2, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed an Indiana District judge's decision that an employee on family medical leave doesn't accrue those hours for benefits and can be fired for violating attendance policies.
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Maintenance affects state courts online services

April 1, 2010
IL Staff
Scheduled maintenance will make several online services provided on the Indiana Court's Web site unavailable beginning today at 7 p.m.
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COA upholds termination of parental rights

April 1, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the termination of a mother and father's parental rights based on sufficient evidence. The appellate court also found the mother couldn't appeal on the basis that the Department of Child Services failed to prove her drug use when she repeatedly refused to submit to drug testing.
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Judges disagree on retroactive support issue

March 31, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
In a matter of first impression, a panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges couldn't agree on whether an initial support order can be retroactive to a date preceding the filing of a petition for resolution. The judges disagreed as to whether a court has the authority to reach into an intact marriage and order a party to pay child support to the other.
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COA sets standard in parental rights cases

March 31, 2010
Michael Hoskins
In addressing a statutory inconsistency on parental rights terminations, the Indiana Court of Appeals has held that trial judges must offer findings of fact in those types of cases just as they're required to by law for children in need of services cases and grandparent visitation matters.
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Indiana juvenile justice bill first in nationRestricted Content

March 31, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
In what started at a summit hosted by the Indiana State Bar Association in August, House Enrolled Act 1193, which authorizes a work study commission to consider various juvenile justice issues in Indiana, was signed by the governor March 17.
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  1. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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