Legal News

COA: IURC improperly approved utility’s 7-year plan

April 8, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
In the appeal of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s decision to approve rate increases requested by a northern Indiana utility group under a new statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded the commission erred in approving a seven-year plan that only gave specifics about year one.
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Court declines to interfere in former pastor’s breach of contract suit

April 8, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Greensburg pastor who filed a complaint against his former church after they terminated his contract was not able to prove to the Court of Appeals that the courts could review his claims without reference to either church law or doctrine.
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Court affirms amount of heroin attributable to defendant

April 8, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man convicted of conspiracy to distribute heroin could not convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that the trial court incorrectly found him to be responsible for buying and selling at least 1,040 grams of heroin over a six-year period.
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Known loss doctrine bars claim against insurers

April 8, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The insurers of a company that purchased property it knew was contaminated are not required to defend or indemnify the company regarding the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s remediation action, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Wednesday.
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New criminal code not applicable to offenses committed prior to enactment

April 8, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana General Assembly explicitly stated that the revised criminal code does not apply to penalties, crimes or proceedings that began before the effective date of July 1, 2014, so a man is not entitled to be sentenced under the more-favorable criminal code, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Man sues ex-sheriff, others over probe of his father's death

April 8, 2015
 Associated Press
The son of a central Indiana man whose death was originally ruled a suicide is suing a former sheriff, a county coroner and four deputies who investigated his death.
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Former Indiana nose doctor to serve probation in Florida

April 8, 2015
 Associated Press
A former northwestern Indiana nose surgeon who pleaded guilty three years ago to 22 counts of health care fraud after disappearing while vacationing in Greece will be allowed to serve the remainder of his probation in Florida.
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Supporters: Justice Center needed now, will boost downtown Indianapolis

April 8, 2015
Dave Stafford
Representatives of legal, business and labor organizations said the proposed Marion County Criminal Justice Complex is a long-delayed and necessary development that would employ thousands and pump up downtown Indianapolis by vacating outdated jail and court facilities.
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Judging how Indy elects judges

April 8, 2015
Dave Stafford
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posed tough questions for the state’s defense of the pay-to-play, power-sharing system of judicial slating in Marion County.
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Courts will have a central role in interpreting Indiana's amended RFRA

April 8, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Even before Gov. Mike Pence signed Senate Enrolled Act 101, even before the firestorm of protests started and the nation turned its attention to Indiana, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act appeared to be on its way to court.
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Vet: Unjust civil commitment 'takes everything' away

April 8, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Marine Corps veteran is trying to put his life back together after he was wrongly committed when a court found him gravely disabled and dangerous. His case before the Indiana Supreme Court recently reformed the requirements necessary to deprive the liberty of someone with mental illness.
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7th Circuit decision provides 'well-reasoned test' for standard exclusion provision

April 8, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
When construction on a mixed-use development project in Missouri ran short of money and eventually stopped, the “standard exclusion” included in many title insurance policies came before to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals for another review.
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Elder law matures

April 8, 2015
Dave Stafford
Claire Lewis has been an elder law attorney since before there was such a thing. She can recall a time when people would have asked what she was talking about if she described that as her profession.
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Senate panel approves repeal of construction wage law

April 7, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana's practice of having local boards set wages for public construction projects would be repealed under a GOP-led push that Senate committee members approved Tuesday, a move opponents say could have a negative impact on the industry's workforce.
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Magistrate opening in Allen County

April 7, 2015
IL Staff
Allen Superior Court has announced an opening for a magistrate in the criminal division.
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Enhancements for different offenses are permissible

April 7, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A drunken driver handed a stiff sentence for repeated offenses was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals his penalty was an improper double enhancement.
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Convicted murderer who claims innocence loses PCR appeal

April 7, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of a 1993 murder in southern Indiana was not wrongly denied post-conviction relief on his argument that his lawyer was ineffective for failing to recommend he take a plea deal, among other things.
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IU Maurer professor remembered for criminal justice work

April 7, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A longtime professor at Indiana University Maurer School of Law is being remembered as a ‘crusader for justice’ by those he worked with and taught. 
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One test enough to uphold methamphetamine conviction

April 7, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Despite a second test not being conducted to confirm the presumptive findings, a Cass County man’s drug conviction was upheld after the Indiana Court of Appeals found the state had established reliability of the test performed.
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Hearing to be held on proposed Indy Criminal Justice Center

April 7, 2015
IL Staff
The first of several public hearings on the proposed Indianapolis Criminal Justice Center complex will take place at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in Room 118 of the Indianapolis City-County Building.
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Pence objection blocks adoptees' birth-record access, advocates say

April 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
Gov. Mike Pence’s objections to a bill that would open the birth records for hundreds of thousands of adult Hoosiers thwarted chances it will pass the General Assembly this session, according to proponents who said they have been informed the bill will receive no further hearings in the House of Representatives.
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Reversal: Bank’s refiled foreclosure 'disingenuous,' 'improper'

April 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
A bank won summary judgment in a refiled mortgage foreclosure suit against a bankrupt couple after its first complaint was dismissed, but the Indiana Court of Appeals slapped down the trial court ruling Monday and dismissed the case.
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New Albany council to weigh in on religious objections law

April 6, 2015
 Associated Press
The revision of Indiana's religious objections law isn't stopping a southern Indiana city from considering a measure condemning the statute.
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Court: NYC woman can serve divorce papers via Facebook

April 6, 2015
 Associated Press
Social media continues to make headway into the legal system. A judge has given a New York City woman permission to file for divorce from her elusive husband via a Facebook message.
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Groups aim to further expand gay rights at state level

April 6, 2015
 Associated Press
Gay rights advocates are hoping to parlay the momentum from their legislative victories in Indiana and Arkansas this week into further expanding legal protections for gays and lesbians in those states and others.
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  1. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  2. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  3. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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