Criminal case

First impression case on mouthpieces as 'foreign substance'

September 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
In a matter of first impression, a portable breath test mouthpiece isn’t a foreign substance that will act to invalidate the results of a blood alcohol content Datamaster chemical breath test, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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High court orders new murder trial

September 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court overturned a Fulton County man’s murder sentence because a detective continued with the interview even after the man invoked his right to counsel several times.
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Supreme Court affirms sexually violent predator status

September 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A man’s challenge to the finding that he is a sexually violent predator failed because the invited error doctrine precludes consideration of his claims on appeal, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today.
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Justices remand to see if defendant had accurate interpreting

September 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ordered the post-conviction court to hold a new hearing for a Mexican man who claimed he didn’t mean to plead guilty to two felonies and did so only because of faulty interpreting in court.
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Majority orders new requirement for pro se defendants with little guidance

September 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Three Indiana Supreme Court justices created a new requirement as an exercise of supervisory powers when it comes to informing future defendants about the dangers of proceeding pro se, leaving two justices to dissent because the new requirement provides no guidance as to what trial courts must do or say.
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Court reaffirms 3-step test for in camera review

September 24, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals doesn’t believe that its previous ruling regarding the in camera review of an organization’s documents relating to alleged molestation victims sends the message that it’s “open season” on the records of victim services providers.
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Appellate court vacates murder, dealing convictions

September 23, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals vacated convictions of felony murder and dealing in a controlled substance because the state didn’t prove the man was involved in the dealing of ecstasy.
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COA: Hearsay evidence properly admitted

September 22, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the admission of hearsay evidence of a woman’s testimony to an officer that her boyfriend hit her because the evidence was admissible under the excited utterance exception.
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Supreme Court takes 4 cases

September 21, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to four cases Sept. 17, including one involving translated transcripts presented to a jury in a drug case.
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Justices take 3 cases

September 13, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court accepted transfer of three cases last week, including a case in which the Indiana Court of Appeals lengthened a man’s sentence.
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Judge orders law firms to repay city $453,282

September 2, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A Merrillville attorney and three law firms must repay East Chicago a total $453,282 in legal fees they collected for defending former city officials in the Sidewalk Six scandal.
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Appeals court looks at revised law on sex-offense status

September 1, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals remanded a case today with instructions to re-examine a case about a man’s disputed classification as a sexually violent predator.
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Judges rule man's right to speedy trial was violated

August 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The state had an affirmative duty to pursue prosecution of a defendant under his right to a speedy trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today. The appellate court also disapproved of the state’s blanket policy to not attempt to secure the attendance of an accused incarcerated person in a foreign jurisdiction until he has finished serving his sentence there.
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7th Circuit reverses lower court on stun-belt issue

August 26, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a District judge’s decision that a man convicted of murder received ineffective assistance of counsel during his trial because his attorney didn’t object to the state making him wear a stun belt in court.
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7th Circuit affirms sentences for bank robbing couple

August 25, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the convictions and sentences of a boyfriend and girlfriend on bank robbery convictions, finding the boyfriend waived his appeal of his sentence and the jury instructions were correct in the girlfriend’s trial.
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Look-alike offense counts as controlled-substance offense in sentencing

August 25, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A previous conviction for a “look-alike” offense constitutes a controlled-substance offense for sentencing purposes, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for the first time Tuesday.
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COA upholds denial of motion to suppress

August 24, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s argument that the state’s courts should recognize a privacy interest in the subscriber information of an Internet service provider.
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Federal identity theft statute includes use of deceased's identity

August 18, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A person can be convicted of aggravated identity theft under 18 U.S.C. Section 1028A for using the identity of a person who is dead or alive, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in an issue of first impression.
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7th Circuit affirms Lake County official's sentence

August 11, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld Robert Cantrell’s 78-month sentence for various convictions, including using his position in public office for kickbacks.
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7th Circuit: Officer allowed to resume frisk

August 10, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
As one 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judge cautioned, it’s generally not a good idea to ride around in a car with cocaine on you when police have many reasons why they may legitimately stop the car.
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Felony can't be modified to misdemeanor 9 years later

August 6, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
In a case of first impression, the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded with instructions a trial court’s modification of a criminal sentence from a Class D felony to a Class A misdemeanor nine years after the appellee-defendant pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
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Judges find ruling denied mentally ill man's due process rights

August 5, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed today the denial of a mentally ill man’s motion to dismiss charges against him because not dismissing the charges was a violation of his due process rights.
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7th Circuit expands inquiry to implicit motion for new attorney

August 5, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals expanded caselaw today when ruling on a defendant’s request for new counsel.
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Court defines due process rights for drug court participants

July 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a defendant that his due process rights were denied when his participation in a drug court program was ended without giving him notice of a hearing, or allowing him to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses.
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Judge worries ruling may make bright-line rule in traffic stops

July 27, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges each wrote their own opinion on whether a police officer’s safety concerns were legitimate enough to allow the officer to search a car after a traffic stop.
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  1. People have heard of Magna Carta, and not the Provisions of Oxford & Westminster. Not that anybody really cares. Today, it might be considered ethnic or racial bias to talk about the "Anglo Saxon common law." I don't even see the word English in the blurb above. Anyhow speaking of Edward I-- he was famously intolerant of diversity himself viz the Edict of Expulsion 1290. So all he did too like making parliament a permanent institution-- that all must be discredited. 100 years from now such commemorations will be in the dustbin of history.

  2. Oops, I meant discipline, not disciple. Interesting that those words share such a close relationship. We attorneys are to be disciples of the law, being disciplined to serve the law and its source, the constitutions. Do that, and the goals of Magna Carta are advanced. Do that not and Magna Carta is usurped. Do that not and you should be disciplined. Do that and you should be counted a good disciple. My experiences, once again, do not reveal a process that is adhering to the due process ideals of Magna Carta. Just the opposite, in fact. Braveheart's dying rebel (for a great cause) yell comes to mind.

  3. It is not a sign of the times that many Ind licensed attorneys (I am not) would fear writing what I wrote below, even if they had experiences to back it up. Let's take a minute to thank God for the brave Baron's who risked death by torture to tell the government that it was in the wrong. Today is a career ruination that whistleblowers risk. That is often brought on by denial of licenses or disciple for those who dare speak truth to power. Magna Carta says truth rules power, power too often claims that truth matters not, only Power. Fight such power for the good of our constitutional republics. If we lose them we have only bureaucratic tyranny to pass onto our children. Government attorneys, of all lawyers, should best realize this and work to see our patrimony preserved. I am now a government attorney (once again) in Kansas, and respecting the rule of law is my passion, first and foremost.

  4. I have dealt with more than a few I-465 moat-protected government attorneys and even judges who just cannot seem to wrap their heads around the core of this 800 year old document. I guess monarchial privileges and powers corrupt still ..... from an academic website on this fantastic "treaty" between the King and the people ... "Enduring Principles of Liberty Magna Carta was written by a group of 13th-century barons to protect their rights and property against a tyrannical king. There are two principles expressed in Magna Carta that resonate to this day: "No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land." "To no one will We sell, to no one will We deny or delay, right or justice." Inspiration for Americans During the American Revolution, Magna Carta served to inspire and justify action in liberty’s defense. The colonists believed they were entitled to the same rights as Englishmen, rights guaranteed in Magna Carta. They embedded those rights into the laws of their states and later into the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution ("no person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.") is a direct descendent of Magna Carta's guarantee of proceedings according to the "law of the land." http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/magna_carta/

  5. I'm not sure what's more depressing: the fact that people would pay $35,000 per year to attend an unaccredited law school, or the fact that the same people "are hanging in there and willing to follow the dean’s lead in going forward" after the same school fails to gain accreditation, rendering their $70,000 and counting education worthless. Maybe it's a good thing these people can't sit for the bar.

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