Latest News

Denial of witness testimony was harmless error, COA rules

February 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Although the trial court abused its discretion when it did not allow a person to testify on behalf of the defendant based on a separation of witnesses violation, the error was harmless, ruled the Court of Appeals in affirming a man’s felony convictions of vicarious sexual gratification and possession of child pornography.
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COA clarifies decision in reversed CHINS case

February 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals granted the Department of Child Services’ request for rehearing of an August 2014 decision in which the court reversed a child in need of services finding for a child whose father was in the Navy for the first few years of the child’s life. The judges clarified their reasoning but affirmed their decision in all respects.
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Justices: Previous ruling did not alter fundamental error doctrine

February 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court wants to clear up potential confusion involving the state’s fundamental error doctrine.
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House panel backs ending straight-ticket voting

February 12, 2015
 Associated Press
A legislative committee has endorsed a proposal that would eliminate straight party-line voting on Indiana election ballots.
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Judge denies defense motions for Indy house blast suspect

February 12, 2015
 Associated Press
The defense of a suspect in a 2012 Indianapolis house explosion that killed two people and damaged dozens of homes has been dealt a setback after a judge denied two of its motions.
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House panel passes bill lifting ban on Sunday alcohol sales

February 11, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indiana House committee has approved a bill that would lift the ban on Sunday carry-out alcohol sales while also placing new restrictions on grocery stores and pharmacies.
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Indianapolis lawyer wins $79M telecom verdict

February 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis lawyer won a $79 million federal jury verdict for Missouri landowners who had not been compensated for fiber optic Internet cables a telecommunications company carried on power lines that crossed their property.
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Veterans court bill gets green light from Senate committee

February 11, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A bill that would establish veterans courts in every judicial district has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and been reassigned to the Appropriations Committee.
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Couple needed expert testimony to show proximate cause in defective air bag suit

February 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A couple suing Ford Motor Company, alleging their 2003 Mercury Mountaineer was defective because the air bags did not deploy in an accident, lost their case because they failed to designate expert testimony to support their claim.
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Panel issues 3 opinions on interplay between T.R. 15(C) and 17(F)

February 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
While the three judges on the Indiana Court of Appeals panel agreed summary judgment was proper for an Indianapolis attorney being sued for defamation and other claims because the statute of limitations had expired, each judge interpreted the interplay between Trial Rules 15(C) and 17(F) differently.
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Man fails to prove Supreme Court would rule against established caselaw

February 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of an insurance adjuster’s motion to dismiss it from an injured man’s lawsuit alleging negligence in how it handled his case. The judges pointed out that the Indiana Court of Appeals has held that an insurance adjuster owes no legal duty to the insured and the plaintiff didn’t show that the Indiana Supreme Court would disagree with that decision.
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COA: Postnuptial agreement is enforceable

February 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
It is not a requirement that one party in a marriage must initiate divorce proceedings in order for the parties to later enter into a valid and enforceable reconciliation agreement, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Awarded guardianship fees overturned due to potential misconduct

February 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because a trial court did not look at whether fees requested by a man’s former guardians were necessary, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the order they receive more than $15,000 from his estate.
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Justices vacate transfer in insurance dispute

February 11, 2015
IL Staff
A divided Indiana Supreme Court decided last week that it will no longer take an insurance case involving a landlord and tenant that also divided the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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MacArthur Foundation pledges $75M toward fixing US jails

February 11, 2015
 Associated Press
To reduce the number of people locked up in local jails around the U.S., the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced it plans to give $75 million to local jail officials working on ways to remove nonviolent offenders, people too poor to afford bail and the mentally ill from behind bars.
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Publicity complicates jury selection for 3 major US trials

February 11, 2015
 Associated Press
Texas lived up to its reputation for swift justice by taking just three days to seat a jury for the trial of the man charged with killing the former Navy SEAL depicted in "American Sniper." But jury selection in two other major U.S. cases is taking much longer.
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Indiana bills to increase minimum wage go unheard

February 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
More than half of states in the U.S. have enacted laws increasing their minimum wages above the federal standard of $7.25 an hour, but the Indiana Legislature won’t even discuss it.
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Lawyer to justices: 4th Amendment waivers require reasonable suspicion

February 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
Community corrections officers should have cause before searching the home of someone who has signed a waiver of their Fourth Amendment rights as a condition of probation, a lawyer argued recently before the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Homeless Project enables attorneys to offer advice and guidance to shelter residents

February 11, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Residents in homeless shelters in Indianapolis are receiving legal advice and guidance through the Homeless Shelter Project. The program, now administered by the Indianapolis Bar Association, sends pairs of attorneys to a handful of shelters around the city every three weeks to meet with residents needing help.
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Legislature tinkers with new Indiana criminal code

February 11, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Two different stories by two different witnesses highlighted Indiana’s continuing struggles with its new criminal code.
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New class at Notre Dame gets students to think about technology’s impact

February 11, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Lawyers should not feel threatened by the new programs and websites that, in some cases, let lay people handle some of their legal issues, an attorney and legal technology entrepreneur says. In fact, the new technology actually allows lawyers to fill their true role as counselors.
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Texts present unique challenges in evidence preservation and admission

February 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
Of the billions of text messages sent daily in the world, a few will wind up as evidence in litigation. A few that should will not, and that could mean trouble for lawyers.
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Foos: Forget the next big thing; focus on your existing technology

February 11, 2015
What we often forget is that the focus of legal-based technology is to increase the productivity of attorneys, paralegals and administrative staff. We’re focused on the next big thing when we should be identifying how to customize our existing technology to save time and increase productivity.
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Lucas: Looking back, looking ahead, and saying thanks

February 11, 2015
Kelly Lucas
The dramatic changes that our world has experienced, and the impact those changes have had on the practice of law, has produced a fertile supply of topics to address over the years.
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Indiana Judges Association: Law, time and judgment are shared responsibilities

February 11, 2015
David Dreyer
When New York City claimed 20-30 inches of snow were coming (and got less than 10), I was reminded of so many lawyers who claim three days for their case (but only use one). All of us on the bench or bar tailor our talents toward forming our best judgments. Such a responsibility necessarily includes the talented due consideration of time.
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