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Bills on magistrates; custody and visitation pass House

February 21, 2013
IL Staff
The Indiana House of Representatives passed House Bill 1041 Thursday morning 96-0. The bill addresses petitions to modify custody and visitation involving children who have been abused or neglected.
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COA answers first impression issue on custodial statements

February 21, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant convicted of a burglary in St. Joseph County challenged the admission of his prior statement to police while in custody, arguing the statement couldn’t be allowed at his trial because a recorded version of the statement wasn’t available at trial as required by Indiana Evidence Rule 617.
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Valparaiso dean leaving for Charlotte law school

February 21, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Jay Conison, dean of Valparaiso University Law School since 1998, has been named as the new dean of Charlotte School of Law, effective April 15.
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‘Term of imprisonment’ is the total time a misdemeanant is incarcerated

February 21, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Deciding an issue that has led to confusion in the courts, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that time suspended is not included under "term of imprisonment" as used in the Indiana misdemeanor sentencing statute.
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High-priced Chicago firm handling Durham’s appeal pro bono

February 21, 2013
Scott Olson
Just because Tim Durham isn’t paying a lawyer to handle the appeal of his 50-year federal prison sentence doesn’t mean he’s getting shortchanged.
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7th Circuit rejects hospital's claims for $20M more in federal aid

February 20, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Columbus Regional Hospital, which was flooded following heavy rains in southern Indiana in 2008, is not entitled to an additional $20 million in disaster relief funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in addition to the $70 million it already received, the 7th Circuit concluded Wednesday.
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Court reverses DCS order requiring mother to take prescribed meds

February 20, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A mother whose child was adjudicated as child in need of services won a partial victory before the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday.
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Justices suspend Tim Durham’s law license

February 20, 2013
IL Staff
Tim Durham, the Indiana businessman found guilty in June on 12 felony fraud charges, had his law license suspended last week by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Life sentence upheld by Court of Appeals

February 20, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Grant County man who killed his ex-wife in the middle of the night after breaking into her Marion home will spend the rest of his life in prison, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday. The judges affirmed the denial of Fred Laux’s petition for post-conviction relief based on ineffective assistance of counsel.
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COA orders hearing on man’s request to remove name from JTAC website

February 20, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that it has no authority to remove a man’s name from the Judicial Technology and Automation Committee website and law enforcement databases after a protective order against him was dismissed. But the judges remanded for a hearing before the trial court on David Cook’s claims.
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Insurance policy’s one-year limitation period voided

February 20, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected State Farm Fire and Casualty Co.’s claim that if it’s one-year limitation on bringing an action against the insurer is unenforceable then the court should find a two-year limitation period applies based on Indiana statute.
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Man’s challenge to requirement he register as sex offender dismissed

February 20, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded it lacked jurisdiction over an appeal out of Marion County by a man who argues he shouldn’t have to register as a sex offender for a 1982 rape conviction in California.
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Proposed changes would make convicted felons serve at least 75 percent of sentence

February 20, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The worst-of-the-worst criminal offenders will be facing more time while low-level offenders will be given intensive probation under the new sentencing provisions included in the rewrite of the Indiana Criminal Code.
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Senator’s push for constitutional convention passes committee

February 20, 2013
IL Staff
Senate President Pro Tem David Long’s legislative initiative calling for a convention to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution advanced out of the Committee on Rules and Legislative Procedure Tuesday.
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Justices take juvenile sex offender case

February 19, 2013
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court accepted just one case on transfer last week, that of a Lawrence County teen who was ordered to register as a sex offender.
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Bill restricting social media access for sex offenders passes Senate

February 19, 2013
IL Staff
Senate Bill 347, introduced to rectify issues brought up by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals when it struck down an existing law regulating social media use by registered sex offenders, passed the Senate Monday by a vote of 49-0.
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Justices order new trial for man tried in absentia

February 19, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A North Carolina man who was convicted of two counts of Class C felony neglect of a dependent by an Elkhart Superior Court while the defendant was on a bus on the way to court will get a new trial, the Indiana Supreme Court concluded Tuesday.
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Man facing deportation loses 2 appeals

February 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A citizen of Ecuador who has lived in the U.S. since he was one year old was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals in separate cases that his counsel’s failure to inform him of the possible deportation consequences of pleading guilty to a crime should result in post-conviction relief.
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Decision could come soon on Don Marsh severance claim

February 18, 2013
Scott Olson
Don Marsh shouldn’t have to wait long to find out if he can collect his entire $4 million severance or whether he’ll have to return the portion he’s already received from Marsh Supermarkets Inc.
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Pro se defendant wins reversal of restitution order

February 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant ordered to repay more than $19,000 that a drug task force spent to investigate his methamphetamine manufacturing will not have to make restitution because the state isn’t a victim under the restitution statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Long’s constitutional convention legislation before committee Tuesday

February 18, 2013
IL Staff
Senate President Pro Tempore David Long’s resolution and two companion bills calling for states to gather to amend the U.S. Constitution to limit the commerce clause and federal taxing authority will be heard before the Committee on Rules and Legislative Procedure Tuesday.
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Indiana farmer’s case goes before the SCOTUS Tuesday

February 18, 2013
IL Staff
U.S. justices will hear arguments Tuesday morning in the lawsuit brought by Monsanto Co. against Knox County farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman alleging patent infringement.
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7th Circuit Bar seeks Indiana attorneys to honor

February 18, 2013
IL Staff
Each year, the 7th Circuit Bar Association honors members of the legal profession for their pro bono and public service work who are from the host state of the association’s annual meeting. Indiana is hosting the meeting May 5-7 in Indianapolis.
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Woman hit by foul ball strikes out at Court of Appeals

February 15, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A baseball organization in Lake County is not liable for the injuries a fan suffered when she was hit in the face by a foul ball during a game, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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COA split on whether judge can order community service in lieu of fines

February 15, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Two judges on the Indiana Court of Appeals decided that a trial judge didn’t have statutory authority to order an indigent woman to perform community service instead of paying fines and costs of her case, ordering the court to address the issue of imposing fees and costs.
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  1. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  2. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  3. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  4. 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)

  5. "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.

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