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Mother’s due process rights deprived in termination hearing

March 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
In finding both constitutional and statutory guarantees were transgressed, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the decision by a lower court to convert an omnibus hearing on a termination of parental rights matter into a final hearing while mother was not present, which led to the termination of her parental rights.
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TIF funds can’t be used to maintain parks, COA affirms

March 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a Lake County trial court ruling that tax increment financing funds used in the redevelopment of Munster parks could not be used to later maintain the parks.
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Judges affirm drug dealer’s convictions but vacate portion of sentence

March 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claims that his convictions stemming from his involvement in a drug dealing operation should be overturned, but the judges did vacate the conditions of his supervised release Friday.
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Plaque and lecture series established to honor Randall Shepard

March 13, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Almost three years after an effort to honor retired Indiana Chief Justice Randall Shepard was launched, the project has taken a new direction that some applaud as better than the initial idea.
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Judge who oversaw troubled Clark County drug court finished

March 13, 2015
Dave Stafford
A former Clark Superior judge who oversaw the southern Indiana county’s drug court and left the bench amid allegations of jailing participants without due process will never serve as an Indiana judge again.
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At odds with Google, US seeks new rule on computer access

March 13, 2015
 Associated Press
The Justice Department is at odds with Google and privacy groups over the government's push to make it easier to locate and hack into computers in criminal investigations, a simmering conflict with constitutional and policy implications.
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Man’s right to speedy trial not violated, 7th Circuit says

March 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The speedy-trial clock did not begin to run upon the federal government’s filing of a complaint and detainer against an Indiana man, so the 16-month delay in filing the federal indictment did not violate his right to a speedy trial, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Thursday.
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Rucker to be honored at April event in Gary

March 12, 2015
IL Staff
Indiana Supreme Court Justice Robert Rucker will receive the Merit of Distinction Award at the 3rd annual Katie Hall Public Service Awards Luncheon on April 4 in Gary.
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COA: Trial court lacked authority to rescind plea agreement

March 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ordered a Howard Superior judge to sentence a man to the terms of the plea agreement that he had entered into on drug charges before the judge revoked the agreement and ordered him to continue to trial.
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Ex-husband needed to take action to modify judgment, COA rules

March 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man challenging the proposed value of his pension’s surviving spouse benefit in a dissolution proceeding had to file his own Ind. Trial Rule 60(B) motion and not rely on the same motion filed by his ex-wife, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Trial court incorrectly determined company could collect all delinquent taxes

March 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a $1.4 million judgment in favor of a company hired by Lake County to collect delinquent real property taxes, finding the lower court improperly interpreted the collections contracts as a matter of law.
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Justices remand dental office fire insurance dispute

March 12, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court on Thursday reset the issues before a trial court in a dispute arising from a shortage in contents insurance after a fire at a dental office.
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Ex-attorney accused of stealing child's insurance settlement

March 12, 2015
 Associated Press, IL Staff
A northern Indiana man and former attorney faces additional theft charges for allegedly stealing more than $612,000 from an insurance settlement awarded to an injured child.
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Bill ensures that expungement law extends to individuals most deserving

March 12, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
As the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill that tweaks Indiana’s 2013 expungement law, the author warned against nitpicking that might undo what he described as the “delicate balance” struck in the comprehensive measure.
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‘Master magistrate bill’ approved by senate committee

March 11, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
While the Senate Judiciary Committee moved a bill forward Wednesday that would provide additional magistrates for courts in seven counties, some members indicated a need to revisit in a future legislative session a push to require all judges, including those presiding over town and city courts, be attorneys.
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Judge urges legislators to clarify Castle Doctrine statute

March 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals in a case of first impression reversed a man’s conviction of battery on a law enforcement officer after finding he exercised reasonable force under I.C. 35-41-3-2(i)(2), the statute revised in response to a 2011 Supreme Court holding that the Castle Doctrine is not a defense to battery or another violent act on a police officer. But one judge asked the Legislature to take another look at the statute for public policy reasons.
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COA affirms policy provides property damage coverage for abandoned sand

March 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed its original decision Wednesday that an insurance policy covers property damage caused by 100,000 tons of foundry sand on property owned by FLM LLC.
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Public defender’s brief stricken, COA orders ‘competent counsel’ appointed

March 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reiterated Wednesday for at least the fourth time in seven years to a public defender that he cannot use the “manifestly unreasonable” argument to challenge a client’s voluntary manslaughter sentence.
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Law professors warn against Indiana religious freedom bill

March 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
A bill that proponents say would further protect religious freedom in Indiana “will more likely create confusion, conflict, and a wave of litigation” because it will confer a special status to religious rights, according to a letter signed by 30 law professors.
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Teen’s adjudications overturned based on unlawful search

March 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Indianapolis teenager suspected in two burglaries was subject to an unlawful pat down and search by an officer, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. As such, the gun found on him should not have been admissible at his delinquency hearing.
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Canine sniff not allowed, but convictions still upheld

March 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Although a Supreme Court of the United States decision issued shortly after the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled on a case now means that a canine sniff of a suspected drug dealer’s home was unconstitutional, the COA upheld the man’s convictions based on other evidence.
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Couple’s gun collection incorrectly classified as ‘household goods’

March 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The determination as to whether guns or a gun collection are “household goods” should be made on a case-by-case basis, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. In a case before it Wednesday, the judges held that the large collection owned by a couple who are since deceased was incorrectly classified as “household goods.”
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Indiana joins New York herbal supplement inquiry

March 11, 2015
 Associated Press
Attorneys general from Connecticut, Indiana and Puerto Rico have joined New York's attorney general in an investigation of the herbal supplement industry, saying they're building on the long track record of state attorneys general upholding the rights of consumers.
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Northern Indiana county council rejects abortion ordinance

March 11, 2015
 Associated Press
A county council in northern Indiana voted down an ordinance that would have added new local requirements for doctors who perform abortions.
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Decades-long fight over landfill quietly concludes

March 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
A 37-year fight over a planned solid waste landfill in Anderson ended recently, concluding one of the longest environmental battles in state history. Only a few loads of trash were ever dumped at the Mallard Lake Landfill, but fortunes were spent litigating it.
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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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