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Untying the knot yourself

January 1, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Couples forgoing legal counsel in divorce risk creating big messes the courts can’t clean up.
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Man loses 2 appeals before Tax Court

December 31, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Carroll County man who owns agricultural property containing hog buildings couldn’t convince the Indiana Tax Court that the Indiana Board of Tax Review erred when it rejected four self-prepared analyses he offered as to what value his property should be assessed.
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Appeals panel affirms denial of post-conviction relief

December 31, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man seeking relief from his 2006 conviction of Class A felony dealing cocaine failed to persuade a panel of the Court of Appeals Tuesday that his 48-year sentence should be reduced.
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Amendment gives juveniles right to counsel

December 31, 2013
IL Staff
A child charged with a delinquent act will be entitled to be represented by an attorney, according to an order handed down this month by the Indiana Supreme Court. The order creates Rule 25 in the Indiana Rules of Criminal Procedure.
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Fatal accident leads COA to examine boating statute

December 31, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A boat operator’s appeal of his convictions stemming from a fatal accident on Lake Monroe in 2010 split the Indiana Court of Appeals as to whether I.C. 14-15-4-1 is unconstitutional as applied.
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Torn Achilles tendon is not city’s fault, COA rules

December 31, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A state statute providing immunity to municipalities for 20-year-old public work projects absolved a southern Indiana city from liability for an injury a man incurred when he stepped off a curb and into a sewer drain.
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Panel dismisses contempt appeal as moot

December 31, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man held in contempt of court after a judge determined he threatened witnesses in his brother’s murder case had his appeal dismissed Tuesday.
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New Castle denied appellate legal fees in frivolous suit

December 31, 2013
Dave Stafford
A New Castle couple doesn’t have to pay the city’s appellate legal fees in its appeal of a frivolous litigation ruling, but they still must pay New Castle’s legal bills for the trial court filing.
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IU pot-suspension appeal ‘near frivolous,’ 7th Circuit rules

December 31, 2013
Dave Stafford
An Indiana University student’s appeal of his suspension after a large marijuana plant and other evidence of illegal drug use were discovered in his dorm room “is near frivolous,” a panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.
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Judge blocks ‘contraception mandate’ for Catholic diocese plaintiffs

December 31, 2013
Dave Stafford
A federal judge in Fort Wayne has blocked enforcement of the “contraception mandate” for numerous health care providers in a lawsuit brought by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. The ruling could impact more than 10,000 people eligible for benefits through a number of diocese-related organizations.
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Ex-coroner settles malpractice suit against Brizzi

December 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
One of two legal malpractice suits filed against former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi has been settled.
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Repeal of administrative code abolishes 3-year limit for filing petitions

December 30, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
In a ruling that it conceded could “open the floodgates,” the Indiana Tax Court found neither state statute nor regulations provided any time limits for homeowners to file petitions to correct error on their property tax assessments.
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Remove Judge Kimberly Brown, special masters recommend

December 30, 2013
Dave Stafford
Marion Superior Judge Kimberly Brown should be removed from the bench, a panel of three special masters has recommended to the Indiana Supreme Court.
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AG finds no caselaw that answers same-sex amendment question

December 27, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Nearly 13 minutes into a press conference touting the accomplishments of his office in 2013, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller got a question on a topic he may have been hoping to avoid – same-sex marriage.
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In monster-truck bankruptcy, courts errantly denied ex-wife’s claim

December 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
Federal Bankruptcy and District courts wrongly denied a woman’s claim against the estate of her ex-husband and business partner who owed her money after they divorced and unwound a monster-truck business for which she had lent money.
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COA affirms post-conviction relief for ineffective counsel

December 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man who was convicted of multiple felonies related to a two-day instance of domestic violence in which he “terrorized” his girlfriend in their apartment will be resentenced on a lesser charge on one conviction.
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Appeals court affirms out-of-state placement of child with father

December 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
A mother whose son was placed with his father in California after the Department of Child Services found her children to be children in need of services failed to convince a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals that the placement was erroneous or that the DCS didn’t make a reasonable effort to preserve the family.
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Bill pledges greater gun immunity, protection for judges

December 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
Judicial officers would be granted the same ability to carry firearms and immunity as law enforcement officers under a bill introduced by the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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Exclusive appeal notice filing with state clerk begins Jan. 1

December 27, 2013
IL Staff
Attorneys who don’t file a notice of appeal with the Office of the Clerk of the Indiana Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and Tax Court after Jan. 1 will forfeit their right to appeal.
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Judge rejects Charlie White’s claim of ineffective counsel

December 26, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Former Secretary of State Charlie White has been ordered to begin serving his sentence for violating Indiana’s election law after his petition for post-conviction relief was denied.
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Humvee maker, defense giant BAE wrangle over $277M judgment

December 26, 2013
Dave Stafford
A dispute over the true cost of Humvee body armor rushed to the battlefield in the deadliest days of the Iraq war has resulted in a court battle that includes suggestions that one of the world’s top defense contractors may have serious business problems as it argues against posting full security for a $277 million judgment.
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Angie's List hit with shareholder suit

December 26, 2013
Chris O'Malley
Angie’s List’s CEO William Oesterle and four other top executives made a series of false or misleading statements about the company’s prospects that inflated its stock price earlier this year as they sold $13 million of their own shares, a lawsuit seeking class-action status alleges.
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Lauren Spierer civil suit moves forward

December 24, 2013
Dave Stafford
Two of three grounds for a civil lawsuit in the June 2011 disappearance of Indiana University student Lauren Spierer will move forward, a federal judge ruled Tuesday, partially denying a motion to dismiss filed by the two remaining defendants.
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Judge rejects Notre Dame bid for injunction on contraception coverage

December 24, 2013
Dave Stafford
A federal judge denied the University of Notre Dame’s request for an injunction blocking the “contraception mandate” in the Affordable Care Act that requires employers to provide insurance coverage for birth control.
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Coachys’ retirement opens up spot on Bankruptcy Court

December 24, 2013
IL Staff
The Judicial Council of the 7th Circuit is accepting applications for a bankruptcy judge position in the Southern District of Indiana. Chief Judge James K. Coachys is retiring in September 2014 at the end of his 14-year term.
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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