Latest News

Public intoxication statute constitutional, but ‘annoying’ man’s conviction vacated

December 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court vacated a man’s public intoxication conviction after finding his agitation does not rise to the level that would annoy a reasonable person. But the justices did find that the statute is not unconstitutionally vague.
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Conour victim settles suit naming Doehrman

December 18, 2014
Dave Stafford
Victims of convicted fraudster and former attorney William Conour have settled a lawsuit that named a one-time Conour associate as a defendant.
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Judge rejects NCAA concussions deal

December 18, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal judge in Chicago rejected a proposed $75 million class-action head injury settlement with the National Collegiate Athletic Association on Wednesday, portraying the deal as too unwieldy and potentially underfunded and urging both sides to go back to the drawing board.
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Supreme Court dismisses appeal in right-to-work case

December 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court dismissed a Lake County lawsuit challenging the state’s right-to-work law after the state and plaintiffs filed a motion to dismiss.
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Justices find detective’s inadmissible hearsay is harmless error

December 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court reinstated a man’s conviction of being a serious violent felon in possession of a firearm after finding that a detective’s inadmissible hearsay amounts to a harmless error.
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Malicious prosecution suit against Kentucky man and his lawyer may proceed

December 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The former employers of a man who sued them for discrimination and later dismissed his claims may proceed with their lawsuit alleging malicious prosecution and other claims against that man and his attorney, the Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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COA orders trial court to rule on motion to set aside tax deed

December 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man’s appeal of the issuance of a tax deed was improperly before the Indiana Court of Appeals, the court dismissed the appeal without prejudice and told the trial court to rule on his motion to set aside.
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Man’s 76-year sentence for kidnapping driver affirmed

December 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected all of a man’s arguments on appeal as to why his convictions and sentence should be overturned for his kidnapping and robbery of a delivery driver.
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Despite jury instruction error, man’s battery conviction upheld

December 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Although the trial court erred in giving one jury instruction on self defense that only applies when deadly force is involved, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed an inmate’s Class A misdemeanor battery conviction because he otherwise couldn’t prove his self-defense claim.
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Online database shows convictions bring consequences beyond incarceration

December 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The American Bar Association has completed work on a national database that identifies the legal restrictions and prohibitions that individuals convicted of a crime face in addition to the sentence imposed by the court.
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COA upholds most of man’s spice convictions

December 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday affirmed all but one of a man’s drug convictions related to his selling of the drug commonly referred to as “spice” in his smoke shop. The judges also chastised the deputy attorney general who handled the case for again submitting a “foul” smelling record.
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General counsel are business enablers in the corporate environment

December 17, 2014
Tom Harton
The days of in-house legal departments working in the shadow of the executive suite are history, or should be. That’s the perception of general counsel in Indiana, who want a seat at the table in setting strategy for their companies and organizations. A recent Indiana general counsel survey reveals more.
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Indiana senator plans medical marijuana proposal

December 17, 2014
 Associated Press
A state senator says she plans to push for the legalization of medicinal marijuana in Indiana.
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Jury selected to hear in vitro dismissal lawsuit

December 17, 2014
 Associated Press
A jury has been selected to hear a schoolteacher's lawsuit over her claim she was dismissed by a northern Indiana Roman Catholic diocese because she tried to get pregnant through in vitro fertilization.
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The changing face of the judiciary

December 17, 2014
IL Staff
When Loretta Rush was named chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court in August, Indiana hit a milestone. For the first time, all of our state’s appellate courts were being led by women. Indiana Lawyer recently invited Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush, Indiana Court of Appeals Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik, Indiana Tax Judge Martha Wentworth and Chief Judge Robyn Moberly of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana’s Bankruptcy Court to discuss their career paths as well as the opportunities and challenges today’s courts and lawyers face.
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Judge holds 2013 abortion law violates Equal Protection Clause

December 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A ruling in federal court has essentially struck down Indiana’s restrictions on drug-induced abortions, but the argument that the law places an undue burden on women caused the court to refrain from making a final judgment.
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Death records law causing headache for genealogists

December 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the Indiana Supreme Court recently confirmed that death certificates listing the cause of death are public records, the state is continuing to grapple with questions over privacy and online access to the documents.
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State and federal courts clamp down on confidential filings

December 17, 2014
Dave Stafford
Come Jan. 1, lawyers better make certain they’re on firm ground before asking a judge to file court pleadings under seal. Attorneys also may face new liability if confidential information is mistakenly entered in a public case file. State and federal courts have rewritten rules for when and how court pleadings can be filed out of public view, reaffirming they should be open to inspection with limited exceptions.
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Conour pursues wire fraud appeal

December 17, 2014
Dave Stafford
As ex-attorney William Conour’s appeal of his conviction and 10-year sentence on a federal wire fraud charge moves ahead, so do victim lawsuits that seek to collect damages from colleagues who practiced with him years earlier and from a Conour creditor.
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Inside the Criminal Case: Grand juries in Indiana shrouded by law

December 17, 2014
James Bell, K. Michael Gaerte
The effectiveness of grand juries has been in the news lately. In one case, a Missouri grand jury failed to indict a police officer in a case involving the death of an unarmed suspect. When inconsistent testimony was raised as a possible justification for this result, many opined that police needed to carry body cameras. However, approximately a week later, a New York grand jury failed to indict another police officer involved in the death of an unarmed suspect where the officer’s interactions with the suspect were caught on a cellphone video. This led lawyers and non-lawyers alike to wonder what happens behind the closed doors of grand juries. This article speaks to how grand juries are used in Indiana.
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Federal Bar Update: End-of-year tweaks to federal court rules

December 17, 2014
John Maley
John Maley takes a look at rule changes in federal courts and reminds attorneys that the rule on Statement of the Facts has been deleted.
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Lucky, plucky owners reclaim and renew famous Hoosier trademarks

December 17, 2014
Dave Stafford
Entrepreneurs enjoying sweet successes and heady times with the resurgence of their retro products took varied paths to claim the rights to bring back brands with deep Hoosier roots. The new owners of Roselyn Bakery, Choc-Ola chocolate drink and Champagne Velvet beer got dormant brands back on store shelves by capitalizing on trademarks that had disappeared from the marketplace but retained a certain cachet.
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Frustrations with patent trolls spark push for pest control

December 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Three years after passing the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act which overhauled the U.S. patent system, Congress and state legislatures have been introducing bills that primarily seek to reform the process by clamping down on so-called patent trolls.
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Gallagher: Recent Supreme Court rulings could help end patent trolls

December 17, 2014
There have been recent efforts in Congress and state legislatures to address the issue of so-called patent trolls, also known as patent assertion entities. This year, at least three of the six patent-related decisions by the Supreme Court of the United States have been widely regarded as impacting PAE activity. Although these decisions are only six months old, they appear to be on a path to help curb these unwanted lawsuits.
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White: Say ‘I do’ to IP due diligence in business transactions

December 17, 2014
Intellectual property is one of the most valuable and important assets of any consumer products, life sciences or technology driven company. Despite the inherent value associated with these intangible assets, IP rights are often overlooked or are only cursorily evaluated when a company is embroiled in a business transaction (such as a merger or an acquisition).
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  1. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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