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Gay marriage challenges cost Indiana $1.4M in attorney fees

May 26, 2015
 Associated Press
The state of Indiana had to pay more than $1.4 million in fees to plaintiffs' attorneys in its unsuccessful attempt to maintain a ban on same-sex marriages, the attorney general's office says.
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COA reverses felony conviction for lack of evidence

May 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The state did not prove that a St. Joseph County man intimidated another person when the man pulled out a knife after being confronted about stealing water, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday. The dissenting judge believed there to be no distinction between the defendant being “caught” stealing water and “confronting” the defendant about stealing it.
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Man’s appellate arguments challenging misdemeanor convictions waived

May 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with the state that a man waived his arguments on appeal because he did not raise a relevant objection at trial, he did not make a cogent argument on appeal, and because his arguments are otherwise meritless.
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Jury awards $32.5M to victim of 2006 traffic accident

May 22, 2015
 Associated Press
A jury awarded $32.5 million to a Dyer, Indiana, woman who suffered brain damage and was left partially paralyzed in a traffic accident.
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Judge dismisses bulk of Christ Church suit against JPMorgan

May 22, 2015
Greg Andrews
A federal judge on Thursday dealt a major blow to Christ Church Cathedral’s lawsuit charging JPMorgan Chase & Co. caused $13 million in losses in trust accounts endowed decades ago by Eli Lilly Jr. via “intentional mismanagement” and “self-dealing.”
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Indiana man faces more charges in Facebook threat case

May 21, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal grand jury has issued a second indictment with more charges against an Indiana man accused of threatening to blow up a courthouse and kill judges in a Facebook posting.
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Bankruptcy lawyer’s unruly conduct draws warning

May 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Terre Haute lawyer’s behavior at a bankruptcy court proceeding last week so alarmed parties involved that U.S. marshals were called, according to an order warning he could face discipline for his conduct.
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Study: Local lockups can be more pricey to run than thought

May 21, 2015
 Associated Press
It turns out running a jail can be even more expensive than previously thought. A study released Thursday examining what it actually costs to operate local lockups has found that a whole host of costs aren't always covered as line items in a corrections department's budget.
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Certified question regarding Patient’s Compensation Fund dismissed

May 21, 2015
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has dismissed as moot a certified question sent to it from the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Indiana regarding a claim the Patient’s Compensation Fund sought to pursue against an insurer.
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FBI special agent to speak at Indiana Bar Foundation’s Fellows Dinner

May 21, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The 2015 class of Fellows will be inducted during the Indiana Bar Foundation’s Fellows Dinner at 6 p.m. June 13 at the historic Allen County Courthouse.
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ESPN to appeal Indiana judge's ruling on Notre Dame police

May 21, 2015
 Associated Press
ESPN will appeal a northern Indiana judge's ruling that the University of Notre Dame police department is not subject to the state's open records law.
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Magistrate chides ‘bloated filings’ in long-running gun dispute

May 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A federal magistrate judge in a protracted trademark dispute over the design of competing firearms took aim Tuesday at lawyers he said were slowing the case.
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Savings clause of 2014 criminal code revision not unconstitutional

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claim that the savings clause of the 2014 criminal code revision violates the Equal Privileges and Immunities Clause of the Indiana Constitution.
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Fuel company settles claims over air emissions in 3 states

May 20, 2015
 Associated Press
Marathon Petroleum Corp. will pay a fine of nearly $3 million and spend another $2.8 million on pollution controls at its distribution terminals in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, the U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday.
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Judge approves $200M settlement in 2012 meningitis outbreak

May 20, 2015
 Associated Press
Victims of a 2012 meningitis outbreak caused by a now-closed Massachusetts compounding pharmacy will have access to a $200 million compensation fund, following approval Tuesday by a federal bankruptcy judge.
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COA: Trial court properly admitted drug evidence

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held that a trial court acted within its discretion when it admitted evidence found after executing a search warrant of a large quantity of marijuana in a defendant’s backpack, which led to the revocation of the defendant’s probation.
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Woman’s theft, check deception convictions affirmed

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Court of Appeals concluded Wednesday that a defendant did not establish that the trial court abused its discretion by refusing her proffered jury instruction or in the admission of pretrial identification evidence.
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7th Circuit affirms denial of railroad disability benefits

May 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A railroad worker treated in Indiana for years for back injuries and pain failed to convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals he was entitled to federal disability benefits.
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Justices find nature of murders supports death penalty

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Gary man who shot and killed his wife and her two children at close range will remain on death row, the Indiana Supreme Court concluded Wednesday.
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Man’s life without parole sentence upheld

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
There is sufficient evidence to affirm a Fulton County man’s sentence of life without parole for his connection in the murder of an elderly woman during a home invasion, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.
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Double jeopardy requires reversal of 1 of prisoner’s convictions

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An inmate in the Miami Correctional Facility scored a partial victory before the Indiana Supreme Court Tuesday. The justices reversed one of his convictions for battering a correctional officer, but declined to reduce his eight-year sentence.
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7th Circuit again denies Notre Dame’s request for injunction in contraception suit

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A month after rehearing the University of Notre Dame’s request for a preliminary injunction that it need not comply with the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals again affirmed the denial of the school’s request.
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Pressure on PACER

May 20, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
On May 1, protestors across the country launched their ire on the federal judicial branch. They were not maligning the judges or their decisions, but rather they were imploring the courts to upgrade and improve the online Public Access to Court Electronic Records system.
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Ruling clarifies, broadens admissibility of social media content as evidence

May 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
Donnell Wilson’s murder convictions for shooting and killing two gang members in Gary relied in part on Twitter posts shown to a jury in which he bragged about having a gun and threatened to shoot rival gang members.
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Column: Using Facebook to provide notice for service of process

May 20, 2015
A recent study found that nearly 75 percent of all adults in the U.S. who use the Internet also have Facebook accounts. What if Facebook could soon have a major (positive) impact on litigation?
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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