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COA orders woman’s sentence revised to include credit time

April 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found Thursday that a trial court incorrectly calculated the sentence a woman should serve in the Department of Correction after she had her probation revoked.
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Terre Haute attorney to receive ITLA Lifetime Achievement Award

April 30, 2015
IL Staff
Terre Haute attorney Stephen L. Williams will receive this year's Lifetime Achievement Award from the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association. He is being recognized for his distinguished service to the organization and dedication to preserving the rights of the injured.
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Revised sentence modification statute not applicable in defendant’s case

April 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not err in denying a man’s petition to modify his sentence after finding that the current version of the sentencing modification statute is not applicable to his sentence, which he began serving in 1989. The Indiana Court of Appeals panel relied on a January decision by its colleagues to affirm the denial of Mitchell Swallows’ petition.
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Judicial campaign solicitation ban upheld by SCOTUS

April 30, 2015
 Bloomberg News
A divided Supreme Court of the United States ruled that states can bar judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign contributions, leaving intact bans in 30 states.
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Lawmakers pass Marion Co. small claims reforms

April 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
The General Assembly Wednesday afternoon passed modest reforms of the nine township small claims courts in Marion County, a far cry from recommendations of multiple judicial studies to restructure the courts.
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Judge may sequester house blast jury during deliberations

April 29, 2015
 Associated Press
The judge who'll preside over one defendant's murder trial in a deadly Indianapolis house explosion says he may sequester jurors during deliberations.
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Appellate court records make switch to Odyssey May 4

April 29, 2015
IL Staff
Beginning next week, basic case information on appeals before the Indiana Supreme Court and Court of Appeals will be available to the public through the Odyssey docket. The Indiana Tax Court made the switch in December.
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Wiretap evidence properly admitted at murder trial

April 29, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man's conviction of murdering his stepfather, finding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting wiretap evidence in which the defendant told a friend he was involved in the killing.
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Justices affirm upward deviation from child support guidelines

April 29, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not commit clear error when it deviated from the Indiana Child Support Guidelines by not granting a father the full parenting time credit calculated and allowed his ex-wife to claim their child each year on her taxes, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. The justices also outlined the best practices to be used when a trial court conducts summary proceedings.
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Brothers’ murder convictions upheld by COA

April 29, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Two brothers convicted in the murder of a man with whom they previously had an altercation are not entitled to a new trial based on one juror's concerns for her safety after recognizing someone sitting in the gallery, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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3 brothers plead guilty to massive biofuels scam

April 29, 2015
IBJ Staff
Three brothers have pleaded guilty to participating in a biofuels scam that federal investigators are calling “one of the largest tax and securities fraud schemes in Indiana history."
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Mother-daughter home rehab team gets s shot at HGTV gig

April 29, 2015
Scott Olson
An Indianapolis attorney and her daughter who rehab homes in the Fountain Square neighborhood are getting a shot at the national spotlight. If it takes off, Karen Jensen says she'd have to shut down her practice to accommodate filming.
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COA affirms new trial on motorcyclist’s negligence claim

April 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it set aside a jury verdict allocating 70 percent of fault to a motorcyclist who hit a dog that darted in front of his bike, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. The motorcyclist was injured in the accident and sued the dog's owners.
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Former Lilly partner set to pay $2.3B to settle Actos cases

April 28, 2015
 Bloomberg News
Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. executives have agreed to pay more than $2.3 billion to resolve lawsuits accusing the company of hiding its Actos diabetes medicine’s cancer risks, three people familiar with the accord said.
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Appeals court declines to revise battery sentence

April 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Even though a trial court did not specify why it imposed consecutive sentences for a man convicted of two counts of battery - one as a Level 6 felony and the other a Class A misdemeanor - the Indiana Court of Appeals found the rationale for consecutive sentences is apparent on the face of the record.
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Mother’s failure to timely contest adoption dooms appeal

April 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who failed to give notice to the court within 30 days after learning her child's stepmother sought to adopt the child could not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that her due process was denied in the matter.
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US Supreme Court hears historic same-sex marriage arguments

April 28, 2015
 Associated Press
Pivotal Supreme Court of the United States Justice Anthony Kennedy did not tip his hand Tuesday as the high court heard historic arguments over the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry.
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Indiana lawmakers approve tougher ethics laws after lapses

April 28, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana legislators gave final approval Monday to a state ethics law overhaul that requires greater financial disclosure by lawmakers and expressly prohibits elected officials from using state resources for political purposes.
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Chief Judge Young recognized for legal career and service to bar

April 27, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Evansville Bar Association has honored federal Judge Richard Young with the James Bethel Gresham Freedom Award, the highest recognition the bar association gives.
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8 apply to be next COA judge

April 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court released the names of the eight people who want to replace Court of Appeals Judge Ezra Friedlander after he retires from the bench in August.
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Woman’s battery conviction reversed due to fatal variance

April 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A couple arrested after they screamed and resisted arrest at a local Department of Child Services' office after learning their child was being removed from their care had all but one of their convictions from the incident upheld by the Indiana Court of Appeals Monday.
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ACLU of Indiana, ILS founder remembered for fighting for justice

April 27, 2015
IL Staff
The man who helped to found the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana and Indiana Legal Services Organization died April 5 after a brief hospitalization. Irving Fink was 95.
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BLE announces names of 174 who passed February bar exam

April 27, 2015
IL Staff
Nearly 175 people have passed the Indiana Bar Exam. The Board of Law Examiners posted the names of the 174 successful test-takers Monday. Results are from the February 2015 exam.
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SCOTUS considers excessive force, discrimination and personal data issues

April 27, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States said Monday it will decide whether websites and other firms that collect personal data can be sued for publishing inaccurate information even if the mistakes don't cause any actual harm. The court is also considering time limits for discrimination claims and issues involving excessive force against inmates awaiting trial.
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State news organization recognizes Indiana Lawyer with 2 awards

April 27, 2015
IL Staff
The Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists recognized the Indiana Lawyer’s editorial team April 24 at a ceremony honoring “outstanding contributions in reporting events of public importance."
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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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