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COA upholds $10,000 fine for failure to cooperate with discovery

March 9, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A trial court that slapped a transportation company with a $10,000 sanction and ordered its president jailed if the fine was not paid did not commit an error, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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ISBA fund awards $100,000 to Conour victims

March 9, 2015
IL Staff
The Indiana State Bar Association Clients’ Financial Assistance Fund Committee has given $100,000 to victims who suffered losses due to the dishonest acts of ex-attorney William Conour, the ISBA announced Monday. The money was divided among 24 victims.
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Federal judge fines abusive filer $1,200, bars future suits

March 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who’s filed nearly four dozen lawsuits against defendants from “Bobby” to President Barack Obama lost his federal court privileges this week.
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Failure to conduct indigency hearing results in remand

March 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court that imposed a $340 probation fee on a defendant sentenced on misdemeanor convictions must be revisited because the court failed to conduct a hearing on the defendant’s ability to pay.
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20-year sentence for $60 drug deal reduced as excessive

March 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
The 20-year executed sentence a Kokomo man received after pleading guilty to selling an undercover police officer 10 hydrocodone pills for $6 each was excessive, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Lawsuit over Covanta recycling center plan set for hearing

March 6, 2015
Kathleen McLaughlin, IBJ Staff
A lawsuit prompted by Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard’s controversial recycling-plant deal is set for hearing March 10.
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State appeals ruling blocking fenced hunting preserve rules

March 6, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana attorney general's office is appealing a court ruling that state wildlife officials overstepped their authority in trying to shut down Indiana’s high-fenced deer-hunting preserves.
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Indianapolis man gets 37 years in Henry County killing

March 6, 2015
 Associated Press
A 35-year-old Indianapolis man has been sentenced to 37 years in prison for using a shotgun to kill another Indianapolis man in Henry County.
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Court affirms $100,000 in attorney fees to bank for defending groundless claim

March 5, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who claimed a bank acting as trustee breached its fiduciary duties by selling stock of JP Morgan Chase over the course of several years is still on the hook for more than $100,000 in attorney fees and costs to the trustee, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Thursday. The COA agreed Susan Moeder brought a groundless claim against Salin Bank and Trust Co. after it sought to resign as trustee.
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Providing temptation to commit crime is not inducement, majority rules

March 5, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed a man’s conviction of patronizing a prostitute, with the majority ruling the state rebutted his defense of entrapment by showing there was no police inducement.
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Justices: Same-day audio for April 28 gay marriage cases

March 5, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States will hear arguments over same-sex marriage on April 28 and make audio of the proceedings available later that day.
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No new trial for Indiana woman convicted in deadly crash

March 5, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indianapolis woman convicted of killing six children and a man in a wrong-way, head-on collision along a state highway will not get a new trial, a judge has ruled.
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Class-action suit against Indiana BMV to go to mediation

March 5, 2015
 Associated Press
A class-action lawsuit that says the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles overcharged customers by millions of dollars is set to go to mediation.
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Courts closed in southern Indiana due to weather

March 5, 2015
IL Staff
Severe weather and emergency travel restrictions have closed several federal courts in southern Indiana. The Evansville and New Albany offices of the U.S. District and Bankruptcy courts for the Southern District of Indiana are closed Thursday. The Clark County Government Building, which houses the Circuit courts, is also closed.
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Patients sue Lilly, claim Cymbalta withdrawal hazards

March 4, 2015
Dave Stafford
Two federal lawsuits filed in Indianapolis allege Eli Lilly’s top-selling antidepressant Cymbalta caused almost immediate dangerous withdrawal symptoms when patients attempted to stop using the medication.
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Indy Land Bank trial could turn on government wiretaps

March 4, 2015
Cory Schouten
Reginald T. Walton is guilty of "very poor judgment" and "ethics violations," and also "did a pretty good job concealing" his involvement in private real estate partnerships during his tenure leading the Indy Land Bank, but he's not guilty of any crime, his attorney argued in federal court Wednesday.
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SCOTUS sharply divided over Obamacare subsidies

March 4, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States was sharply divided Wednesday in the latest challenge to President Barack Obama's health overhaul, this time over the tax subsidies that make insurance affordable for millions of Americans.
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Judges tweak offender’s amount of credit time awarded

March 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court incorrectly calculated the amount of credit for the time a man had served prior to the revocation of his probation as well as the sentence imposed after the revocation, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Ex-IMPD officer’s convictions upheld in 2010 fatal accident

March 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Former Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer David Bisard, convicted of drunken-driving offenses after he struck three motorcyclists while responding to a non-emergency call, was not entitled to a mistrial based on juror misconduct issues, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Judge: No 2nd lawyer for defendant in Hartford City killings

March 4, 2015
 Associated Press
A Blackford County judge has denied a request for a second court-appointed lawyer from an eastern Indiana man accused of killing a father and daughter.
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Tsarnaev's lawyer admits client carried out Boston bombing

March 4, 2015
 Associated Press
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev went on trial for his life Wednesday in the Boston Marathon bombing with his own lawyer bluntly telling the jury he committed the crime. But she argued that he had fallen under the influence of his older brother.
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Justices take environmental contamination appeal

March 3, 2015
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court took just one case on transfer last week, a case involving a dispute over coverage for environmental contamination. The Court of Appeals ordered a trial on whether the known loss doctrine would bar insurance coverage, but later found that the “known claim” exclusion applies.
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COA finds man justly fired for violating sexual harassment policy

March 3, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the decision by an administrative law judge that a nurse was not fired for just cause. The COA noted surprise that the man's claims he was joking when he made sexually inappropriate comments to co-workers led the ALJ to decide the actions did not amount to violation of his employer's sexual harassment policy.
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Man, not state, had priority in breeder’s award proceeds

March 3, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Marshall County trial court erred when it granted summary judgment in favor of the Indiana Department of Revenue on a man’s attempt to collect breeder’s award proceeds owed to another man who had outstanding tax warrants.
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Cumberland ups ante in fight to save historic church

March 3, 2015
Scott Olson, IBJ Staff
Cumberland officials are stepping up their efforts to stop a supermarket and convenience store chain from demolishing a historic church by hiring one of Indianapolis’ top real estate attorneys to argue their appeal.
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  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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!!!

  4. 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.

  5. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

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