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Defendant waived right to confront victim by not attending Skype deposition

February 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man’s rights under the Indiana Constitution were not violated when the state admitted his victim’s deposition acquired through Skype because the man chose not to be present during the deposition, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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COA declines to rule on motion to compel due to lack of cogent argument

February 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A couple awarded more than $7,600 following a car accident did not provide cogent argument or legal authority to support their claim a trial court erred in denying their motion to compel, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday.
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Order to pay for rescued animals’ treatment OK under general restitution statute

February 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because a Perry County woman relinquished her three neglected horses to a local rescue organization, she cannot be ordered to pay restitution based on the animal cruelty statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday. But the general restitution statute supports the trial court order Julie Bickford pay nearly $700 in restitution.
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COA affirms denial of plaintiff’s request for deposition fee reimbursement

February 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A doctor named as a defendant in a malpractice lawsuit was not required to pay more than $2,000 toward the deposition fees of the plaintiff’s expert, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA upholds intimidation conviction of man participating in fake robbery

February 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A staged robbery between two friends to cover up stolen funds from an employer took an unexpected turn when a good Samaritan tried to catch the supposed robber. The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the defendant’s intimidation conviction for pulling a knife on the good Samaritan during a chase.
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Failure to file board record dooms claim for judicial review

February 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A company that did not file the board record or request an extension of time to file the record within 30 days as required by the applicable judicial review statute should not have been allowed to proceed with its request for judicial review, the Indiana Court of Appeals held. The judges reversed the denial of the town of Pittsboro’s request to dismiss Ark Park LLC’s claims.
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Denial of witness testimony was harmless error, COA rules

February 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Although the trial court abused its discretion when it did not allow a person to testify on behalf of the defendant based on a separation of witnesses violation, the error was harmless, ruled the Court of Appeals in affirming a man’s felony convictions of vicarious sexual gratification and possession of child pornography.
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COA clarifies decision in reversed CHINS case

February 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals granted the Department of Child Services’ request for rehearing of an August 2014 decision in which the court reversed a child in need of services finding for a child whose father was in the Navy for the first few years of the child’s life. The judges clarified their reasoning but affirmed their decision in all respects.
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Justices: Previous ruling did not alter fundamental error doctrine

February 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court wants to clear up potential confusion involving the state’s fundamental error doctrine.
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House panel backs ending straight-ticket voting

February 12, 2015
 Associated Press
A legislative committee has endorsed a proposal that would eliminate straight party-line voting on Indiana election ballots.
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Judge denies defense motions for Indy house blast suspect

February 12, 2015
 Associated Press
The defense of a suspect in a 2012 Indianapolis house explosion that killed two people and damaged dozens of homes has been dealt a setback after a judge denied two of its motions.
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House panel passes bill lifting ban on Sunday alcohol sales

February 11, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indiana House committee has approved a bill that would lift the ban on Sunday carry-out alcohol sales while also placing new restrictions on grocery stores and pharmacies.
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Indianapolis lawyer wins $79M telecom verdict

February 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis lawyer won a $79 million federal jury verdict for Missouri landowners who had not been compensated for fiber optic Internet cables a telecommunications company carried on power lines that crossed their property.
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Veterans court bill gets green light from Senate committee

February 11, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A bill that would establish veterans courts in every judicial district has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and been reassigned to the Appropriations Committee.
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Couple needed expert testimony to show proximate cause in defective air bag suit

February 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A couple suing Ford Motor Company, alleging their 2003 Mercury Mountaineer was defective because the air bags did not deploy in an accident, lost their case because they failed to designate expert testimony to support their claim.
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Panel issues 3 opinions on interplay between T.R. 15(C) and 17(F)

February 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
While the three judges on the Indiana Court of Appeals panel agreed summary judgment was proper for an Indianapolis attorney being sued for defamation and other claims because the statute of limitations had expired, each judge interpreted the interplay between Trial Rules 15(C) and 17(F) differently.
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Man fails to prove Supreme Court would rule against established caselaw

February 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of an insurance adjuster’s motion to dismiss it from an injured man’s lawsuit alleging negligence in how it handled his case. The judges pointed out that the Indiana Court of Appeals has held that an insurance adjuster owes no legal duty to the insured and the plaintiff didn’t show that the Indiana Supreme Court would disagree with that decision.
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COA: Postnuptial agreement is enforceable

February 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
It is not a requirement that one party in a marriage must initiate divorce proceedings in order for the parties to later enter into a valid and enforceable reconciliation agreement, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Awarded guardianship fees overturned due to potential misconduct

February 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because a trial court did not look at whether fees requested by a man’s former guardians were necessary, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the order they receive more than $15,000 from his estate.
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Justices vacate transfer in insurance dispute

February 11, 2015
IL Staff
A divided Indiana Supreme Court decided last week that it will no longer take an insurance case involving a landlord and tenant that also divided the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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MacArthur Foundation pledges $75M toward fixing US jails

February 11, 2015
 Associated Press
To reduce the number of people locked up in local jails around the U.S., the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced it plans to give $75 million to local jail officials working on ways to remove nonviolent offenders, people too poor to afford bail and the mentally ill from behind bars.
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Publicity complicates jury selection for 3 major US trials

February 11, 2015
 Associated Press
Texas lived up to its reputation for swift justice by taking just three days to seat a jury for the trial of the man charged with killing the former Navy SEAL depicted in "American Sniper." But jury selection in two other major U.S. cases is taking much longer.
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Indiana bills to increase minimum wage go unheard

February 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
More than half of states in the U.S. have enacted laws increasing their minimum wages above the federal standard of $7.25 an hour, but the Indiana Legislature won’t even discuss it.
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Lawyer to justices: 4th Amendment waivers require reasonable suspicion

February 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
Community corrections officers should have cause before searching the home of someone who has signed a waiver of their Fourth Amendment rights as a condition of probation, a lawyer argued recently before the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Homeless Project enables attorneys to offer advice and guidance to shelter residents

February 11, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Residents in homeless shelters in Indianapolis are receiving legal advice and guidance through the Homeless Shelter Project. The program, now administered by the Indianapolis Bar Association, sends pairs of attorneys to a handful of shelters around the city every three weeks to meet with residents needing help.
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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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