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COA reverses sentence based on a ‘suspect enhancement’

January 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that a judge was clearly influenced by a jury’s not-guilty decision on another drug charge when he sentenced a defendant for cocaine possession, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered the man’s sentence reduced.
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Full 7th Circuit declines to rehear right-to-work appeal

January 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An even split among all of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judges as to whether to rehear an appeal challenging Indiana’s right-to-work law means that its previous affirmation of the law will stand.
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Teacher fired for in vitro seeks attorney fees

January 15, 2015
 Associated Press
A teacher who won a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend after being fired for trying to get pregnant through in vitro fertilization is now seeking about $756,000 in attorney fees.
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Defense wants statements omitted at Indiana fatal fire trial

January 15, 2015
 Associated Press
Defense attorneys for an Evansville man accused of starting a deadly March fire have asked a judge to keep statements he made to police from being used at trial.
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Lawmakers: Longer sentences, more police will deter crime

January 15, 2015
 Associated Press
Harsher sentences and an increased police presence can help fight crime in Indiana, Republican state senators said Wednesday.
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Rush proposes business court, makes pitch for e-filing funding

January 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
In her first State of Judiciary speech, Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush on Wednesday said the judiciary is “currently working on the development of a business court model focused on complex commercial litigation,” and urged the General Assembly to help fund the courts’ electronic filing initiative.
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Author and death penalty opponent Sister Helen Prejean calls for judicial reform

January 14, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
When she became pen pals with an inmate on Louisiana’s death row, Sister Helen Prejean said she did not know much about the law or the U.S. Constitution. She was not aware of constitutional protections or how the Supreme Court of the United States was interpreting them.
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7th Circuit upholds use of GPS unit on car in 2011

January 14, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s claim that his motion to suppress drugs and guns found by police at a storage locker through the use of a GPS unit should have been granted because attaching the device to his car for purposes of gathering information was a search under the Fourth Amendment.
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Senate panel advances bill to open adoption records

January 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
Advocates of opening Indiana’s adoption records won an emotional first round Wednesday as a Senate panel advanced legislation that for the first time would open birth records of hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers.
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Pence troubled by report Guard mishandled domestic case

January 14, 2015
 Associated Press
Gov. Mike Pence is troubled by allegations that the Indiana National Guard mishandled a domestic violence case and will review a Pentagon report on the matter, his spokeswoman said.
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Court orders termination of spousal maintenance following ex-wife’s remarriage

January 14, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who remarried and now has substantial income and assets as a result of that marriage is no longer entitled to spousal maintenance, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Teen injured in stage collapse loses challenge of tort liability

January 14, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Cincinnati girl who was injured when a concert stage collapsed in 2011 at the Indiana State Fair and later declined to settle with the state lost her challenge that the tort claim caps are unconstitutional, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday.
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COA reverses in part judgment for agents on man’s insurance claim lawsuit

January 14, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Finding the owner of a home that burned designated additional evidence which created a genuine issue of material fact, summary judgment should not have been awarded to agents on his claim, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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Woman can sue Evansville over bungled SWAT raid

January 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
A woman who was 68 years old when her home was raided in 2012 by an Evansville SWAT team tracking down online threats against police can sue the city for unreasonable use of force, a federal judge has ruled.
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‘Settlement Week’ helped to change public policy in civil cases

January 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
Lawyers 25 years ago had a radical concept: Let’s see how many civil lawsuits we can settle in a week.
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Indiana Lawyer celebrates 25 years

January 14, 2015
Kelly Lucas
In 2015, Indiana Lawyer turns 25, and we’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you to our readers as well as those who have served as news sources, partners and supporters along the way. We plan to spend the year taking a look back at some of the stories and people we’ve covered and hope that you will enjoy the flashback.
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Deaf man sues state courts over denial of interpreter for mediation

January 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
A deaf man’s federal lawsuit against Indiana courts claiming the state failed to provide a sign language interpreter for mediation in his child custody hearing has survived the state’s initial efforts to dismiss.
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Innovative networking tool connects lawyers across practices

January 14, 2015
Holly Wheeler
Some are good at networking, others not so good. With the development of the Indianapolis Bar Association’s Indy Attorneys Network Section, lawyers old and new, those skilled at networking and those not as adept, have found there are always opportunities to meet and connect with colleagues and that doing so builds camaraderie and strengthens the local legal community.
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New ILS director praised for reputation and experience

January 14, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Jon Laramore brings a strong background in legal aid and pro bono work.
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Once controversial, IOLTA is now professional standard in Indiana

January 14, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Supreme Court posed an obstacle in 1990 to getting the program launched to fund pro bono efforts.
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Ruling extends standing in adoption cases to those with ‘lawful custody’

January 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
The sometimes-bitter litigation between a child’s adoptive parent and her grandparents who raised her from a young age yielded a decision from the state’s highest court that family law experts believe may represent a significant shift in adoption cases.
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Zoeller: Use depositions over interrogatories in family law matters

January 14, 2015
We’ve all received the responses to interrogatories so doctored by opposing counsel there is virtually no substance, or so littered with objections and qualifications that the answer is meaningless. So for many years my solution to this problem has been to take depositions. I will outline a few of the reasons more family law practitioners should do the same.
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Letter responds to commentary on Resnover execution

January 14, 2015
Members of Gregory Resnover's defense team respond to commentary written by a former employee in attorney general's office at the time of Resnover's execution in 1994.
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Bell: 3 things to know about the ethics of interviewing witnesses

January 14, 2015
James Bell
January brings frigid temperatures, snow and icy roads. In other words, it is a perfect time for you to knock on doors and conduct a field investigation. But before you put your coat on and head out to find that needle-in-a-haystack witness who will save your case, remember that there are ethical rules regarding how you deal with witnesses.
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Living Fit: Aerobic exercise or resistance exercise?

January 14, 2015
Sharon McGoff
The hard-core cardio junkies swear by aerobic exercise as the best way to lose weight, get fit and remain lean. Yet, those who are diehard weightlifters or yoga and Pilates fanatics claim that resistance exercise is the only way to lose weight and become strong and lean. What’s the answer?
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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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