Latest News

Court rejects man's explanation of 'briefly'

November 15, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A man charged with a drug dealing offense near a school wasn’t entitled to a jury instruction stating he was only “briefly” within 1,000 feet of school property because the drug transaction was short in time even though it happened at his house, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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No error in refusal to tender 'missing witness' instruction

November 15, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s drug convictions, finding the District Court didn’t err by refusing to give the jury a requested “missing witness” instruction.
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Despite out-of-court agreement, COA upholds motion to strike

November 15, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals encourages collegiality among attorneys when it comes to resolving issues outside of court, but it had to uphold the striking of documents because they were not timely filed with the trial court. The parties’ attorneys agreed to an extension of time to reply outside of court, but the trial court had no choice but to not allow the late reply.
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ICJI awards grant for study of juvenile courts

November 15, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Two Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs professors at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis have received a $200,000 grant from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute to study the records of juvenile delinquents in Indiana to determine if juvenile court personnel treated defendants differently based on race, the school announced today.
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Court upholds juvenile placement with DOC

November 12, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld placing a juvenile with the Indiana Department of Correction over his objections that there was a less restrictive alternative available.
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COA affirms Avon ordinance invalid

November 12, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Town of Avon’s attempt to regulate by ordinance a township and conservancy district’s ability to remove and sell groundwater located in a park failed because the ordinance violated Indiana law, the Indiana Court of Appeals held today.
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Justices disbar attorney

November 12, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court chose to disbar a Marion County attorney due to his pattern of neglect in clients’ cases.
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Plaintiff attorney chosen to serve on judicial commissions

November 11, 2010
Michael Hoskins
An Indianapolis plaintiff attorney has received the most votes from colleagues to join the Indiana Judicial Nominating and Judicial Qualifications commissions, and he’ll take a spot on a seven-person panel in January.
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Judge denies summary judgment in legal malpractice suit

November 11, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge denied summary judgment for an attorney and his law firm on legal malpractice and other claims, ruling the defendants failed to present a coherent argument to support summary judgment.
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COA to visit high school for oral arguments

November 11, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in a trespass and resisting law enforcement case at an Indianapolis high school Nov. 16.
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Northern District Local Rules amended

November 11, 2010
IL Staff
Four local rules have been amended in the U.S. District Court of Indiana, Northern District. Changes have been made to Local Rule 7.1, Motion Practice; Length and Form of Briefs; L.R. 56.1 Summary Judgment Procedure; L.R. 200.1, Bankruptcy Cases and Proceedings; and Appendix C, Notice to Pro Se Litigant.
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COA: State could charge man for leaving scene of fatal accident

November 10, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s conviction for failing to return to the scene of a fatal accident, finding the state wasn’t barred under collateral estoppel principles from prosecuting him for the same crime as another man who had already been convicted of causing the victim’s death.
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High court vacates transfer order

November 10, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has decided not to take the case of a man who claimed he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel.
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ATC chairman stepping down

November 10, 2010
IL Staff
P. Thomas Snow, a former judge in Wayne County, is resigning as chairman of the Alcohol & Tobacco Commission.
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New advertising rule on law firm monikers sparks concern

November 10, 2010
Michael Hoskins
New attorney advertising rules adopted recently by the Indiana Supreme Court have some lawyers throughout the state worried that they’re being forced to change their law firm names from what’s historically been allowed.
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Human trafficking cases on the rise in IndianaRestricted Content

November 10, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
While it may still be an issue under the radar of many Hoosiers, human trafficking seems to be thriving in Indiana.
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Giving a gift of life

November 10, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
For some, when a family member needs something, there’s no doubt that the right thing to do is step up and give. That was the case with two members of the legal community.
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Lawyer sentenced on child porn case

November 10, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Anderson attorney Samuel Hasler, who pled guilty to a pair of child pornography charges, has received a 151-month sentence, meaning he’ll spend more than 12 years behind bars and then face a lifetime of supervised release.
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Diversity issues affect family lawRestricted Content

November 10, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
While family law cases can be complicated – especially if children are involved and a case has ended up in front of a judge after the parties couldn’t come to an agreement on their own through mediation – the issues only get more complicated when fundamental differences exist between the parties.
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New national act would address adult guardianship matters

November 10, 2010
Michael Hoskins
New law changes are on the horizon in order to create more uniform guardianship laws throughout the country and reduce conflicts between states.
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Second Century suit can proceed

November 10, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A Marion Superior judge has lifted a stay on the litigation involving East Chicago’s accounting and use of casino revenue, allowing the state to proceed with discovery and ask the court to require a for-profit organization to turn over documents relating to millions in casino revenue.
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Brizzi disciplinary case delayed again

November 10, 2010
Michael Hoskins
By the time Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi faces a disciplinary hearing on alleged misconduct about how he publicly discussed pending cases, he’ll have finished his term and will no longer be prosecutor in the state’s largest county.
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New federal judge sworn in, robed

November 10, 2010
IL Staff
U.S. Judge Jon DeGuilio took his oath and was officially sworn in Oct. 29 as the newest member of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, where he’ll preside in the South Bend division.
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Corporate attorney serves as insurer's litigation counsel

November 10, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Crown Point attorney Shontrai Irving may be considered a success story in the legal world with multiple awards illustrating his experience in the corporate, criminal, and civil sides of the law. But that’s only one part of what he does, and while he loves the lawyering, it’s not what makes him the most proud.
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Editorial: Human trafficking is local issue

November 10, 2010
Editorial Indiana Lawyer
It’s a silent and devastating problem going on right under our noses, and it’s going to take courage and a willingness to ask invasive and uncomfortable questions to stop it.
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  1. I like the concept. Seems like a good idea and really inexpensive to manage.

  2. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  3. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  4. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  5. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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