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Court orders defendants to wear leg restraints at trial

June 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge in Terre Haute has granted the government’s request that two defendants wear modified leg irons at an upcoming jury trial due to their violent criminal histories – both outside of prison and while incarcerated. The men face charges stemming from the murder of a fellow inmate.
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Federal court seeks comment on local sentencing procedure rule

June 6, 2014
IL Staff
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana has determined there is a need to amend Local Criminal Rule 13.1 on sentencing procedure and is accepting comment on the proposed changes.
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COA: Man’s sentence after guilty plea is illegal

June 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a man’s 10-year sentence resulting from a guilty plea for abusing his adopted teenaged children, holding that the sentence was based on an incorrect application of I.C. 35-50-1-2.
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Electronic devices must be turned off in Southern District courtrooms

June 5, 2014
IL Staff
If you plan on bringing your mobile phone, tablet or any other electronic device into court in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Indiana, make sure you turn it off. That’s an order from Chief Judge Richard Young.
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Spanish-speaking man did not waive rights in plea, justices hold

June 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A non-native English speaker was able to show the Indiana Supreme Court that, during his guilty plea hearing, he was not properly advised of the constitutional rights he was waiving by pleading guilty. The justices reversed the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief.
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Tax Court affirms 2006 assessment appealed pro se

June 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Although sympathetic to a mother and daughter’s plight, the Indiana Tax Court affirmed the 2006 assessment of a downtown Indianapolis condominium. The judge pointed out that pro se litigants are held to the same standards as licensed attorneys.
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Dropped charges against former IURC chief won’t be appealed

June 5, 2014
IL Staff
The state no longer is contesting the dismissal of official misconduct charges against former Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission Chairman David Lott Hardy.
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Husband’s agreement doesn’t preclude judgment against wife

June 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A company is allowed to sue both parties who executed a promissory note seeking recovery of owed funds because it will still only be entitled to one satisfaction on the debt, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Court rules gynecologist can’t testify on mental competency

June 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A bank is able to foreclose on a mortgage against the estate of a deceased 95-year-old woman who opened the line of credit to pay her granddaughter to take care of her. But the elderly woman’s daughter argued the granddaughter unduly influenced Mildred Borgwald to open the account.
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COA orders trial over 1 issue in contaminated development land suit

June 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a trial on the issue of whether the known loss doctrine would bar coverage of an insurance policy held by the owner of land sold for a housing development that later was found to have been contaminated with toxic waste. A builder sued the landowner, claiming he knew of the potential contamination and failed to inform the builder.
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No abuse by trial court in modifying maintenance payment terms

June 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held that a trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied a man’s petition to revoke spousal maintenance.
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Justices question prosecutor’s tactics, but decline to award new trial

June 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that while a Marion County prosecutor committed one instance of prosecutorial misconduct during a man’s trial for sexual misconduct with a minor, the effect of this misconduct did not make a fair trial for the defendant impossible.
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Indiana to get $2.1M in drugmaker settlement

June 4, 2014
IL Staff
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General announced Wednesday that the state will receive nearly $2.1 million in a multi-state settlement with GlaxoSmithKline LLC concerning three of its drugs.
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Depositions delayed in Spierer civil case

June 4, 2014
Dave Stafford
Attorneys for the parents of missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer must delay more than a dozen planned depositions. The depositions were scheduled this month in four cities in the federal civil trial naming two of the people believed to have last seen Spierer.
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Hammerle On … 'Belle,' 'Locke'

June 4, 2014
Robert Hammerle
Bob Hammerle says buy a ticket for "Locke" and be prepared for a mesmerizing trip.
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Proposed e-filing rule comment period open

June 4, 2014
Dave Stafford
Lawyers will be able to file state court cases and motions with the ease of clicking a button beginning next year. Getting to that point won’t be so simple.
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Quarles & Brady latest large firm to expand to Indianapolis

June 4, 2014
Dave Stafford
Larger firms see enough promise to set up shop in Indianapolis - not through merger or acquisition - but by expanding with the launch of a branded office. And then expanding some more.
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Indiana Tech dean's exit shocks backers

June 4, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Tech Law School Dean Peter Alexander’s surprising resignation May 21 as dean has many in the Fort Wayne legal community questioning what happened. But attorneys said they will maintain the relationships with the school that were fostered by the former leader.
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Longtime private practitioner Steve Langer leads ITLA

June 4, 2014
Dave Stafford
Valparaiso attorney Steven Langer brings to bear more than 30 years of experience as the new president of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association. He answers a few questions from Indiana Lawyer about the organization, the practice of law, and his family. And he had a pet black bear in his youth.
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ITLA Institute hits a big milestone

June 4, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The 50th annual conference will give attorneys a chance to recharge, connect with others, and learn tips from a comedian.
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Ex-officer for MCBA may lose law license

June 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson, Dave Stafford
Members and officers of the Marion County Bar Association say the organization has put behind it the theft and subsequent repayment of more than $10,000 by its former treasurer.
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Dean's Desk: IU McKinney dean reflects on first year on the job

June 4, 2014
Andrew Klein
It’s been nearly a year since I became dean of the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, and it would be impossible to fully describe the experience in this short column
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Hoosiers play integral roles in historic military commissions

June 4, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The words Indianapolis attorney Richard Kammen used to describe the trials taking place at Guantanamo Bay are jarring – “legally grotesque situation,” “huge stain on American justice,” “secret expedient rigged justice.”
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IU McKinney students observe trial proceedings at Guantanamo Bay

June 4, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Through the U.S. Military Commission Observation Project at IU McKinney School of Law, students, faculty, staff and alumni are joining organizations to watch the hearings at Guantanamo Bay and blog about their thoughts and impressions.
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Technology Untangled: Make sure Windows 8.1 computer can play DVD movies

June 4, 2014
Stephen Bour
Microsoft does not include DVD player software as a standard feature of Windows 8.1! Today’s article serves as both a caution and as an explanation about this DVD player issue.
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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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