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No evidence that missed deadline was result of ineffective attorney

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A Boone County man’s failed attempt to get a jury trial was not the result of ineffective counsel but because he missed the statutory deadline, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.

Paul J. Livers II appealed his convictions for battery causing bodily injury, a Class B misdemeanor, and interference with reporting a crime, a Class A misdemeanor, arguing that he was denied effective assistance of counsel at trial because his counsel failed to  file a timely motion for a jury trial.

In Paul J. Livers, II v. State of Indiana, 06A01-1303-CR-119, the Court of Appeals affirmed Livers’ convictions, concluding he failed to demonstrate he was denied effective assistance of counsel.  

Defendants in misdemeanor cases must request a jury trial no later than 10 days before the first trial date. Livers received notice on Aug. 15, 2012, that his bench trial was scheduled for Oct. 17, 2012.

On Oct. 17, Livers requested a continuance and the bench trial was rescheduled to Dec. 19, 2012. Then, on Oct. 26, he made his demand for a jury trial, a motion the trial court rejected as untimely.

Livers made a direct appeal, relying only upon the trial record.

“We conclude that the record is insufficient to evaluate Livers’ ineffective assistance of counsel claim on direct appeal,” Judge Patricia Riley wrote for the court. “This court has no testimony from trial counsel which might explain her conduct. Nor is that any indication in the record that Livers wanted a jury trial prior to his counsel’s belated request.”

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  1. Whilst it may be true that Judges and Justices enjoy such freedom of time and effort, it certainly does not hold true for the average working person. To say that one must 1) take a day or a half day off work every 3 months, 2) gather a list of information including recent photographs, and 3) set up a time that is convenient for the local sheriff or other such office to complete the registry is more than a bit near-sighted. This may be procedural, and hence, in the near-sighted minds of the court, not 'punishment,' but it is in fact 'punishment.' The local sheriffs probably feel a little punished too by the overwork. Registries serve to punish the offender whilst simultaneously providing the public at large with a false sense of security. The false sense of security is dangerous to the public who may not exercise due diligence by thinking there are no offenders in their locale. In fact, the registry only informs them of those who have been convicted.

  2. Unfortunately, the court doesn't understand the difference between ebidta and adjusted ebidta as they clearly got the ruling wrong based on their misunderstanding

  3. A common refrain in the comments on this website comes from people who cannot locate attorneys willing put justice over retainers. At the same time the judiciary threatens to make pro bono work mandatory, seemingly noting the same concern. But what happens to attorneys who have the chumptzah to threatened the legal status quo in Indiana? Ask Gary Welch, ask Paul Ogden, ask me. Speak truth to power, suffer horrendously accordingly. No wonder Hoosier attorneys who want to keep in good graces merely chase the dollars ... the powers that be have no concerns as to those who are ever for sale to the highest bidder ... for those even willing to compromise for $$$ never allow either justice or constitutionality to cause them to stand up to injustice or unconstitutionality. And the bad apples in the Hoosier barrel, like this one, just keep rotting.

  4. I am one of Steele's victims and was taken for $6,000. I want my money back due to him doing nothing for me. I filed for divorce after a 16 year marriage and lost everything. My kids, my home, cars, money, pension. Every attorney I have talked to is not willing to help me. What can I do? I was told i can file a civil suit but you have to have all of Steelers info that I don't have. Of someone can please help me or tell me what info I need would be great.

  5. It would appear that news breaking on Drudge from the Hoosier state (link below) ties back to this Hoosier story from the beginning of the recent police disrespect period .... MCBA president Cassandra Bentley McNair issued the statement on behalf of the association Dec. 1. The association said it was “saddened and disappointed” by the decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown. “The MCBA does not believe this was a just outcome to this process, and is disheartened that the system we as lawyers are intended to uphold failed the African-American community in such a way,” the association stated. “This situation is not just about the death of Michael Brown, but the thousands of other African-Americans who are disproportionately targeted and killed by police officers.” http://www.thestarpress.com/story/news/local/2016/07/18/hate-cops-sign-prompts-controversy/87242664/

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