Indiana Lawyer’s top story of 2018 began inside an Indianapolis bar in the cool early-morning hours of Thursday, March 15. Attorney General Curtis Hill had had a few drinks. A few too many, several witnesses would later claim.
Newly-minted Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Elizabeth Tavitas has done a little bit of everything throughout her legal career. She’s been a prosecutor, a public defender, a private practitioner, a referee, a trial court judge and now, a judge on the state’s second-highest court.
It’s not uncommon for the Indiana Department of Child Services to hear it doesn’t have enough evidence to support its child welfare cases. Children in need of services cases that enter the court often leave shredded by judges for lack of a sufficient reasoning as to why they came before the bench without enough evidence to back up the claims.
Since a memo was released detailing Curtis Hill’s alleged sexual misconduct at a party celebrating the end of the 2018 legislative session, the Indiana Attorney General has continued to fight back, even as calls for his resignation persist. This week, a nonprofit for his legal defense was announced.
Lake Superior Judge Elizabeth Tavitas was on the bench on July 18 when her phone rang with a message that would change her career. It was a call from Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, informing her that she had been selected as Indiana’s next Court of Appeals judge.
A recently retired Lake Superior Court judge will temporarily return to the bench as a judge pro tempore. The Indiana Supreme Court has appointed former Judge Diane Kavadias Schneider as judge pro tempore in Lake Superior Court, Civil Division 5, in preparation for an upcoming vacancy that will be left by Judge William E. Davis.
Community correction program directors caught between a rock and a hard place may get some breathing room if a bill that would allow the revocation of inmates’ credit time gets the governor’s signature.
A judge appointed to the Wabash Superior Court by Gov. Eric Holcomb less than two years ago as a successor to now-Indiana Supreme Court Justice Christopher Goff has died. Judge Amy Catherine Conner Cornell, 42, died Feb. 19 after an illness.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said Wednesday he will try to build public support for a hate crimes law, a week after the Republican-dominated state Senate stripped out a list of specific protected traits he had supported to get Indiana off a list of five states without such a law.
The Republican-dominated Indiana Senate passed a stripped-down hate crimes bill Thursday and sent the measure to the House, where Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb and others hope the legislation can still be strengthened. The Senate voted 39-10 in favor of the legislation that was changed two days earlier to remove a list of specifically protected characteristics, including sexual orientation, gender identity and race.
After more than three hours of testimony and discussion on Monday morning, the Senate Public Policy Committee voted to send a bias crimes bill to the full Senate for consideration. Senate Bill 12 would give judges the ability to consider whether a crime was committed out of hate or bias toward specific groups of individuals as an aggravating circumstance at sentencing.