July 2016
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Trace Investigations will be exhibiting at the annual conference of the Indiana Workers Comp Institute on August 12, 2016 in Indianapolis. The IWCI provides training for insurance claims administrators and adjusters and others involved in any way with worker's compensation. Details at IWCI.org.

We are grateful to have the opportunity to provide you this valuable information. We take special care to ensure the information we provide you in "Tracings" is the latest and most current information available. In this edition, we have provided a case study that is the perfect example of how "what you don't know" can ruin your case and, then, we remember attorney Tom Schornhorst, a champion of justice for all.

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The Trace Team

art1 The Case of the Angry Young Man
Several years ago, Trace Investigations was retained to conduct a fact-finding investigation on behalf of a young man charged with attacking a sleeping man and mutilating him. Our client, a well-known criminal defense attorney, was appointed to act as defense counsel.

Brian Bennett was an angry young man, the kind who carried an argument or grudge to the extreme. His extremes usually ended in violence. His wife of two years had discovered that the hard way, when he knocked her out during one of their frequent arguments. She left him the next day and with the help of her family and a good attorney, she had him arrested and obtained a divorce. Bennett served a stint in prison and managed to stay out of trouble after his release. For a while. He was never one to let a grudge go unanswered, and when he heard that his ex-wife was living with her new boyfriend, he saw a chance to have his revenge, in an unusual and perverse way.

In the dark of a moonless night, Bennett, wearing a ski mask and dressed in black, quickly crossed the back yard of his ex-wife's house. He forced open the back door and quietly entered the kitchen. Breaking and entering was not a new skill set. Bennett quietly made his way to the downstairs bedroom where his wife and her boyfriend were sleeping. Jumping... Read More
art2 Remembering Tom
By Don C. Johnson, CLI

He is remembered well by many and missed to this day. I was honored to know him and to work closely with him on a number of cases over the years.

Attorney F. Thomas "Tom" Schornhorst passed away last year in Oxford, Mississippi, where he was an adjunct professor of law at the University of Mississippi. Tom was a Professor of Law Emeritus at Indiana University's Maurer School of Law. He retired from IU in 1998 but continued to work in Indiana as a court appointed criminal defense attorney. Our first case together was several years ago, in the early 1990s, on a federal habeas corpus petition for a defendant on Indiana's death row, Keith Canaan, convicted for murdering a young woman in her apartment in Evansville. Tom's petition, in essence, argued not only that the defendant had ineffective assistance of counsel but that the jury which convicted him heard testimony about the defendant's prior criminal history, which should have been excluded. Tom got involved after all state appeals were denied. The original trial was ten years earlier and Tom asked that I locate the original twelve jurors and interview them. Tom wanted to know whether or not the jurors would have sentenced the defendant to death had they not known about his criminal history. There was no actual innocence issue that could be considered. I was able to locate... Read More