7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Jury to decide whether woman was fired for being pregnant

June 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of a company on a fired employee’s claim that her employment was terminated because she was pregnant, finding the company’s explanations for her firing were shifting, inconsistent, and/or facially implausible.
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Judges: Integration clause doesn’t preclude introduction of parol evidence

June 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Tuesday that in the absence of a factual inquiry, the mere presence of an integration clause doesn’t preclude a party from introducing parol evidence that it was fraudulently induced to enter into the agreement as a whole. The decision came in a dispute involving a settlement agreement that one party sought to invalidate based on claims of fraudulent inducement.
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Defendant breached plea agreement by fleeing to Mexico

June 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant was unable to convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that despite his decision to flee the country for five years before he was sentenced in a drug case, the government should have to stick to the terms of his original plea agreement.
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7th Circuit finds meth dealer was acting like a merchant, not a manager

June 3, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although an Indiana man determined how much and how often his buyers received methamphetamine as well as pressured them to sell, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded his sentence should not have been enhanced because his actions were not coercive.
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Specificity requirement does not extend to limitations of liability, 7th Circuit rules

June 3, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a contract clause limiting liability stands because the two commercial entities that entered into the agreement were sophisticated and knowingly negotiated the terms.
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Judge’s opinion keeps colleague in suspense

May 30, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner had a fellow judge on the edge of his seat Thursday waiting to see how the opinion in a murder case would be decided. The court upheld a prisoner’s conviction of first-degree murder of the prisoner’s cellmate.
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7th Circuit orders Indiana case sent back to Ohio

May 23, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge in the Southern District of Indiana erred when she determined that a claims adjuster from Ohio was fraudulently joined to a case that was transferred out of federal court in Ohio to Indiana, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled. The case also presented two issues of first impression for the Circuit.
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Easterbrook: 7th Circuit 'nation's leader' in productivity

May 22, 2013
Dave Stafford
Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals presented his final State of the Circuit address during the Circuit conference this month in Indianapolis, describing the federal appellate court for Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin as perhaps the nation’s most industrious.
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Lugar: I paid the price for support of Obama picks

May 22, 2013
Dave Stafford
Former Indiana Sen. Richard G. Lugar told members of the federal judiciary May 6 that his support of President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court appointees, opposed by many in his party, may have carried the greatest political cost of any decisions during his 36 years in the Senate.
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Memorable moments from the 7th Circuit Bar Association and Judicial Conference of the 7th Circuit

May 22, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl, Dave Stafford
Here are some highlights from the recent 7th Circuit Bar and Judicial Conference in Indianapolis.
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Lengthy gun sentence affirmed in 2011 hotel standoff

May 20, 2013
Dave Stafford
A federal prison sentence of more than 33 years was upheld Monday for a career criminal convicted of leading police on a chase, assaulting an officer until he lost consciousness and staging an armed, four-hour standoff at an Indianapolis hotel in August 2011.
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7th Circuit orders resentencing, muses ‘wine speaks truth’ in felon gun case

May 20, 2013
Dave Stafford
An Elkhart felon’s defense that he was drunk at the time he told police that guns they confiscated from his girlfriend’s apartment belonged to him failed to sway the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which did find another error and order him to be resentenced.
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Man’s prior conviction doesn’t render him a career offender

May 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a man’s habeas petition, finding his conviction of arson in the third degree in Delaware doesn’t qualify as a crime of violence under U.S.S.G. Section 4B.1. As such, his current sentence should be reduced to reflect he isn’t a career offender.
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7th Circuit rejects claim that FMLA should be extended to non-eligible employees

May 8, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for a transportation company on a fired worker’s claims that her termination violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. The judges didn’t agree with the woman that FMLA protection should extend to non-eligible employees who request leave for future periods.
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7th Circuit: ‘Ransom demand’ requires third-party involvement

May 8, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
In order to enhance a criminal sentence on the basis of a ransom demand, that demand must be conveyed to a third-party, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Chief Justice Roberts says budget cuts translate into judicial furlough and layoffs

May 7, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts used part of his address to the 7th Circuit to highlight the fiscal constraints judges and courts are facing today.
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7th Circuit reaffirms drug conviction over claims of ineffective counsel

May 7, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of federal drug charges failed to convince a panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that his conviction should be vacated due to ineffective assistance of counsel. The court affirmed a conviction from the District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.
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Lugar: Votes for Obama Supreme Court nominees carried heavy cost

May 6, 2013
Dave Stafford
Former Indiana Sen. Richard G. Lugar told members of the federal judiciary Monday that his support of President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court appointees, opposed by many in his party, may have carried the greatest political cost of any decisions during his 36 years in the Senate.
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Bankruptcy filings drop in Indiana, U.S.

April 29, 2013
IL Staff
Bankruptcy filings are down 14.4 percent for the 12-month period ending March 31 as compared to the same 12-month period ending March 31, 2012, according to statistics from the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.
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7th Circuit denies petitions seeking review of mine safety regulations

April 26, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Friday found that the Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration acted within its statutory and constitutional authority in demanding review of employee medical records to ensure mines were not under-reporting injuries or illnesses.
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7th Circuit rules for employer on fired worker’s claims

April 25, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
An Italian-born naturalized U.S. citizen who sued his former employer for religious discrimination and defamation after he was fired could not prove his claims before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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SCOTUS declines review of injunction against Medicaid cap on dental work

April 22, 2013
IL Staff
The Supreme Court of the United States will leave undisturbed a ruling that blocked state efforts to cap dental work for Medicaid recipients at $1,000 per year.
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7th Circuit declines to overturn ruling on excessive force

April 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A man who entered a conditional plea on drug charges couldn’t convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday that it should overturn a ruling that the use of excessive force during an arrest is not a basis for suppressing evidence.
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GE did not discriminate against employee

April 16, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A longtime employee at the Bloomington General Electric Co. plant could not prove to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that the company discriminated against her because of a disability and retaliated against her when she filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
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Judges affirm AUL Insurance owed no fiduciary duty to 401(k) plan

April 16, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of an insurance company on a 401(k) plan trustee’s lawsuit that the insurance company's revenue-sharing practices breached a fiduciary duty under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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