7th Circuit Court of Appeals

7th Circuit orders disability case back to administrative law judge

August 28, 2012
Because the Social Security Administration Appeals Council did not consider new evidence when it was presented – despite its own regulations requiring it to do so – the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals sent a disability insurance benefits case back to the administrative law judge for further proceedings.
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7th Circuit to DOC: Sex offender registry error safeguards insufficient

August 28, 2012
Dave Stafford
Indiana’s Sex and Violent Offender Registry provides insufficient means for those whose information is incorrect to challenge the information, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Updated instructions aim to prevent social media use during trial

August 24, 2012
IL Staff
Federal judges have new guidelines for keeping Twitter and Facebook out of the jury box.
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Steak ’n Shake loses appeal over franchisee’s independent pricing

August 24, 2012
Dave Stafford
A longtime Steak ’n Shake franchisee who sued the chain after it insisted on setting prices for menu items prevailed again Friday as the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an Illinois federal court’s ruling in the franchisee’s favor.
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7th Circuit rules trial attorneys not ineffective

August 23, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals declined to find a defendant's trial attorneys' representation objectively deficient or ineffective pertaining to how they handled a man’s sentencing hearing.
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Man had no constitutional right to counsel

August 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claims in support of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus, finding his motion to correct sentence wasn’t a motion pursuant to Indiana Code, but was a collateral attack on his sentence.
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Judges uphold insurers’ share of settlement liability

August 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A District judge did not err in how he apportioned liability among three insurers for payment of a settlement between an injured worker and a contractor, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Friday.
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7th Circuit rules in favor of attorneys in failed business investment

August 16, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A group of investors suing attorneys who worked on the establishment of two business entities – which later failed – were unable to show the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that the attorneys owed the investors any legal duty.
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ITT college director fails in federal appeal over dismissal

August 14, 2012
Dave Stafford
A former director of a California ITT Technical Institute campus failed to convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that he was terminated because he complained about the way the school handled federally subsidized student loans and grants.
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Inmate’s suit alleging 8th Amendment violation allowed to continue

August 9, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge was incorrect in dismissing an inmate’s lawsuit alleging Eighth Amendment violations by prison staff who ignored his abdominal pain for months until the inmate was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.
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Attorney can’t recast untimely 4th Amendment claim against prosecutor

August 8, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Muncie attorney who sued former Delaware County Prosecutor Mark McKinney, alleging due process violations following his arrest and acquittal on conspiracy to commit bribery charges, lost his appeal before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. The judges found the attorney was trying to recast an untimely false arrest claim into a due process claim.
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7th Circuit upholds ruling in favor of borrowers

August 3, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A dispute between a lender and subsidiaries created by a restaurant owner to refinance its debt made its way before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals for the second time. This time, the judges ruled in favor of the borrowers.
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7th Circuit affirms ruling against fired employee

August 3, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Carrier Corp. had an “honest suspicion” that one of its employees was abusing his leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, so the District Court was correct in granting summary judgment for Carrier in the fired employee’s lawsuit.
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Bankruptcy filings down across country, Indiana

August 3, 2012
IL Staff
Bankruptcy filings are down 14 percent across the country for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2012, as compared to the year ending June 30, 2011, the Administrative Office of the United States Courts reported Friday. Filings are down by at least 13 percent in Indiana courts.
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Federal courts rule against overtime in pharmaceutical cases

August 1, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
In a pair of decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals examined different exemption provisions to overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act but reached the same conclusion: Pharmaceutical sales representatives are not entitled to overtime pay.
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Worker's disability denial affirmed at 7th Circuit

July 31, 2012
Dave Stafford
A former worker whose degenerating discs and spondylolisthesis caused her to no longer be able to work as a sales rep for AstraZeneca was not improperly deprived of benefits when the insurer terminated them.
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Coachmen, All-American win appeal in hotel dispute

July 30, 2012
Dave Stafford
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a District Court ruling in favor of two Indiana companies that were involved in a Tennessee hotel project that failed to develop.
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$2.9M verdict in mill accident case upheld

July 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the admittance of an expert’s opinion as to causation of an accident at a northern Indiana steel rolling mill, finding the federal court properly denied a company’s Daubert motion to bar that testimony.
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7th Circuit reverses ACCA enhancement

July 24, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Based on a sparse record of evidence that the District Court could consider in determining whether a man can be sentenced under the Armed Career Criminal Act, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found the government didn’t meet its burden to prove two of the man’s previous convictions from events on the same day were separate predicate offenses under the Act.
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Judges affirm construction company had to pay into union funds

July 23, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with an Indiana federal court that a construction company that entered into a working agreement with a cement masons union had to contribute to two funds for all hours worked, not just bargaining unit work.
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Man not entitled to disability benefits

July 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals was sympathetic to a man’s medical condition but affirmed the decision by an administrative law judge that he’s not disabled is supported by the evidence.
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7th Circuit certifies questions for Kansas Supreme Court

July 12, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals was unable to determine under Kansas law how that state’s Supreme Court would rule on whether FedEx drivers are employees or independent contractors, so the court sent two certified questions to the Kansas justices.
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Judges disagree over impact of mental illness label at sentencing

July 11, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Diane Wood believed that Michael Dean Overstreet, who was convicted of killing Franklin College student Kelly Eckart in 1997, was prejudiced by his attorneys’ decisions at sentencing regarding which experts should testify about his mental illness.
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7th Circuit upholds conviction over DEA agent withholding evidence

July 6, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of federal charges of distributing cocaine was not deprived a fair trial after a government agent failed to record or relay exculpatory evidence from a co-defendant, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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7th Circuit affirms life sentences in prostitution ring

July 6, 2012
Dave Stafford
Two men sentenced to life in prison on an assortment of federal charges related to a prostitution ring involving underage girls that operated in northwest Indiana failed in their appeal before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday, but judges asked the trial court to clarify the sentence for a third defendant.
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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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