ILNews

COA panel to consider public access

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2008
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A three-judge Indiana Court of Appeals panel wants to know why parties have not submitted what it calls "a meaningful public access set of briefs" related to product-liability claims against Indianapolis-based Guidant Corp.

The state's second highest appellate court has a public hearing scheduled for 11 a.m. March 25 in Allianz Insurance Co., et al. v. Guidant Corp., et al., No. 49A05-0704-CV-216, where judges will consider the balance of public interest for access with the need for restricting access relating to the Marion County case.

According to one of the attorneys representing Guidant, the case goes back to product-liability claims on an implantable device to treat life-threatening abdominal aortic aneurysms. The appellate court last year consolidated more than one issue into this appeal and ordered the parties to submit two sets of briefs: a public access set and another confidential set that would remain sealed and only accessible to the judges and the attorneys involved.

A trial judge had granted partial summary judgment for Guidant relating to the duty to defend, and that is the main issue on appeal, attorney George Plews said. He said when insurers first filed briefs in the case, briefs lacked any substantive information and did not include much more than a table of contents and applicable caselaw. Guidant followed suit when filing its own briefs, he said. The parties were complying with a protective order issued by the trial judge against releasing certain information in the product-liability case, Plews said.

But the motion panel's July 17, 2007, order wasn't followed concerning the public briefs, and now the parties must show cause as to why sanctions shouldn't be imposed for failing to comply. The court is also now directing the parties to the Indiana Supreme Court ruling in Palmer v. Comprehensive Neurologic Services, P.C., et al., No 32A01-0512-CV-553, from June 27, 2007, which states "as a general proposition, court records are accessible to the public unless excluded from public access by a provision of Rule 9(g)(2)."

Plews said they didn't intend to make the court unhappy and were complying with instructions from the court. Attorneys listed for Allianz in the case - Brian Paul in Indianapolis and Lazar Raynal in Chicago - could not be reached for comment today.

The panel hearing Tuesday's arguments is Chief Judge John Baker, and Judges Patricia Riley and Melissa May. Arguments will be in the Indiana Supreme Court courtroom.
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  1. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  2. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  3. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

  4. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  5. This article proved very enlightening. Right ahead of sitting the LSAT for the first time, I felt a sense of relief that a score of 141 was admitted to an Indiana Law School and did well under unique circumstances. While my GPA is currently 3.91 I fear standardized testing and hope that I too will get a good enough grade for acceptance here at home. Thanks so much for this informative post.

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