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Justices take legal-malpractice insurance case

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The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to a case in which a legal professional liability insurer claimed it didn’t receive actual notice of claims against the attorney, so the former clients couldn’t collect under the plan.

On Nov. 10, the justices took Michael Ashby, et al. v. C. Bruce Davidson Jr., No. 49S04-1011-CV-635. The Bar Plan intervened in complaints filed by clients of the attorney for legal malpractice, claiming because C. Bruce Davidson Jr. didn’t notify the insurer of the claims that he didn’t help with in the investigation. Bar Plan also claimed that because there can be no recovery in the underlying suit, the insurer should be granted summary judgment.

The insurer issued a policy to Davidson, who while that plan was in effect abandoned his law practice and robbed numerous banks in multiple states. He is now disbarred and in prison.

The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment and ruled Paint Shuttle Inc. v. Continental Casualty Co., 733 N.E.2d 513 (Ind. Ct. App. 2000), didn’t support the insurer’s arguments, and that the actual notice Bar Plan received from the clients was proper. The appellate court remanded for further proceedings.

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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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