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High Court accepts 7 transfers

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The Indiana Supreme Court has taken seven cases on transfer, including a case in which the lower appellate court was split on a construction manager’s duty to an injured worker.

In The Hunt Construction Group, et al. v. Shannon D. Garrett, No. 49S02-1106-CT-365, the Indiana Court of Appeals found that many provisions of the contracts Hunt Construction entered into gave the company significant duties regarding safety on the jobsite, so it owed a duty to Shannon Garrett. Garrett, an employee of Baker Concrete, was injured while working on Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Judge Ezra Friedlander dissented on this point, believing the majority disregarded the provisions that limited Hunt Construction’s duties regarding safety and that their holding “will fundamentally alter contracts” of this nature and make it “virtually impossible for a contractor taking on the role of construction manager to limit its liability so as not to become an insurer of safety for workers of other contractors.”

The justices also accepted:
-    McCord Investments, LLC, et al. v. Sawmill Creek, LLC, et al., No. 49S02-1106-CV-364, in which the Court of Appeals affirmed the order granting the motion filed by Sawmill Creek to set aside a tax deed the auditor issued to McCord Investments because Sawmill Creek’s owner wasn’t provided constitutionally adequate notice of the tax sale;

-    Phyllis Hardy, et al. v. Mary Jo Hardy, No. 51S01-1106-PL-366, in which the COA held that the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Act preempts state law claims brought by Phyllis Hardy seeking to keep her and her grandchild as beneficiaries of her ex-husband’s life insurance policy;

-    Thomas Dexter v. State of Indiana, No. 79S05-1106-CR-367, in which the COA affirmed Thomas Dexter’s conviction of Class A felony neglect of a dependent and determination of his habitual offenders status, finding expert witness testimony was admissible and the jury was properly instructed;

-    Richard S. Emmons v. State of Indiana, No. 79S04-1106-CR-368, in which the appellate court upheld the decision to deny Richard Emmons’ motion for sentence modification in a not-for-publication opinion;

-    Troy R. Smith v. State of Indiana, No. 35S02-1106-CR-369, where the COA reversed the revocation of Troy Smith’s probation for not paying child support weekly, which was a condition of his probation. The judges held that a trial court may revoke probation for not satisfying a financial obligation only if the state proves by a preponderance of the evidence that there is less than full payment and the probationer submitted that smaller payment recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally. They found the state didn’t meet this burden of evidence to revoke Smith’s probation; and

-    Lamar M. Crawford v. State of Indiana, No. 49S05-1106-CR-370, in which the high court issued an opinion June 23.

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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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