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Supreme Court accepts 5 transfers

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The Indiana Supreme Court has taken five cases on transfer, including one that presents two issues of first impression on prejudgment interest.

In Kathy Inman v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 41S01-1108-CT-515, the Indiana Court of Appeals found that state statute allows a litigant to receive prejudgment interest in an uninsured motorist case, even when it exceeds insurance policy limits for those types of claims. The appellate court looked at the Tort Prejudgment Interest Statute and cases from other courts to hold that a claim against one’s insurer for underinsured motorist benefits is a civil action arising out of tortious conduct and it’s appropriate to award prejudgment interest under Indiana Code 34-51-4-5.

The judges also looked to other courts for guidance on the issue of prejudgment interest in excess of the policy limits and held an insurer can be required to pay prejudgment interest in excess of uninsured and/or underinsured motorist limits in an action brought by an insured for failure to pay uninsured and/or underinsured motorist coverage.

The justices also took:

- Jimmie Ernest Jones Jr. v. State of Indiana, No. 29S02-1105-CR-511, in which the COA affirmed Jimmie Jones’ conviction of felony murder, holding the trial court didn’t err by refusing his tendered instructions on reckless homicide and involuntary manslaughter because evidence suggests Jones knowingly and willingly killed the victim.

- Mickey Cundiff v. State of Indiana, No. 31S05-1108-CR-512, in which the appellate court affirmed Mickey Cundiff’s conviction of Class D felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated, finding he wasn’t entitled to a speedy trial pursuant to Ind. Criminal Rule 4(B) despite his incarceration on an unrelated charge. A defendant must be incarcerated on the pending charges to be entitled to the benefits of the 70-day speedy trial rule, the court held.

- Jennings Daugherty v. State of Indiana, No. 89S01-1108-CR-513, in which the COA affirmed in a not-for-publication decision Jennings Daugherty’s convictions of and sentence for Class D felony intimidation, Class D felony operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, two counts of Class B felony possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, and his adjudication as a habitual offender. Daugherty claimed that the trial court’s denial of his motion to suppress constituted an abuse of discretion; his multiple convictions for possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon violated the prohibitions against double jeopardy; that the trial court erred in allowing the state to amend the habitual offender information; and his sentence was inappropriate.

- AOL LLC v. Indiana Dept. of State Revenue, No. 49S10-1108-TA-514, in which the Indiana Tax Court reversed the department of state revenue’s final determinations which denied AOL’s two claims for a refund. The court ordered the department to refund to AOL the use taxes it paid during the tax periods at issue.

The Supreme Court denied transfer to 37 cases, including Allan C. Bir v. Cynthia Bir, No. 06A01-1009-DR-449, in which the attorneys representing Allan asked the high court to take the case because they believed new child support guidelines are unconstitutional and the Court of Appeals doesn’t have the authority to go against them. Revisions in 2010 changed the payment scheme for high-income earners and raised the ceiling on child support obligations.
 

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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