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High court grants transfer to 3 cases

February 20, 2009

The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to three cases Thursday, including one case involving challenges to a ruling on pretrial motions after a guilty plea.

In Tommy D. Alvey v. State, No. 82A01-0804-CR-164, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tommy Alvey couldn't challenge the trial court's denial of his pretrial motion to suppress because he pleaded guilty to a drug charge. Relying on the Indiana Supreme Court's ruling in Norris v. State, No. 43S03-0807-CR-379, the Court of Appeals ruled that an evidentiary challenge after pleading guilty isn't permissible.

Alvey challenged the trial court order denying his pretrial motion to suppress following a "conditional guilty plea" in which he and the state agreed he had reserved his right to appeal the court's order.

In Brennen Baker and Moisture Management v. Tremco Inc. and Rick Gibson, No. 29A02-0711-CV-1001, the appellate court affirmed summary judgment in favor of Rick Gibson on Brennen Baker's claim that Gibson defamed him by telling a third party that he suffered from mental illness and in favor of Tremco on Baker's "blacklisting" and wrongful-discharge claims. The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded with instructions to enter summary judgment in favor of Baker on his claim that he did not violate the noncompete clause with his former employer, Tremco. The case was also remanded for trial on Baker's claim against Tremco of tortious interference and the claim that Gibson defamed Baker by telling a third party that he had engaged in inappropriate sales practices.

Judge Terry Crone dissented in part in a separate opinion regarding the issue of whether Gibson defamed Baker by telling a third party that Baker suffered from a mental illness. Judge Crone believed that a bare assertion that someone suffers from a mental illness is sufficient to constitute slander per se.

The Supreme Court also granted transfer with opinion to Pelley v. State, No. 71S05-0808-CR-446.

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