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. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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