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COA to hear insurance, attorney fee cases

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A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges will hear arguments Tuesday in Evansville in an insurance coverage case while another panel in Indianapolis will hear arguments in a case involving the division of attorney fees.

Judges Elaine Brown, Melissa May, and Patricia Riley travel to the University of Southern Indiana for arguments regarding a dispute over the scope of coverage of comprehensive general liability insurance policies issued to a construction company in Sheehan Construction Co., et al., v. Continental Casualty Co., et al., No. 49A02-0805-CV-420. A class of plaintiffs alleged their homes sustained water damage because of faulty workmanship. Continental Casualty Co. provided insurance for general contractor Sheehan Construction and Indiana Insurance provided coverage for Somerville Construction, a subcontractor.

The insurers were awarded summary judgment on the grounds that damage naturally resulting from defective workmanship isn't an "accident" covered by the policies. The plaintiffs argued the insurance industry broadened the scope of its standard polices in 1986 to cover this type of damage. Arguments begin at 4 p.m. CDT in Carter Hall D, 8600 University Blvd., Evansville.

Judges Michael Barnes, Cale Bradford, and Edward Najam will hear arguments at 1:30 p.m. in the Indiana Supreme Court courtroom in Nunn Law Office v. Peter H. Rosenthal, No. 49A05-0809-CV-523. Nunn Law Office appeals the trial court's award of $1,462.88 in attorney's fees arising out of Nunn's and appellee attorney Peter Rosenthal's representation of a client in a personal injury action. Nunn claims the trial court erred by failing to issue written findings of fact and conclusions pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 52 and in basing its award upon quantum meruit rather than on Nunn's contingency fee agreement with the client.

The argument will be webcast live and can be viewed by visiting http://www.in.gov/judiciary/appeals/ and clicking on the link under "Upcoming live webcasts" on the top right of the page.

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  1. Too many attorneys take their position as a license to intimidate and threaten non attorneys in person and by mail. Did find it ironic that a reader moved to comment twice on this article could not complete a paragraph without resorting to insulting name calling (rethuglican) as a substitute for reasoned discussion. Some people will never get the point this action should have made.

  2. People have heard of Magna Carta, and not the Provisions of Oxford & Westminster. Not that anybody really cares. Today, it might be considered ethnic or racial bias to talk about the "Anglo Saxon common law." I don't even see the word English in the blurb above. Anyhow speaking of Edward I-- he was famously intolerant of diversity himself viz the Edict of Expulsion 1290. So all he did too like making parliament a permanent institution-- that all must be discredited. 100 years from now such commemorations will be in the dustbin of history.

  3. Oops, I meant discipline, not disciple. Interesting that those words share such a close relationship. We attorneys are to be disciples of the law, being disciplined to serve the law and its source, the constitutions. Do that, and the goals of Magna Carta are advanced. Do that not and Magna Carta is usurped. Do that not and you should be disciplined. Do that and you should be counted a good disciple. My experiences, once again, do not reveal a process that is adhering to the due process ideals of Magna Carta. Just the opposite, in fact. Braveheart's dying rebel (for a great cause) yell comes to mind.

  4. It is not a sign of the times that many Ind licensed attorneys (I am not) would fear writing what I wrote below, even if they had experiences to back it up. Let's take a minute to thank God for the brave Baron's who risked death by torture to tell the government that it was in the wrong. Today is a career ruination that whistleblowers risk. That is often brought on by denial of licenses or disciple for those who dare speak truth to power. Magna Carta says truth rules power, power too often claims that truth matters not, only Power. Fight such power for the good of our constitutional republics. If we lose them we have only bureaucratic tyranny to pass onto our children. Government attorneys, of all lawyers, should best realize this and work to see our patrimony preserved. I am now a government attorney (once again) in Kansas, and respecting the rule of law is my passion, first and foremost.

  5. I have dealt with more than a few I-465 moat-protected government attorneys and even judges who just cannot seem to wrap their heads around the core of this 800 year old document. I guess monarchial privileges and powers corrupt still ..... from an academic website on this fantastic "treaty" between the King and the people ... "Enduring Principles of Liberty Magna Carta was written by a group of 13th-century barons to protect their rights and property against a tyrannical king. There are two principles expressed in Magna Carta that resonate to this day: "No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land." "To no one will We sell, to no one will We deny or delay, right or justice." Inspiration for Americans During the American Revolution, Magna Carta served to inspire and justify action in liberty’s defense. The colonists believed they were entitled to the same rights as Englishmen, rights guaranteed in Magna Carta. They embedded those rights into the laws of their states and later into the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution ("no person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.") is a direct descendent of Magna Carta's guarantee of proceedings according to the "law of the land." http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/magna_carta/

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