State Farm v. Radcliff - 8/20/14

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Wednesday  August 20, 2014 
10:00 AM  EST

10 a.m. 29A04-1311-CT-542. This largest defamation verdict in Indiana’s history is once again before this court as an appeal to the trial court’s denial of State Farm’s Trial Rule 60(B) motion.  In its T.R. 60(B) motion, State Farm requested the trial court to grant a new trial on the limited issue of defamation based on State Farm’s discovery of new evidence purportedly establishing that Radcliff had procured the verdict by committing fraud on the court.

In its appeal, State Farm presents this court with four procedural issues which we restate as follows:

1.     Characterizing its T.R. 60(B) motion as solely a T.R. 60(B)(3) motion based on fraud and misconduct, State Farm asserts that the trial court abused its discretion by interpreting its T.R. 60(B) motion as a T.R. 60(B)(2) motion based on newly discovered evidence and applying T.R. 60(B)(2)’s requirements to its T.R. 60(B)(3) motion.

2.    Whether the trial court abused its discretion by concluding that State Farm’s T.R. 60(B)(3) motion was barred by the law of the case due to this court’s denial of State Farm’s Appellate Rule 37 motion for remand in the first appeal where this court addressed State Farm’s request for alternative relief based on “waiver notwithstanding” and our supreme court subsequently denied State Farm’s request for emergency relief based on its T.R. 60(B) motion.

3.    Whether the trial court abused its discretion by denying State Farm’s T.R. 60(B) motion as a matter of law.

4.    Whether the trial court abused its discretion in declining to allow State Farm to engage in further protracted discovery pursuant to T.R. 60(D) and in ruling on the motion without an evidentiary hearing when Radcliff elected to respond to State Farm’s T.R. 60(B) motion on legal grounds as opposed to factual grounds and therefore no further pertinent evidence would need to be submitted to the trial court to aid in its ruling. 

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  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

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