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High court to hear insurance, dissolution cases

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The Indiana Supreme Court will hear arguments in three cases tomorrow, including two cases involving insurance coverage disputes.

At 9 a.m., the high court will hear arguments in Tri-Etch, Inc. v. Cincinnati Ins. Co., No. 49A02-0709-CV-827. At issue in this case were two orders from the trial court. One order granted partial summary judgment in favor of Tri-Etch and the appellants on a bad faith counterclaim brought by Cincinnati Insurance, and the other granted summary judgment in favor of Cincinnati and ruled that Tri-Etch's late notice to Cincinnati was unreasonably late as a matter of law and Cincinnati owed no coverage or indemnity to Tri-Etch.

The Court of Appeals reversed the grant of summary judgment because Cincinnati couldn't show it was prejudiced by late notice from Tri-Etch as a matter of law. The case was remanded for the trial court to determine when Cincinnati received notice of the claim to determine the reasonable amount of defense costs the company should pay.

The other insurance case, Allianz Insurance Co. v. Guidant Corp., No. 49A05-0704-CV-216, was described by the Court of Appeals as a "monstrosity of a litigation" based on the fact Illinois and Indiana courts were involved in similar disputes. The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's decision in a case involving public-access laws, fraud, and an insurer's duty to defend. The appellate court reversed the trial court's entry of partial summary judgment in favor of the policyholders. The Court of Appeals ruled the policy's "batch clause" wasn't triggered so the policy's self-insured retention wasn't exhausted.

The Court of Appeals also found the trial court erred in allowing a protective order to seal the case because there wasn't any confidential information in the records, briefs, or issues.

Allianz had filed suit against Guidant in Illinois seeking damages and recission of the insurance policy for fraud; that same month Guidant filed suit in Indiana against Allianz alleging the insurers breached their duty to defend and Guidant was entitled to coverage for the losses from a defect in a medical device.

Arguments begin at 9:45 a.m.

The Supreme Court also will hear arguments in a marriage dissolution case. Here, the trial court judge entered a money judgment in favor of ex-husband Robert Rovai but made Ann Marie Rovai's payment of that money due upon the occurrence of several future events - when both the children become emancipated, Ann Marie voluntarily sells the marital home awarded to her, or she marries or lives with someone else in the home. The appellate court upheld the trial court decision. Arguments in Robert Rovai v. Ann Marie Rovai, No. 45A03-0712-CV-600, begin at 10:30 a.m.

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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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