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Indiana justices deny 8 cases, plus associational standing appeal

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The Indiana Supreme Court declined to take eight cases last week, and by a split vote the court also reversed a prior decision to hear an electric utility’s appeal based on an associational standing question.

In a transfer disposition order, the state’s highest court declined a total of nine cases, including Indiana-Kentucky Electric Corp., et al. v. Save the Valley, et al., No. 49A02-1011-MI-1178, that had previously been granted transfer in February.

The Court of Appeals ruled on the case in August, finding that it had already ruled on an associational standing question six years ago in the same case and that the electric utility was trying to re-litigate that issue. The court declined to revisit the case, based on the law-of-the-case doctrine. Particularly, the intermediate appellate judges rejected IKEC claims that the state justices didn’t adequately consider a similar case pending at the time, even though the original Court of Appeals panel did address that issue and the Supreme Court denied transfer.

The Court of Appeals panel also dismissed arguments that the precedent wasn’t valid because the justices later issued K.S. v. State, 849 N.E.2d 538 (Ind. 2006), and the electric utility contended that voided the Save the Valley issue of associational standing. But after granting transfer earlier this year, a March 22 order from the Supreme Court says that the Court of Appeals decision from last year is reinstated.

Acting Chief Justice Brent Dickson signed the order and Justices Frank Sullivan and Robert Rucker concurred, although Justices Randall T. Shepard and Steven David voted to grant transfer.

The other cases denied transfer are: Outboard Boating Club of Evansville, Inc., and Small-Craft Boaters, Inc. v. Indiana State Department of Health, No. 82A01-1102-PL-52; The Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of: D.H.H. & A.M.H., and Carrie Crawford v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services, No. 71A03-1107-JT-322; Charles Lawrence, Sr. v. State of Indiana, No. 02A03-1105-CR-194; Jason B. Forrest v. State of Indiana, No. 91A05-1106-CR-324; Joseph A. Taylor v. Alan P. Finnan, No. 48A02-1105-MI-547; In Re: The Order of Contempt Against Craig Benson, Martinsville Depot, Inc., and SBS Enterprises, Inc. v. Co-Alliance, LLP, No. 55A04-1010-CC-646; Thomas M. Slaats v. Sally E. Slaats, No. 87A01-1009-DR-523; and Shawnee Construction and Engineering v. Don C. Stanley, Jr, No. 02A04-1010-CT-610, in which Dickson voted to grant transfer.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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