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Indiana Supreme Court takes two cases

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The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer to two cases for the week ending May 3 – one involving a physician, and one involving a man convicted of child molesting.

In Mary Alice Manley and Gary Manley v. Ryan J. Sherer, M.D., and Sherer Family Medicine, P.C., No. 59A01-1104-PL-190, Gary and Mary Alice Manley appealed a trial court’s award of summary judgment for Dr. Ryan Sherer and Sherer Family Medicine, and the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court. Mary Manley was involved in a head-on crash with one of Sherer’s patients, Kimberly Zehr. The Manleys claimed that Sherer was negligent in failing to warn Zehr that she should not drive due to her medical condition and a medication she was taking at the time of the crash.

The other case that the high court accepted on transfer is Gerald P. VanPatten v. State of Indiana, No. 02A03-1103-CR-113, in which VanPatten was convicted of two counts of Class A felony child molesting and one count of Class C felony child molesting.

In that case, Gerald VanPatten appealed his convictions, claiming that he had been denied his request for new counsel, but the Court of Appeals held that while a right to counsel is guaranteed, a right to counsel of choice is not necessarily guaranteed. VanPatten also claimed evidence was insufficient to support the molesting convictions, saying that testimony from a nurse who examined both children in the case should not have been admitted in court. One of the alleged victims – S.D., VanPatten’s biological daughter – later recanted her claims against him. The appellate court agreed that evidence was sufficient to support charges that VanPatten molested S.D.’s friend, but Judge John Baker disagreed that evidence supported the claim that VanPatten molested S.D.

The Supreme Court denied transfer to 18 other cases.  

 

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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