Civil case

Judges uphold contingent fees award

December 30, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The contingent fee contract a law firm entered into with a city regarding a sewer fee dispute, which ultimately led to the firm collecting nearly 10 times more than the city anticipated, was valid and reasonable, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed today.
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Company filed suit within applicable limitations

December 30, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A construction company's attempt to cast itself in the same class of professionals as attorneys or architects was rejected by the Indiana Court of Appeals today. The appellate court upheld on interlocutory appeal the denial of the company's motion for summary judgment in a breach of contract complaint.
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COA: Firefighter's e-mail didn't harm department

December 22, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A firefighter shouldn't have been fired for his e-mail commenting on the financial situation of the township's fire department because the e-mail didn't impact the effectiveness of the department, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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COA: Store not a beneficiary of letters of credit

December 18, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a department store has no rights derived from letters of credit between a bank and the man developing the site for a new store location.
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City violated constitution in denying refunds

December 18, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The city of Indianapolis' refusal to grant some homeowners' requests for a partial refund of Barrett Law assessments violated the Equal Protection Clause, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Tax Court sidesteps first-impression issue

December 10, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Although the Indiana Tax Court had the opportunity to address an issue of first impression, it decided to save its analysis of the issue for another day because the case could be resolved on other grounds.
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Writers lose appeal against newspaperRestricted Content

December 8, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Two former editorial writers at Indiana's largest newspaper failed to prove they were the victims of religious discrimination, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today.
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COA upholds dismissal of proposed class

December 8, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Potential plaintiffs who want to join a class action suit seeking redress under the state's Wage Claims Statute must first submit a claim to the Indiana Department of Labor, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld today.
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COA adopts 'site-specific' approach

December 3, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
For the first time, the Indiana Court of Appeals adopted a site-specific approach to rule on an insurance case with multiple policies in several states. The appellate court had been following a uniform-contract-interpretation approach when ruling on choice of law questions in contract actions.
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Justices rule on constructive discharge issue

December 2, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court decided Tuesday that a claim for constructive retaliatory discharge falls within the state's public policy exemption to the employment-at-will doctrine.
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Justices draw bright line on children's fault

December 1, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana law recognizes a rebuttable presumption that children ages 7 to 14 aren't capable of contributory negligence, the state's Supreme Court has confirmed.
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High court splits in hospital negligence suit

December 1, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court split on whether a hospital was negligent in letting a woman with injuries possibly caused by domestic violence leave with her alleged abuser, who killed her on the way home after being discharged.
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Court splits on first impression dissipation case

November 30, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge dissented today from his colleagues' decision that a spouse may be found to have dissipated property after refusing to sign and file joint tax returns because the judge believes the ruling is "bad law and bad policy."
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COA: Government vehicle exclusion is void

November 25, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded today in a matter of first impression that the government vehicle exclusion in underinsured motorist policies is void as against public policy.
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Reimbursement to estate should be proportional

November 18, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled today that a proportional allocation of proceeds from a pre-trial settlement would be best way to reimburse an estate for funeral and burial expenses.
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COA: Insurance funds aren't a money judgment

November 16, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In a matter of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided today that a summary judgment granting insurance policies isn't equivalent to a money judgment that would allow for 8 percent post-judgment interest.
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COA: Obama, McCain eligible to be president

November 12, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
More than a year after the 2008 presidential election, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama were eligible to run for the office.
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Insurance presents first-impression issue

October 30, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals determined today for the first time that post-retirement health insurance premiums paid by a former employer aren't a marital asset subject to a division.
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COA: Casinos can't ban card counters

October 30, 2009
Michael Hoskins
An Indiana casino cannot stop someone from playing regulated blackjack simply because he counts cards, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Insurer not allowed to substitute party name

October 29, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
An insurance company isn't allowed to substitute another party's name in a suit filed by a driver for her underinsured motorist benefits because there's no authority for substitution of a non-party before a jury in a contract case, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided today. Doing so would create a "legal fiction" before the jury.
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COA: Insurers have no duty to defend Cinergy

October 28, 2009
Jennifer NelsonMore

COA: Plaintiff class in FSSA suit too broad

October 27, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of certification of a proposed class suing the Family and Social Services Administration because plaintiffs believed the modernized public benefits program system has a disparate impact on people with disabilities. Even though the contract with the company providing the system was terminated earlier this month, the parties don't claim this action alters their appeal.
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Supreme Court upholds denial of continuance

October 27, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The majority of justices on the Indiana Supreme Court agreed that the trial court didn't abuse its discretion in denying a married couple's pro se motion to continue after their attorney withdrew six weeks before trial. The dissenting justice argued because of the complexities of the case, the trial court should have granted the couple's motion.
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Court erred in judgment, sanctions order

October 22, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned summary judgment in favor of a company on a former employee's suit for disability discrimination, finding there is a genuine issue as to whether the company regarded the employee as disabled when it fired him.
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Farming dispute creates first impression issue

October 16, 2009
Michael Hoskins
In a ruling from the Indiana Supreme Court on an issue of first impression, two of the state's five justices fear a new holding will have far-reaching impact not only on the forfeiture cases at issue, but also mortgage foreclosure cases impacting the commercial and industrial real estate world.
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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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