Court opinions

COA finds fired highway worker was at-will employee

December 31, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Echoing precedent, the Indiana Court of Appeals has found that an employee handbook is not an employment contract.
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Amendment to new criminal code foils attempt for sentence modification

December 31, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A Vanderburgh County man hoping to benefit from Indiana’s overhaul of its criminal codes was instead reminded to read state statutes very carefully.
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COA affirms weapon charge after suspicious person call

December 31, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of Level 5 felony carrying a handgun without a license failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals his Fourth Amendment rights were violated when the weapon was seized from him as he walked down a country road.
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Trucker’s widow entitled to prejudgment interest, COA decides

December 31, 2015
Dave Stafford
The widow of a truck driver killed in an accident is entitled to collect more than $622,000 in prejudgment interest on a $6 million verdict, but is otherwise barred from an award of attorney fees, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled on rehearing Thursday.
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COA affirms judgment for law firm on malpractice claim

December 31, 2015
Dave Stafford
A law firm was properly granted summary judgment on a malpractice counter-complaint a bankruptcy client filed after the firm sued for nonpayment of legal fees.
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COA re-enters molestation conviction, rejects evidence challenge

December 31, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred in vacating one of two convictions of Class A felony child molesting at a Dearborn County man’s sentencing, the Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The panel also rejected the offender’s claim evidence should not have been admitted.
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Court sua sponte reverses 5 convictions

December 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Although a man convicted in a brutal attack on his grandmother lost his arguments on appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals sua sponte reversed five of his six convictions stemming from the attack for double jeopardy reasons.
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House party hosts face heightened liability after recent COA ruling

December 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
Just in time for holiday revelry and New Year’s Eve celebrations, an Indiana appeals court ruled hosts of house parties may be held liable for the well-being of guests who drink too much.
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Indiana’s alcohol laws withstand court challenges

December 30, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Recent rulings from state and federal courts underscore that while Indiana’s alcohol laws may be silly, quirky and arcane, they are not so easily changed.
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Split COA finds attorney did not provide adequate counsel

December 29, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Two typewritten letters and handwritten notes between a now-deceased defense attorney and a former prosecutor have divided the Indiana Court of Appeals over whether a plea agreement had actually been negotiated.
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Court: Disputed model year may void van sale agreement

December 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred when it granted summary judgment in favor of the seller of a van who represented to the buyer the vehicle was a year newer than recorded on the title.
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COA on rehearing clarifies where to send payment

December 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals Monday rejected arguments that its prior decision regarding a student-loan debt owed to a bankrupt note-holder caused confusion as to who was owed and left the debtor open to the possibility of multiple judgments.
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Reversal: BMV must report driver’s expunged OWI conviction

December 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred in prohibiting the Bureau of Motor Vehicles from reporting the operating while intoxicated conviction of a driver who had his criminal record expunged.
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COA reaffirms reversal of molest convictions for vouching

December 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals clarified its position on rehearing Wednesday in the reversal of child molesting convictions that the state “vigorously argues” were erroneously ruled reversible error.
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Reversal: Care facility must pay legal fees after $1M negligence verdict

December 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
An assisted-living facility where a resident died after being badly burned must pay the estate’s attorney fees, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday in reversing a trial court.
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South Bend man wins partial reversal of sewer nuisance suit

December 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who sued South Bend claiming that noxious gas from city sewer lines had been forced into his home may proceed with part of his lawsuit against the city.
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COA upholds decision to deny Edinburgh tax deed

December 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not err when it entered an order denying the town of Edinburgh’s request for the issuance of a tax deed and granting the landowner equitable relief, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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Split court reverses dismissal of complaint against probation officers

December 22, 2015
The Indiana Supreme Court decided 3-2 Tuesday to reverse the dismissal of a man’s claims arising out of his incarceration for a probation violation that allegedly occurred after his term of probation had expired.
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Appeals court concerned about fee-shifting provisions in domestic relations cases

December 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s decision to not award a mother attorney fees despite the inclusion of a fee-shifting provision in her divorce settlement. In doing so, the appeals court pointed out how these provisions may go against public policy.
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COA rules in contentious attorney fees case

December 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals had harsh words for the three lawyers involved in a protracted, unprofessional legal battle over attorney fees owed in a breach of contract lawsuit against Lake Station, Indiana.
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7th Circuit orders new resentencing hearing

December 21, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man who appealed the parts of his Section 2255 proceeding that were denied, as well as his new criminal judgment entered on rehearing, will be getting a new sentencing hearing, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals determined Monday.
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COA: Breath test properly admitted

December 21, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man convicted of drunken-driving failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that the state did not prove that the chemicals used in his breath test equipment were certified under Indiana administrative rules.
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Judge believes restitution order properly entered

December 21, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge dissented from his colleagues Monday in a case in which the majority reversed the court-ordered $3,600 in restitution for a coin sale that turned out to be fraudulent. The dissenting judge also raised public policy concerns about requiring victims to appear at sentencing hearings.
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7th Circuit divided over injunction in defamation case

December 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Friday found an injunction issued in a case involving religious artifacts and defamation claims was entirely too broad and threatened to silence the defendants completely. But the judges were split over whether the district court should be able to modify the injunction.
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Monarch Beverage again fails in liquor distribution suit

December 17, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Monarch Beverage Company’s arguments that Indiana alcohol wholesale laws are discriminatory fell flat at the Indiana Court of Appeals, marking the second time this week that attempts to overturn the state’s statutes regarding booze failed.
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  1. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  2. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  3. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  4. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  5. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

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