Court opinions

No qualified immunity for officer in diabetic man's claim

August 12, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed denial of summary judgment in favor of a police officer in a diabetic man’s claims that the officer used excessive force and injured him while removing him from a car after a diabetic episode.
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Majority affirms default judgment against Sears

August 12, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split today as to whether a department store was entitled to have a default judgment set aside.
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7th Circuit affirms Lake County official's sentence

August 11, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld Robert Cantrell’s 78-month sentence for various convictions, including using his position in public office for kickbacks.
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COA affirms doctrine of transferred intent applies

August 11, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed that the doctrine of transferred intent applied in the case of a juvenile adjudicated for committing battery for hitting his teacher unintentionally when trying to punch another student.
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7th Circuit: Officer allowed to resume frisk

August 10, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
As one 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judge cautioned, it’s generally not a good idea to ride around in a car with cocaine on you when police have many reasons why they may legitimately stop the car.
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A chargeback isn't a sale of insurance

August 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held today that a chargeback for the cost of insurance is not a sale of insurance, as some owner-operators of leased trucks argued. The Circuit Court also took issue with the District judge’s decision on which statute of limitations applied to the parts of the suit.
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Man entitled to commission, but a reduced amount

August 4, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Because a former employee wasn’t aware of nor agreed to a plan that would effectively limit his earnings from selling crop insurance, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed based on Indiana law that he was entitled to his commission he secured in 2005 even if premiums weren't received until later. The appellate court did, however, reduce the amount of money his former employer owed him due to draws and set-offs.
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Appellate rulings can create confusion for attorneys, trial judgesRestricted Content

August 4, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Clear and concise court rulings are what judges hope can be produced, so that lawyers and lower courts can have guidance on how to address a particular legal issue. But that doesn’t always happen.
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Court: insufficient notice bars tort claim

August 3, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
The Indiana Court of Appeals today ruled that insufficient notice barred a complaint for damages in a case involving a condominium complex and its various longtime issues.
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Justices grant 3 transfers

August 3, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court granted three transfers and dismissed one case during its conference late last week, when the justices examined a total 35 cases that were before them for possible transfer.
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Exotic dancers are employees, may settle case

August 2, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge has found that exotic dancers at an Indianapolis club are employees, not independent contractors as the club owner argued.
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Court defines due process rights for drug court participants

July 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a defendant that his due process rights were denied when his participation in a drug court program was ended without giving him notice of a hearing, or allowing him to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses.
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Court declines to review commitment cases differently

July 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals declined Thursday to change how it reviews cases dealing with involuntary commitment.
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7th Circuit ends use of inextricable intertwinement doctrine

July 28, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a defendant’s perjury conviction and in doing so, concluded that resorting to inextricable intertwinement is unavailable when determining a theory of admissibility.
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Mother of stillborn fetus satisfies actual victim requirement in Med-Mal Act

July 27, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held today that a mother who suffers a stillbirth due to medical malpractice qualifies as an injured patient and satisfies the actual victim requirement under the Medical Malpractice Act, regardless of whether the malpractice resulted in injuries to the mother, fetus, or both.
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Judge worries ruling may make bright-line rule in traffic stops

July 27, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges each wrote their own opinion on whether a police officer’s safety concerns were legitimate enough to allow the officer to search a car after a traffic stop.
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Court upholds discrimination claims in coroner's office

July 27, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the finding that an African-American Marion County Coroner took action against his white chief deputy coroner because of race, but ordered a reduction in the amount of compensatory damages the deputy coroner could receive.
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Majority overturns enticement of minor conviction based on error

July 26, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Addressing for the issue for the first time, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the “ostrich instruction” in context of 18 U.S.C. Section 2422(b) was not appropriately given to the jury in an enticement of a minor trial.
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Arbitration of FCRA claim survives bankruptcy discharge

July 26, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A man’s Fair Credit Reporting Act claim can be arbitrated even though the debt was addressed and discharged in bankruptcy proceedings, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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East Chicago casino case still alive

July 26, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A years-long court battle over millions of dollars in East Chicago casino revenue remains alive after a Marion County judge vacated an earlier dismissal of the civil suit and blocked the release of $8 million in disputed funds that had been part of a settlement.
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COA: Trial court to decide pre-sentencing educational credit time

July 23, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
A trial court is the proper authority to determine credit if a defendant earns educational credit time prior to sentencing, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Defendants entitled to competency hearing in probation revocations

July 22, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Defendants are entitled to a competency hearing as part of their due process rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded today, addressing the issue for the first time.
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Judges disagree on whether grandfather can adopt

July 21, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Judges on the Indiana Court of Appeals disagreed as to whether a grandfather could adopt his biological granddaughter but allow the mother to retain her parental rights under Indiana law.
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Medicaid applications review policy doesn't violate federal law

July 21, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
An administrative law judge’s refusal to consider evidence of conditions that aren’t disclosed on a Medicaid disability application doesn’t violate federal law and the Due Process Clause, a majority on the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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No issue with all legislative logrolling

July 21, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court offered some clues recently about why it’s ignored repeated attempts to address the issue of legislative logrolling, where multiple unrelated changes are stuffed into one massive bill that becomes law.
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  5. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

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