Court opinions

COA: Statute of repose doesn't bar woman's complaint

June 8, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that a woman’s negligence complaint isn’t barred by a statute of repose.
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Touched by controversy

June 8, 2011
Michael Hoskins
In the history of court controversies, a recent ruling by the Indiana Supreme Court has created public outcry and calls for change in ways that few others do.
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Justices rule: No right to resist

June 8, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court caught many people off guard when it abolished the common law right of citizens to reasonably resist police from entering their homes, no matter the situation and regardless of whether the entry is legal.
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Keeping baseball legal

June 8, 2011
Michael Hoskins
An Indianapolis sports law attorney who represented a prosecution witness at the start of the baseball steroid case against Barry Bonds recently saw the final “at bat” for the prosecution and defense in a California courtroom.
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Local counsel rule found unconstitutional

June 8, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that the Northern District of Indiana was essentially creating a built-in appeal issue on ineffective assistance of counsel, and it called out a senior judge for violating a man’s Sixth Amendment right to choose his own lawyer.
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Closing Indiana's largest MDL line

June 8, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The final case in the Bridgestone/Firestone multi-district litigation has come to a close in the Southern District of Indiana, putting an end to a line of litigation that began more than a decade ago.
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Prosecutor's conduct leads to child-molesting conviction reversal

June 7, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals said a Tippecanoe County man has the right to a retrial on a child molestation charge because the prosecutor inappropriately vouched for the victim’s credibility and had offered to show the victim a transcript of past statements without the teenager asking for that recollection.
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Justices take state employee back-pay case

June 6, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court will hear the case in which past and present state workers were initially granted more than $42 million in damages in their suit to recover back pay. That amount was later reduced by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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High court to hear insurance, drug, murder cases

June 6, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court accepted three cases June 3, including two cases in which the Indiana Court of Appeals were split in their rulings on a drug case and an insurance case.
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7th Circuit affirms dismissal of hostile work environment claim

June 3, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has determined that a woman failed to prove that she was subject to a hostile work environment at Ball State University.
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COA judge issues 8-page criticism of trial court missteps

June 3, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a juvenile court’s order of restitution, stating the court failed to investigate the young man’s ability to pay, and that the damage amount could not be determined to be reasonable. Judge Melissa S. May wrote an eight-page separate opinion stating that the trial court’s many errors hampered the COA’s ability to perform its review of the case.
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COA: man doesn't have to testify for self-defense instruction

June 2, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ordered a new trial for a man convicted of murder because the trial court erred by refusing to instruct the jury on self-defense without the defendant’s testimony.
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High court splits on molestation conviction

June 1, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court was divided Wednesday in an opinion regarding whether a man could be charged with Class C felony child molesting 16 years after he last molested his stepniece.
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Appellate court addresses parental privilege in 2 opinions

May 31, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In two cases involving the parental privilege defense, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a teacher who “flicked” a special education student’s tongue and against a father hit his daughter numerous times with a belt.
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Justices accept church-property dispute

May 31, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has agreed to take a case between a Vanderburgh County church and its former national organization dealing with what happens to the local church property after the local church defected to another Presbyterian organization.
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Court rules on public defender fee imposition

May 27, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has decided that a state statute’s indigency hearing requirement doesn’t apply when a defendant has entered into a cash bail-bond agreement, meaning a trial court can use that bond money to pay court costs such as the imposed public defender fee.
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Justices rule on first impression issue involving sentence modification

May 26, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court handed down two opinions Thursday afternoon in which the justices found the trial judges involved erred in modifying the defendants’ sentences from Class D felonies to Class A misdemeanors.
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Insurer not entitled to rescind home insurance policy

May 26, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The failure to disclose true value in a real estate insurance context doesn’t give rise to a rescission claim, the Indiana Court of Appeals held in a case of first impression.
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Court reverses feticide convictions on double jeopardy grounds

May 26, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The man who shot a pregnant teller during a bank robbery, which led to the death of her twins, had his two felony feticide convictions vacated by the Indiana Court of Appeals because of double jeopardy violations.
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Hundreds gather for rally against Indiana Supreme Court ruling

May 25, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Nearly 300 people gathered on the steps of the Indiana Statehouse Wednesday, many calling for the recall of Indiana Supreme Court Justice Steven H. David. Justice David authored the recent high court ruling that held individuals don’t have the right to resist police who enter their home, even if those entries are illegal.
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Issue of fact precludes summary judgment in insurance case

May 25, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Neither side in a dispute over whether a deceased man’s auto insurer should provide coverage for losses from an accident that occurred while he was driving his girlfriend’s car is entitled to summary judgment, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday. A genuine issue of material fact remains as to whether the girlfriend’s car was furnished or available for the man’s regular use.
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Panel orders lower court to enforce protective order

May 24, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Highlighting a bias in state statute relating to protective orders, the Indiana Court of Appeals has held that an accuser’s request for a civil contempt hearing against someone alleged to have violated a protective order can’t be tied to any other criminal or civil proceedings under way or available in the future.
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COA rules in favor of mother in contentious custody battle

May 24, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a trial court’s decision awarding a mother primary custody of her child, after a joint custody arrangement between the mother and father deteriorated.
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7th Circuit: Indiana judge violated man's Sixth Amendment right to counsel

May 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
An appellate court has ruled that a senior judge in the Northern District of Indiana violated a man’s Sixth Amendment rights by not allowing him to proceed to trial with the lawyer of his choosing.
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Court rules on medical malpractice excess damages issue

May 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled on an issue of first impression, adopting recent guidance from the state’s highest court to decide that evidence relating to medical malpractice liability can be introduced in determining damages even after someone enters into a settlement with the healthcare provider on that underlying claim.
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  1. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  2. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  3. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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