Court opinions

State didn't prove man used car to keep drug

November 4, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals overturned a conviction of maintaining a common nuisance because the state failed to prove the defendant used his car to keep marijuana.
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Improper venue doesn't require acquittal

November 3, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Even though the Hamilton Superior Court erred in concluding it was the proper venue for a felony child solicitation charge, the error doesn't warrant an acquittal of the conviction, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded today. The case was remanded for retrial in the proper venue of Madison County.
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YouTube video prejudiced juryRestricted Content

October 30, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The use of a YouTube video during closing arguments as a demonstrative aid by the state warrants a reversal of a robbery conviction because it may have prejudiced the jury, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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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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No error in sanctions against state

October 28, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court didn't clearly err when it dismissed drunk driving charges against a defendant as sanctions for the state's discovery violations, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded today.
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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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'Prison mailbox rule' applies to direct appealsRestricted Content

October 23, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The "prison mailbox rule," which the Indiana Court of Appeals had previously determined applies in post-conviction proceedings, also is applicable in direct appeals, the appellate court decided today.
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COA reverses dismissal of drug charges

October 21, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred when it sua sponte decided to exclude evidence from a warrantless search of a defendant's car and dismiss the drug charges against him as a result of that search, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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COA: Destroyed tape doesn't make record silent

October 20, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The premature destruction of a tape of a guilty plea hearing by court staff doesn't render the record silent for purposes of Boykin, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Supreme Court considers MySpace statement

October 15, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
he Indiana Supreme Court today issued an opinion that affirmed a Kosciusko Circuit jury's conviction of a man who murdered his girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter and the resulting sentence of life in prison without parole. The opinion also considered the defendant's novel question: whether statements from his social networking Web site, which were presented to the jury as evidence of his character, were admissible in court.
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7th Circuit warns attorneys about complianceRestricted Content

October 14, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals chastised the U.S. Attorney's Office in Indiana's Northern District to "get its act together" to comply strictly with a statute that imposes a mandatory life sentence for a defendant convicted of a drug offense with two prior drug convictions.
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Majority upholds false statement is protected

October 14, 2009
Jennifer NelsonMore

Attorney's fees can come from damages award

October 13, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Reasonable attorney's fees may be paid out of the damages award in a wrongful death action, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Court rules on workers' comp dispute

October 13, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a finding that a company had acted in bad faith in denying workers' compensation benefits because there was a dispute over who should pay the benefits.
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Dissent: new issues can be raised in response

October 9, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Parties shouldn't be allowed to raise arguments for the first time in response to a rehearing petition before an appellate court, an Indiana Court of Appeals judge wrote in disagreeing with two of her colleagues.
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Testimony based on medical journals allowed

October 8, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A physician testifying at a medical malpractice case should have been allowed to offer testimony based on her reading of medical journals, and a Marion County judge erred when he excluded part of her statements, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided.
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Judges disagree on when escape occurs

October 7, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals had to decide whether inmates in a jail could be charged with escape if they never left the outer walls of the facility. The majority affirmed the dismissal of the escape charges against the six inmates, ruling the act was just a violation of prison rules.
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First impression in utility fee case

October 7, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In a matter of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals had to determine whether the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission properly reviewed the rates and fees charged by a regional sewage district at the request of a campground owner.
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Indiana order doesn't modify Florida order

October 7, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed that a Vanderburgh Superior Court's order requiring a father to pay less than the full amount of a Florida support obligation, which allowed him to avoid incarceration, didn't impermissibly modify the foreign judgment.
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Restitution for lost wages an error

October 6, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred in ordering a man to pay restitution of the lost wages of his victim because there's no direct link the man's criminal recklessness caused the victim to be fired, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA: Annexation should have been granted

October 6, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found that a Circuit Court incorrectly ruled that Muncie failed to meet its statutory burden when trying to annex portions of two residential neighborhoods. The appellate court reversed the finding Muncie's ordinances annexing the land were invalid and the finding the landowners met their statutory burden to oppose the annexation.
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  1. Bill Satterlee is, indeed, a true jazz aficionado. Part of my legal career was spent as an associate attorney with Hoeppner, Wagner & Evans in Valparaiso. Bill was instrumental (no pun intended) in introducing me to jazz music, thereby fostering my love for this genre. We would, occasionally, travel to Chicago on weekends and sit in on some outstanding jazz sessions at Andy's on Hubbard Street. Had it not been for Bill's love of jazz music, I never would have had the good fortune of hearing it played live at Andy's. And, most likely, I might never have begun listening to it as much as I do. Thanks, Bill.

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  3. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  4. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  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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