Court opinions

Putative dad can file paternity petition for child

October 5, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that although a putative father's paternity petition should be dismissed, he could proceed as the next friend of the alleged daughter in her paternity petition.
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Testimony showed intent in identity deception

October 5, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
During a trial for identity deception, a court correctly admitted evidence under Indiana Evidence Rule 404(b) of the defendant's prior interaction with the victim of his identity theft and previous instances of using the victim's information, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded today.
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Trial court erred in terminating parenting time

October 2, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the termination of a father's parenting time with his teenage daughters, finding the trial court erred because the decision wasn't supported by the record or statute.
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Court: No rehearing based on another decision

October 1, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court granted a petition for rehearing to clarify its ruling that a Hamilton County property qualified for a charitable/religious exemption. The Tax Court also denied rehearing a St. Joseph County case that claimed the decision in that case should be reconsidered based on the original ruling in the Hamilton County case.
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COA splits on cheek-swab requirements

September 30, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A split Indiana Court of Appeals ruled taking a cheek swab for DNA testing requires reasonable suspicion only, not probable cause, under federal and state constitutions.
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Judges dissent on search after 'knock and talk'

September 30, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge dissented from his colleagues' view that a police "knock and talk" investigation didn't violate a man's rights under the Indiana Constitution, fearing the circumstances of the case could lead to a general distrust of law enforcement.
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Court: Association has no standing to sue

September 29, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a landowners association lacked standing to sue over the rezoning of property despite the argument that its claim survives under the "public standing doctrine."
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COA: findings don't support attorney fees

September 28, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals remanded a case today involving attorney fees - the appellate court questioned whether the Indiana High School Athletic Association was trying to dissuade appeals by athletes - because the findings of the case currently don't support the judgment.
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Court erred in ordering DCS to pay costs

September 28, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Department of Child Services isn't responsible for the costs of a minor's secure detention because it never entered into a written agreement with the juvenile court to cover the costs, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Court split on if lab tech must testify

September 25, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The state's highest court was split in its ruling on whether the failure of a lab technician who processed DNA evidence to testify at a man's trial violated his Sixth Amendment rights.
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Judges disagree as to athlete's eligibility

September 24, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
One Indiana Court of Appeals judge believed his colleagues strayed from the evidence of recruitment and instead focused the family's financial plight when they decided the high school athlete didn't transfer schools primarily for athletic reasons.
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Court remands custody case for new hearing

September 24, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Although all three Indiana Court of Appeals judges came to conclusion that the trial court should revisit its order to grant full custody of a child to her abusive father, the judges differed as how the trial court should have approached the matter.
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Court upholds injunction in easement case

September 23, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed judgment in favor of a homeowner who sued neighbors after telephone poles, fence posts, and other objects were placed along a disputed easement area to prevent people from driving along it.
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COA reverses judgment for Ford in liability suit

September 21, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment today in favor of Ford Motor Co. in a products liability lawsuit, but the judges disagreed as to whether the manufacturer breached its duty to warn of the dangers of children riding in the front seat with airbags turned on.
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Couple not negligent in baby's death

September 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A couple did not breach their duty to protect a baby from a dangerous condition on their property in which a 2-month-old died after his mother smothered him while the two slept on a sofa at the couple's home.
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Circuit Court vacates drug sentence

September 14, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a man's drug conviction, but vacated his sentence because it wasn't confident the District Court judge properly sentenced him.
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Traffic infraction not necessary for police stop

September 11, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Even though a police officer didn't see a driver commit any traffic infractions before pulling him over, the officer could stop the car because he believed the driver might have been injured or impaired, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed today.
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Lawyer failed to deny note execution under oath

September 11, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Because an attorney acting pro se in a mortgage suit didn't include a statement in his general denial that the denial was truthful and made under penalty for perjury, he failed to deny under oath the execution of the note, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Court rules on LLC matter of first impression

September 10, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals had to decide for the first time whether a company owes a continuing fiduciary duty to a former shareholder or member to accurately report the company's fiscal results to the IRS for a year in which the former member held stock or was still a member of the limited liability company.
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Lawyer entitled to $1.05 million default judgment

September 10, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a default judgment in favor of an Indiana attorney because an Illinois attorney demonstrated "contumacious disregard" for a trial court's orders.
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Court split on ineffective trial counsel

September 9, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed that an attorney was ineffective because the majority found the attorney told her client he "should" win the case whereas one judge pointed out in the record the attorney admitted to telling the client he "would" win.
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Consent not defense in battery case

September 9, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Because consent is not a defense to battery when a deadly weapon is used, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man's convictions of felony and misdemeanor battery on his girlfriend after branding her with a hot knife and hitting her with a cord.
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Adoption statute allows for subsequent consents

September 8, 2009
Jennifer NelsonMore

Justices rule in favor of cup manufacturers

September 8, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The manufacturer defendants in a suit claiming defects in their measuring cup caused the death of a 9-year-old boy are entitled to summary judgment, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed today.
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Judges differ on application of high court ruling

September 8, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge dissented from his colleagues today in a ruling involving the ownership of certain joint accounts because he believed an Indiana Supreme Court decision was binding in the case.
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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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