Court opinions

COA: Non-violent contact order 'defective'

April 16, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
The Indiana Court of Appeals has remanded a case regarding a non-violent contact order issued by a Marion Superior judge June 30, 2008, which involved a divorcing couple. The ruling calls the order "defective."
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Court affirms judgment in school district's favor

April 15, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of Indianapolis Public Schools in a copyright infringement case, but first had to decide whether it could proceed on the merits.
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COA decides eminent domain case

April 14, 2009
Michael Hoskins
In considering a common arrangement between a utility company and property developer, the Indiana Court of Appeals has given a green light for that utility to exercise eminent domain when a developer is financing a sewer line extension to a proposed housing development.
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High court rules in favor of AG in casino case

April 14, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the state's attorney general in a suit for constructive trust and unjust enrichment against a for-profit corporation receiving contributions from a casino, finding the trial court erred in dismissing the claims.
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Appellate court rules statute not unconstitutional

April 13, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The presumption found in Indiana Code Section 9-30-10-16, which governs driving while privileges are suspended, isn't unconstitutional because it doesn't shift the burden of proof from the state, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Justices: No drunk driving on private property

April 9, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A person driving drunk can be arrested even if they are driving on private property, including their own property, ruled the Indiana Supreme Court Wednesday.
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Court reverses interstate surrogate adoption

April 9, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court reversed an adoption order granted to a New Jersey man of twin girls born by a surrogate in Indianapolis, ruling the Indiana trial court failed to comply with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.
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Appeals court rules on payday-loan interest

April 9, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Even though the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded a business that provides cash advances waived its claim of right to recover for breach of contract, the judges still considered whether the company could recover a payment with more than 300 percent interest tacked on to it.
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Judges disagree on estoppel claim

April 8, 2009
Jennifer NelsonMore

Justices uphold death sentence

April 7, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has upheld the sentence for a man sentenced to die for the 2001 rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl in southern Indiana.
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High court rules on recovery issue

April 7, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Under the statute governing the wrongful death of an unmarried adult with no dependents, the amount recoverable for reasonable medical and hospital expenses necessitated by the alleged wrongful conduct is the total amount ultimately accepted after contractual arrangements with an insurer, Medicare, or Medicaid, and not the total of the charges billed, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today.
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Single larceny rule doesn't apply in case

April 7, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a man's petition for post-conviction relief, finding the defendant's trial counsel wasn't ineffective for arguing a single larceny rule defense because it wasn't applicable in this case.
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Attorney didn't commit conversion, malpractice

April 3, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals today affirmed the dismissal of conversion and legal malpractice claims filed in LaPorte County against an Illinois attorney following the settlement of a wrongful death claim in Illinois.
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Judges: Vehicle stop by cops reasonable

April 2, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a man's illegal gun possession conviction, ruling the South Bend Police officer who made the traffic stop had reasonable suspicion the car may be linked to a shooting in an apartment complex.
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Justices affirm cop killer's death sentence

April 1, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A man sentenced to die for fatally shooting a Morgan County sheriff's deputy in 2001 will remain on death row despite his appellate claims he's mentally ill and not eligible for execution.
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High court addresses Protected Person Statute

March 31, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Addressing for the first time under the current Rules of Evidence a case regarding a protected person testifying at trial as well as by videotape or other statement, the Indiana Supreme Court held that if the statements are consistent and both are otherwise admissible, testimony of a protected person can't be presented both in open court and in a pre-recorded statement through the Protected Person Statute.
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Text messages must be separately authenticated

March 31, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In a matter of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals determined text messages are subject to separate authentication before being admitted into evidence, much like the authentication process that data saved in a computer must undergo before being admitted.
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First impression in 'non-suspension' rule case

March 31, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals determined in a case of first impression that the state's 'non-suspension rule' in Indiana Code depends on the status of the prior criminal conviction at the time of sentencing for a subsequent conviction.
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Man not prejudiced by attorney's assistance

March 27, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Even though a defendant's counsel was found to be ineffective based on his "television fantasy" trial strategy, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court denial of his petition for habeas corpus because he didn't show he was prejudiced by his attorney's performance.
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Court rules on grandparent custody, visitation

March 26, 2009
Jennifer NelsonMore

Temporary and lessee worker same under act

March 25, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In what appears to be the first time the Indiana Court of Appeals has been presented with a joint employer argument in the context of Indiana Code Section 22-3-6-1(a), the Worker's Compensation Act, the appellate court determined that "temporary employee" and "leased employee" are not mutually exclusive terms and are interchangeable.
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COA: Switchblade ban not unconstitutional

March 24, 2009
Jennifer NelsonMore

COA affirms ruling in 'unusual' termination case

March 23, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In an unusual case on appeal in which a mother's parental rights were terminated to only one of her five children during a termination hearing, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the decision due to the circumstances of the case.
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Casino wins compulsive gambling appeal

March 20, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Casinos don't have a common law duty to protect compulsive gamblers from themselves, and aren't required to refrain from trying to entice those people into their establishments, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today in a matter of first impression.
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Judges split in termination ruling

March 20, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In an opinion involving whether a worker was fired for just cause after multiple excused absences, the majority acknowledged the split in the Indiana Court of Appeals regarding the reasonableness of "no-fault" attendance policies.
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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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