Court opinions

Court splits on duty owed by independent contractor

December 6, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge dissented from his colleagues because he believed the majority’s ruling placed an “impossible burden” on contractors regarding whether a homebuyer was rightfully on the premises the day she was injured.
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Social-services recipients entitled to injunctive relief

December 3, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Family and Social Services Administration’s adverse action notices pertaining to public benefits programs that don’t name specific missing eligibility documents don’t comport with the requirement of procedural due process, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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COA: Man’s intoxication doesn’t prevent recovery

December 3, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of a bar because the trial court was incorrect in ruling that an injured man’s voluntary intoxication precluded any recovery under the Dram Shop Act.
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Court orders attorney’s fees following bad faith appeal

December 2, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a Colorado attorney and his brother engaged in procedural bad faith in appealing the third amended final accounting of their deceased mother’s estate and ordered them to pay appellate attorney’s fees to the estate.
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7th Circuit: judge erred when sentencing man

December 2, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered an Indiana District Court to take another look at a man’s sentence because the judge cited incorrect information during sentencing.
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Judges: Officers lacked reasonable suspicion to stop and detain man

December 1, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man’s detention following a traffic stop wasn’t supported by reasonable suspicion, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed his drug conviction today.
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Rule inapplicable as witness’s credibility not attacked

December 1, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a trial court didn’t err by not letting a defendant introduce evidence of his brother’s prior robbery because the defendant wasn’t attacking the brother’s credibility.
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Appellate court upholds enforcing settlement agreement

November 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a Marion Superior judge’s decision to enforce a disputed settlement agreement, finding the parties agreed to the essential terms resolving the issues between them.
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ALJ didn't inform vocational expert on the totality of claimant's limitations

November 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a District Court’s upholding of the Social Security Administration’s denial of a woman’s application for benefits because the Administrative Law Judge erred by not including her moderate limitation on concentration, persistence, and pace in the hypothetical he posed to a vocational expert.
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COA: admitting teen's confession was a fundamental error

November 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals decision today places a burden on police officers to make sure interview room video cameras don’t infringe upon meaningful consultation when a juvenile is involved.
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Circuit Court reverses stay on producing public records

November 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A northern Indiana District Court was wrong in granting a Wisconsin city’s motion for a stay, which allowed the city to withhold public records from the bank suing it for violating securities law, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded today. The issue was whether the order issued by a state court for the city to produce the documents could be stayed by federal law because the request constituted discovery proceedings.
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Opinion regarding insurance company considers definition of ‘ever’

November 24, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
An Indiana Court of Appeals panel was split in an opinion released today that considered the definition of “ever” on a home insurance application when it came to whether the homeowners insurance coverage was ever “declined, cancelled, or non-renewed.”
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Judges reverse support modification for lack of jurisdiction

November 22, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s ruling that Illinois proceedings on child support were null because jurisdiction was never properly transferred, noting it found an ex parte proceeding that excluded the mother “extremely troubling.”
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Appellate court affirms judgment in coverage dispute

November 22, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Evidence Rule 407 may bar evidence of subsequent insurance policy revisions offered to resolve ambiguity in an executed insurance contract, the Indiana Court of Appeals held today.
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Mendenhall gets 40 years for attack

November 19, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Augustus Mendenhall, the attorney who attacked an Indiana state representative last year, received a 40-year sentence today from a Hamilton County judge.
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COA: Summary judgment wrong in foreclosure suit

November 19, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A mortgagee’s compliance with federal mortgage servicing responsibilities is a condition precedent that can be raised as an affirmative defense to the foreclosure of a Federal Housing Administration insured loan, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today for the first time.
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Judges uphold OWI conviction

November 19, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded today that even though a statute uses the word “and” when saying a driver’s actions, thoughts, and normal control of faculties must be impaired, the state isn’t required to prove all three were impaired in order to get a conviction of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
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Chief’s recusal results in split Supreme Court

November 18, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The same day it heard arguments about the dissolution of a Brown County fire district, the Indiana Supreme Court reinstated the intermediate court’s ruling on the case because of a 2-2 division caused by the recusal of Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard.
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Judges: disparagement provision not violated

November 18, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals twice declined to certify questions to the Indiana Supreme Court a litigant raised in his appeal of a suit involving alleged violations of a non-disparagement clause in a settlement agreement.
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Appellate court finds garage insurance policy doesn’t cover injuries

November 18, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
For only the second time, the Indiana Court of Appeals has addressed the language in a garage insurance policy, and upheld partial summary judgment in favor of the insurer.
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7th Circuit: Drug convictions stand

November 17, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed drug convictions against two defendants, holding the lower court didn’t err in admitting a police officer’s voice identification testimony regarding one of the defendants.
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Justices take legal-malpractice insurance case

November 17, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to a case in which a legal professional liability insurer claimed it didn’t receive actual notice of claims against the attorney, so the former clients couldn’t collect under the plan.
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Judges remand securities fraud case on statute-of-limitation issue

November 16, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a trial court to reconsider whether it should discharge certain charges of securities fraud because the charges fall outside the statute of limitation.
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Dismissal of delinquency petition doesn’t endanger public

November 16, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A juvenile court didn’t err in dismissing a delinquency petition against a teen who was found to be incompetent to stand trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today. The judges also found dismissing the petition did not unduly endanger the public.
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Court rejects man's explanation of 'briefly'

November 15, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A man charged with a drug dealing offense near a school wasn’t entitled to a jury instruction stating he was only “briefly” within 1,000 feet of school property because the drug transaction was short in time even though it happened at his house, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. 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)

  4. "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.

  5. 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.

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