Court opinions

Judges disagree on punitive damages award

October 20, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a compensatory damage award today for a couple that was attacked, but the majority remanded the trial court's punitive damage award because it was excessive.
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COA opts for judicial restraint

October 16, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has opted for judicial restraint in not deciding whether state statutes involving the Commerce Clause and the use of clean coal technology are unconstitutional.
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High court rules in favor of insurers in silica case

October 16, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
Companies that owned the assets of an industrial blast machine can't seek coverage from the insurers who issued liability policies for previous owners of the machine, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled yesterday.
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COA: Second amended complaint allowed

October 15, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A former Steak 'n Shake employee appealed the trial court's dismissal of his claims of defamation and invasion of privacy against the company, which the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed and remanded today.
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7th Circuit: taxpayer suit for restitution is mootRestricted Content

October 14, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court's dismissal of a taxpayer suit against the secretary of the U.S. Department of Education as moot, finding the taxpayers didn't have standing to sue for violations of the Establishment Clause based on a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court.
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7th Circuit: Man failed to show sexual harassmentRestricted Content

October 10, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a District Court's ruling in favor a man on his retaliation claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, finding the man didn't believe his supervisor's advances and threats were illegal.
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Court: CHINS records aren't available to media

October 10, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The circumstances that led to two siblings being deemed as children in need of services and the media attention their family received don't justify the trial court allowing the media access to the children's CHINS records, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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High court overturns confidentiality order

October 10, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court today overturned a Marion Superior Court's approval of a "Confidentiality Stipulation and Order," clearing the way for hundreds of documents to be opened and available for public inspection.
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COA: Award fees for litigation costs

October 9, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals instructed a trial court today to follow its guidance on remand to determine the amount of money to award to a man who wants to recover fees for litigation at the trial and appellate levels. The court hopes to avoid another appeal of the case.
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COA: Insurance company can't deny coverage

October 7, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a trial court's decision that an insurance company was estopped from denying coverage to the suspected driver of a car because the company failed to properly preserve its right to deny the driver coverage.
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COA disagrees on reason to grant appeal

October 6, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals unanimously reversed the revocation of a man's probation but disagreed as to the manner in which the appellate court was authorized to do so.
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COA uses opinion to clarify sentence claims

October 3, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals used a defendant's appeal today to clarify that inappropriate sentence claims and abuse of discretion claims are to be analyzed separately.
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COA: Collateral estoppel not applicable

October 2, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a motion to suppress evidence because the defendant couldn't prove collateral estoppel precluded the trial court from denying his motion.
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Forfeiture of money to FBI allowed

October 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A man whose $12,000 was seized following an arrest after a traffic stop wasn't entitled to get his money back from the FBI because the organization properly followed the rules, and even went above typical forfeiture proceedings in an attempt to inform the man of the seized money.
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Amendment trumps high court ruling

September 30, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
Addressing the issue for the first time since the legislature amended the state's Workers' Compensation Act in 2006, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today the amendment overrules an earlier Indiana Supreme Court decision that placed the burden of proof on employers in cases involving "neutral risk" incidents.
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Judges disagree on attorney fee provision

September 30, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A legal battle that was once about Indiana's requirements to obtain a driver's license or state identification turned into a tug-of-war appeal about attorney fees.
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Evidence failed to support ending parental rights

September 29, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a trial court's ruling to involuntarily terminate a mother's parental rights to her young twins, finding the court issued deficient termination orders and lacked clear and convincing evidence to terminate the parental rights.
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LLCs must have attorneys in federal court

September 26, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
Owners of limited liability companies must be represented by an attorney to appeal a decision in federal court, ruled the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals today.
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COA upholds Plainfield parks ban

September 24, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Constitution doesn't ensure a person's right to enter a public park, and that means a local law restricting sex offenders from visiting those areas isn't unconstitutional, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Judges split on sentence reduction

September 23, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals panel was split in determining how much weight to give to a defendant's mental illness in evaluating her sentence.
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Decomposition cleanup subject to lien law

September 22, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A decomposing body left in a Johnson County home has led the Indiana Court of Appeals to analyze the state mechanic's lien statute.
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COA: Gun test-firing not an unlawful search

September 19, 2008
Michael Hoskins
Routine test-firing of handguns that police have in their custody isn't a violation of a person's Fourth Amendment rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Appeals court reverses student's convictions

September 19, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a teenager's convictions for battery and disorderly conduct stemming from a face-off with an assistant principal and dean of students in the school cafeteria.
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Court: Evidence shows car was a gift

September 18, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court that a husband gave his wife a car as a gift, despite registering the title in both his name and his wife's name.
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Estate must be reimbursed for funeral expenses

September 18, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a trial court's approval of money received in a wrongful death suit of an Indianapolis attorney to be used to reimburse his estate for funeral and burial expenses.
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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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