Court opinions

Divided COA: Statement on record unneeded to waive jury trial

October 11, 2013
Dave Stafford
The majority of a Court of Appeals panel affirmed a Hendricks County man’s conviction in a bench trial of misdemeanor intimidation, but a dissenting COA judge wrote the defendant was improperly denied a jury trial and his conviction should be tossed.
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COA clears way for negligence complaint against medical device company

October 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A lawsuit filed against medical device manufacturer Medtronic following the death of a man who had one of the company’s medical devices implanted can continue, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday. It held the Medical Device Amendments to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act does not preempt a family’s negligence claim.
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Jury should hear discrimination suit filed by fired ‘salesman of the year’

October 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The reasons a company gave for firing its most productive salesman – who also happened to be its oldest – raise potential credibility issues, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The judges decided the salesman’s age discrimination lawsuit should proceed to a jury.
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Mother unable to show error in terminating her parental rights

October 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A mother of four children with special needs who also has a cognitive disability, was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals she should be allowed to keep custody of her children.
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COA still finds supervised visitation argument moot

October 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
After acknowledging that a father did file a reply brief arguing the issue of supervised parenting time was not moot, the Indiana Court of Appeals on rehearing still found his argument to be moot.
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COA affirms parental termination in child’s best interest

October 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A mother’s inability to adequately care for her child, leading to the girl’s failure to thrive, supports the termination of mother’s parental rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Having the ingredients is not proof of a man’s intention to cook

October 10, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Despite the state’s attempt to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that its decision in a similar case was erroneous, the panel upheld precedent and found that a man’s possession of cold tablets and batteries is not proof he intended to manufacture methamphetamine.
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Owners of spooked horse entitled to summary judgment in negligence suit

October 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the owners of a horse that trampled a man after getting loose at the Marshall County 4-H Fairgrounds didn’t have reason to know the horse had any dangerous propensities prior to the accident. The court affirmed summary judgment in a negligence lawsuit on the issue.
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Warrick County man’s land correctly classified as residential excess acreage

October 9, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Warrick County man fighting the 2009 tax year assessment of his land received only a partial victory in the Indiana Tax Court Tuesday. The validity of his 2009 assessment will stand.
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Participation in travel soccer league supports modifying custody

October 9, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a mother’s request to modify a custody order entered in 2007 when her children were in grade school, finding their participation in travel soccer leagues and the distance between the parents’ homes warrants a change.
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Sub shop’s appeal 86’d by court

October 9, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Jersey Mike’s Subs located in the now-closed College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend didn’t have the right to continue operating in the Hall of Fame building, according to the Indiana Court of Appeals’ interpretation of the operating agreement.
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Lilly scientists stole $55M in secrets, indictment alleges

October 9, 2013
IBJ Staff, J.K. Wall
Three former employees of Eli Lilly and Co. allegedly transferred trade secrets that Lilly values at more than $55 million to a competing Chinese drug company, according to an indictment unsealed Tuesday in federal court.
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Court rules for widow in Holiday World suit

October 9, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The widow and children of the late William Koch Jr. can keep their shares in the southern Indiana theme park, Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari, after a ruling by the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that William’s brother, Dan Koch, and Koch Development Corp. offered too little money for the shares.
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‘Notre Dame 88’ lawyer cleared in discipline case

October 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
An attorney who argued that a judge’s bias warranted her recusal from a case involving pro-life students arrested for protesting the announcement of President Barack Obama’s appearance at the University of Notre Dame was cleared of disciplinary charges Tuesday.
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Trial court's suppression order binding to ethics commission

October 8, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
After turning to the Indiana State Ethics Commission when a trial court ordered the evidence in a theft case suppressed, the state was reminded it “does not get a second bite at the apple.”   
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Walking down sidewalk while drunk does not meet new conditions for public intox, COA rules

October 8, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Four criteria added to the state’s public intoxication statute in 2012 presented the Indiana Court of Appeals with a question of first impression when it considered a man’s arrest for being drunk in a public place.
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COA reverses involuntary termination order for a second time

October 8, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals sharply rebuked a trial court as having “committed clear error” by relying on old evidence and testimony in terminating a Vanderburgh County couple’s parental rights.
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Misplaced court order not the same as undelivered, COA rules

October 1, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Reviewing an appeal arising from a misplaced court order, the Indiana Court of Appeals has made clear that relief under Indiana Trial Rule 72(E) requires evidence that counsel did not receive the court’s notice.
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Tax sale stands even though mortgage holder not notified

September 26, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Supreme Court upheld 20 years of precedent in finding that a county auditor is obligated to notify a mortgage holder of an impending property sale only when that mortgage holder specifically requests a notice.
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Justices: Child support agreement must apply changing guidelines

September 26, 2013
Dave Stafford
A father whose annual income included varying bonuses and commissions is obligated to provide child support payments in line with evolving guidelines, despite a support agreement made a year earlier than the rules were revised, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled.
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Parental termination remanded over substitute magistrate’s findings

September 25, 2013
Dave Stafford
A father’s due process rights were violated when a juvenile court stripped him of parental rights based on findings of facts prepared by a magistrate who did not hear from and observe witnesses, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday. The magistrate took over the case after another magistrate, who had conducted the evidentiary hearing in his case, resigned.
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Jury rulings stand in U.S. Steel carbon monoxide poisoning case

September 25, 2013
Dave Stafford
A jury’s determinations in a case brought by a contractor who suffered severe carbon monoxide poisoning working at the U.S. Steel plant in Gary were affirmed Wednesday by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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COA affirms ruling clearing consulting doctor in death case claiming negligence

September 25, 2013
Dave Stafford
A trial court properly granted summary judgment to a doctor defending a negligence case brought by the estate of a man who died, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday, finding no doctor-patient relationship existed.
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Arbitrator's unavailability will not stop arbitration from starting

September 25, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals has found an arbitration agreement’s “plain language” trumps a woman’s attempt to stop the alternative dispute resolution process.
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Protective order reversed for lack of evidence

September 19, 2013
Dave Stafford
A divorcing woman’s protective order against her soon-to-be ex-husband was not supported by evidence, an appeals panel ruled Thursday in reversing the trial court’s order.
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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