Court opinions

Justices affirm death penalty for man who killed 2 children

February 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Vanderburgh County man convicted of the murders of his girlfriend’s eight- and five-year-old children after setting fire to hishome in 2010 will remain on death row. The Indiana Supreme Court declined to reverse his convictions or revise his sentence.
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7th Circuit grants habeas relief for man on death row

February 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Evansville man sentenced to death for the 2001 murders of his wife and two daughters is not entitled to habeas relief on his claim of intellectual disability, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. But his petition should be granted because the state courts unreasonably applied federal due process standards in adjudicating his competency to stand trial.
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Attorney fee lien invalid if filed before judgment entered

February 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An attorney who filed a lien for attorney fees prior to judgment being entered in a dissolution proceeding lost his case before the Court of Appeals after it determined Indiana statute requires the lien be filed after a judgment in the case is entered.
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COA orders new trial for woman who shot and killed pastor

February 17, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a guilty but mentally ill verdict against an Indianapolis woman who killed the pastor at her church because she believed he was part of a cartel that was pitted against her. The judges held Lori Ann Barcroft’s due process rights were violated when the judge entered that verdict.
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Tanker trailer manufacturer not entitled to sales tax refund on rehabbed tankers

February 17, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Delphi company that makes cryogenic tanker trailers as well as repairs and rehabilitates used ones could not convince the Indiana Tax Court that it should be entitled to a refund on the utilities it used to rehab used tankers.
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Enhancement affirmed after man exaggerated mental deficits to delay trial

February 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Although a defendant has a mental disorder, he tried to exaggerate his mental deficits in order to delay or prevent a criminal trial on a bank robbery charge. The federal court saw through his act and enhanced his sentence for obstruction of justice, which the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Friday in a case of first impression.
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Counterclaims against bank dismissed for failure to state actionable claim

February 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the decision to dismiss a woman’s counterclaims against her mortgage holder after it sought to foreclose on her home. None of her claims, which stemmed from the denial of modifying her mortgage under a new program, stated an actionable claim.
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COA affirms admission of re-recorded videos in rape trial

February 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man convicted of raping his wife after drugging her – and recording several sexual encounters – could not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that the wife’s recordings of the videos she found on her husband’s cellphone should not have been admitted at his trial.
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Defendant waived right to confront victim by not attending Skype deposition

February 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man’s rights under the Indiana Constitution were not violated when the state admitted his victim’s deposition acquired through Skype because the man chose not to be present during the deposition, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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COA declines to rule on motion to compel due to lack of cogent argument

February 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A couple awarded more than $7,600 following a car accident did not provide cogent argument or legal authority to support their claim a trial court erred in denying their motion to compel, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday.
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Order to pay for rescued animals’ treatment OK under general restitution statute

February 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because a Perry County woman relinquished her three neglected horses to a local rescue organization, she cannot be ordered to pay restitution based on the animal cruelty statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday. But the general restitution statute supports the trial court order Julie Bickford pay nearly $700 in restitution.
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COA affirms denial of plaintiff’s request for deposition fee reimbursement

February 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A doctor named as a defendant in a malpractice lawsuit was not required to pay more than $2,000 toward the deposition fees of the plaintiff’s expert, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA upholds intimidation conviction of man participating in fake robbery

February 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A staged robbery between two friends to cover up stolen funds from an employer took an unexpected turn when a good Samaritan tried to catch the supposed robber. The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the defendant’s intimidation conviction for pulling a knife on the good Samaritan during a chase.
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Failure to file board record dooms claim for judicial review

February 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A company that did not file the board record or request an extension of time to file the record within 30 days as required by the applicable judicial review statute should not have been allowed to proceed with its request for judicial review, the Indiana Court of Appeals held. The judges reversed the denial of the town of Pittsboro’s request to dismiss Ark Park LLC’s claims.
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Denial of witness testimony was harmless error, COA rules

February 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Although the trial court abused its discretion when it did not allow a person to testify on behalf of the defendant based on a separation of witnesses violation, the error was harmless, ruled the Court of Appeals in affirming a man’s felony convictions of vicarious sexual gratification and possession of child pornography.
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COA clarifies decision in reversed CHINS case

February 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals granted the Department of Child Services’ request for rehearing of an August 2014 decision in which the court reversed a child in need of services finding for a child whose father was in the Navy for the first few years of the child’s life. The judges clarified their reasoning but affirmed their decision in all respects.
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Justices: Previous ruling did not alter fundamental error doctrine

February 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court wants to clear up potential confusion involving the state’s fundamental error doctrine.
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Couple needed expert testimony to show proximate cause in defective air bag suit

February 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A couple suing Ford Motor Company, alleging their 2003 Mercury Mountaineer was defective because the air bags did not deploy in an accident, lost their case because they failed to designate expert testimony to support their claim.
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Panel issues 3 opinions on interplay between T.R. 15(C) and 17(F)

February 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
While the three judges on the Indiana Court of Appeals panel agreed summary judgment was proper for an Indianapolis attorney being sued for defamation and other claims because the statute of limitations had expired, each judge interpreted the interplay between Trial Rules 15(C) and 17(F) differently.
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Man fails to prove Supreme Court would rule against established caselaw

February 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of an insurance adjuster’s motion to dismiss it from an injured man’s lawsuit alleging negligence in how it handled his case. The judges pointed out that the Indiana Court of Appeals has held that an insurance adjuster owes no legal duty to the insured and the plaintiff didn’t show that the Indiana Supreme Court would disagree with that decision.
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COA: Postnuptial agreement is enforceable

February 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
It is not a requirement that one party in a marriage must initiate divorce proceedings in order for the parties to later enter into a valid and enforceable reconciliation agreement, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Awarded guardianship fees overturned due to potential misconduct

February 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because a trial court did not look at whether fees requested by a man’s former guardians were necessary, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the order they receive more than $15,000 from his estate.
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Justices add malpractice, adoption cases to docket

February 9, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will review summary judgment in favor of healthcare providers sued for medical malpractice in a stillbirth case as well as an adoption by a grandmother who claimed a 1997 conviction for neglect of a dependant should not automatically bar her from adopting the children.
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Appeals panel reinstates med-mal case

February 9, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred in granting summary judgment to a hospital and a doctor who performed a hysterectomy during which an arm board became unattached. After the patient’s arm dangled for much of the surgery, she was diagnosed with nerve damage in her arm.
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COA: Ex-husband entitled to legal fees for former wife's contempt

February 9, 2015
Dave Stafford
The ex-husband in an acrimonious domestic relations case is entitled to $9,000 in legal fees a trial court awarded to him as well as judgments in his favor on parenting time and child support, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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  1. State Farm is sad and filled with woe Edward Rust is no longer CEO He had knowledge, but wasn’t in the know The Board said it was time for him to go All American Girl starred Margaret Cho The Miami Heat coach is nicknamed Spo I hate to paddle but don’t like to row Edward Rust is no longer CEO The Board said it was time for him to go The word souffler is French for blow I love the rain but dislike the snow Ten tosses for a nickel or a penny a throw State Farm is sad and filled with woe Edward Rust is no longer CEO Bambi’s mom was a fawn who became a doe You can’t line up if you don’t get in a row My car isn’t running, “Give me a tow” He had knowledge but wasn’t in the know The Board said it was time for him to go Plant a seed and water it to make it grow Phases of the tide are ebb and flow If you head isn’t hairy you don’t have a fro You can buff your bald head to make it glow State Farm is sad and filled with woe Edward Rust is no longer CEO I like Mike Tyson more than Riddick Bowe A mug of coffee is a cup of joe Call me brother, don’t call me bro When I sing scat I sound like Al Jarreau State Farm is sad and filled with woe The Board said it was time for him to go A former Tigers pitcher was Lerrin LaGrow Ursula Andress was a Bond girl in Dr. No Brian Benben is married to Madeline Stowe Betsy Ross couldn’t knit but she sure could sew He had knowledge but wasn’t in the know Edward Rust is no longer CEO Grand Funk toured with David Allan Coe I said to Shoeless Joe, “Say it ain’t so” Brandon Lee died during the filming of The Crow In 1992 I didn’t vote for Ross Perot State Farm is sad and filled with woe The Board said it was time for him to go A hare is fast and a tortoise is slow The overhead compartment is for luggage to stow Beware from above but look out below I’m gaining momentum, I’ve got big mo He had knowledge but wasn’t in the know Edward Rust is no longer CEO I’ve travelled far but have miles to go My insurance company thinks I’m their ho I’m not their friend but I am their foe Robin Hood had arrows, a quiver and a bow State Farm has a lame duck CEO He had knowledge, but wasn’t in the know The Board said it was time for him to go State Farm is sad and filled with woe

  2. The ADA acts as a tax upon all for the benefit of a few. And, most importantly, the many have no individual say in whether they pay the tax. Those with handicaps suffered in military service should get a pass, but those who are handicapped by accident or birth do NOT deserve that pass. The drivel about "equal access" is spurious because the handicapped HAVE equal access, they just can't effectively use it. That is their problem, not society's. The burden to remediate should be that of those who seek the benefit of some social, constructional, or dimensional change, NOT society generally. Everybody wants to socialize the costs and concentrate the benefits of government intrusion so that they benefit and largely avoid the costs. This simply maintains the constant push to the slop trough, and explains, in part, why the nation is 20 trillion dollars in the hole.

  3. Hey 2 psychs is never enough, since it is statistically unlikely that three will ever agree on anything! New study admits this pseudo science is about as scientifically valid as astrology ... done by via fortune cookie ....John Ioannidis, professor of health research and policy at Stanford University, said the study was impressive and that its results had been eagerly awaited by the scientific community. “Sadly, the picture it paints - a 64% failure rate even among papers published in the best journals in the field - is not very nice about the current status of psychological science in general, and for fields like social psychology it is just devastating,” he said. http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/aug/27/study-delivers-bleak-verdict-on-validity-of-psychology-experiment-results

  4. Indianapolis Bar Association President John Trimble and I are on the same page, but it is a very large page with plenty of room for others to join us. As my final Res Gestae article will express in more detail in a few days, the Great Recession hastened a fundamental and permanent sea change for the global legal service profession. Every state bar is facing the same existential questions that thrust the medical profession into national healthcare reform debates. The bench, bar, and law schools must comprehensively reconsider how we define the practice of law and what it means to access justice. If the three principals of the legal service profession do not recast the vision of their roles and responsibilities soon, the marketplace will dictate those roles and responsibilities without regard for the public interests that the legal profession professes to serve.

  5. I have met some highly placed bureaucrats who vehemently disagree, Mr. Smith. This is not your father's time in America. Some ideas are just too politically incorrect too allow spoken, says those who watch over us for the good of their concept of order.

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