Court opinions

Lawyer: Affirmed $1.4M judgment against Walgreen sets HIPAA precedent

November 14, 2014
Dave Stafford
A Marion County jury verdict affirmed Friday by the Indiana Court of Appeals upholds a $1.4 million verdict for a Walgreen pharmacy customer whose prescription information was provided to a third party and sets a national precedent, according to the lawyer who argued the case.
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In affirming conviction, justices clarify required meth evidence

November 14, 2014
Dave Stafford
Authorities improperly charged a man with meth manufacturing based on the volume of an intermediate mixture, but other evidence was sufficient to affirm his conviction of Class A felony manufacturing methamphetamine, the Indiana Supreme Court held Thursday.
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Government’s legal error requires another look at convictions

November 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The United States government conceded on appeal that its treatment of vehicle titles and license plates as “property” from the perspective of Indiana in order to convict defendants of conspiracy to commit mail or wire fraud was a legal error. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the convictions but did not foreclose the possibility of retrial.
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Agency record required for judicial review of agency action

November 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A petitioner seeking judicial review of an agency action must file with the trial court the agency record as defined by the Administrative Orders and Procedures Act. Not doing so will result in dismissal of the petition, the Indiana Supreme Court unanimously ruled Thursday.
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COA upholds order man pay ex-wife’s appellate attorney fees

November 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claim that the same standard for awarding attorney fees should apply regardless of the forum. The judges affirmed the order that he pay his ex-wife’s appellate attorney fees because he is in a better position than she is to pay them.
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School police justified in searching student’s backpack, COA holds

November 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The search by school police of a student’s backpack was justified based on a teacher’s suspicion that the backpack may have contained drugs or weapons, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The officer’s search turned up a gun.
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Law firm disqualified based on attorney’s previous representation of doctor

November 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In a case involving the conflicts that arise and obligations that remain when lawyers move from one firm to another, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that a law firm hired to represent plaintiffs in a medical malpractice lawsuit must be disqualified based on an attorney’s prior representation of the doctor being sued.
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Judge urges high court to look at counsel assistance during state psychiatric exam

November 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A judge on the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed citing court precedent that a defendant who was to be examined by the state’s expert based on his insanity defense has no right to the presence of counsel during the psychiatric exam. But Judge Terry Crone argues the Indiana Supreme Court needs to take another look at this issue.
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Appeals court upholds burglary conviction but sends matter back to trial court

November 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found sufficient evidence to conclude that a man’s house qualified as a dwelling, thereby supporting a defendant’s burglary conviction. But the judges sua sponte reviewed the trial court’s entry of judgment and sentencing order and decided to send the matter back to the lower court.
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COA: Judge should dismiss habeas petition

November 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a Henry County judge erred when he denied an inmate’s petition for habeas corpus challenging a disciplinary decision from the Indiana Department of Correction. The judge should have instead dismissed the petition.
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Mill not entitled to prejudgment interest on breach of contract claim

November 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a $36 million award to an East Chicago mill after a braking system failure led to the spillage of molten iron within the shop. But the judges reversed the grant of more than $3 million in prejudgment interest.
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COA: Standard of care same for all doctors

November 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in a medical malpractice claim brought by a former inmate who had gender reassignment surgery that the standard of care for doctors practicing inside prisons is the same as the standard of care for those practicing outside of prison.
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Man convicted of making false statements on gun application to get new trial

November 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a Manilla, Indiana, man’s convictions of making false statements in connection with the purchase of a firearm, holding the trial court violated his due process right to present a mistake-of-fact defense.
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Doctrine of continuing wrong not applicable to man’s malpractice claim

November 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of summary judgment in favor of a physician and a medical group on a patient’s claim of malpractice after the patient learned his allergic reactions were caused by the disinfectant used by the doctor. The judges held the doctrine of continuing wrong does not apply in this case.
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AG asks court to appoint attorney as receiver of INCASA

November 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has asked a Marion County Court to appoint an attorney as receiver of an Indianapolis-based nonprofit that suspended operations in June due to financial insolvency.
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Residents not entitled to refund for alleged Barrett Law violations

November 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The city of Indianapolis does not have to pay nearly $3 million in damages to residents who paid in full their share of the costs of sewer improvements. A couple sued after discovering the city had changed its financing plan and forgave future payments by those who still owed the city.
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Union loses challenge to state’s right-to-work law

November 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled that two sections of the state’s right-to-work law do not violate the Indiana Constitution. A union had asked a Lake County judge to declare the entire statute unconstitutional.
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Indiana Supreme Court upholds right-to-work law

November 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled that two sections of the state’s right-to-work law do not violate the Indiana Constitution. A Lake County judge declared the challenged statutory provisions unconstitutional in a July 2013 ruling.
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Judges uphold denial of motion to suppress on rehearing

November 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals, after clarifying a point in their original opinion, still did not believe that a police detective tried to mislead a judge in order to obtain a search warrant. The judges upheld their original decision that affirmed the denial of a man’s motion to suppress evidence collected at his home following drug deals.
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Insurer on the hook for nearly $64,000 in home repairs following storm

November 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An insurance company, based on the terms of its policy, is required to cover storm damage to the home of a northern Indiana couple, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Wednesday. The insurer argued deteriorated shingles were the cause of the water damage in the home.
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COA affirms South Dakota law applies to personal injury case

November 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion Superior Court did not err when it decided that the location of an accident involving a drowsy driver – South Dakota – should be the applicable law in a case brought in Indiana.
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DCS supervisor testimony did not sway case against father

November 3, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Allowing a child services supervisor’s hearsay testimony about a father’s fitness to retain his parental rights was, at most, a harmless error, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Summary judgment inappropriate in light of pending discovery

October 31, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Noting a pending discovery may still turn up answers, the Indiana Court of Appeals overturned a summary judgment and allowed a feud between former business partners to continue.
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Treatment facility that released patient information not entitled to summary judgment

October 31, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A man who says he is suffering negative repercussions after a mental health facility released his medical information to a family member will be able to move forward with his case in court.
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COA: Insurance agent did not have duty to advise

October 31, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of an agent and an insurance company after the owner of a pub sued them believing they owed a duty to advise that the policy the pub chose would be insufficient to cover the replacement cost of the building.
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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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