Court opinions

COA finds petitioner failed to show trial counsel was ineffective

August 27, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
In affirming a post-conviction court’s judgment, the Indiana Court of Appeals found a convicted child molester failed to carry his burden in claiming that his attorney was ineffective.
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Court affirms judgment with minor recalculation in decade-long dispute

August 27, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed most of the $627,570 judgment in favor of a Fort Wayne restaurant operator sued by former mortgagors in a rehearing of litigation dating back more than a decade, but it ordered recalculation of a judgment based on the restaurant’s earnings.
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Judges order new robbery trial

August 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Because a trial judge did not re-read all of the jury instructions when giving jurors an additional instruction after deliberations began, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered a new trial on the felony robbery charge.
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Man unable to prevent settlement agreement

August 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The man who wanted to purchase a divorcing couple’s farm lacked a present interest in the real estate and couldn’t prevent a settlement agreement between the couple, which led to the husband keeping the farm, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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Judges disagree over use of summary judgment to pierce corporate veil

August 23, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
One Court of Appeals judge believed the “only reasonable inference” that could be drawn from the evidence in a collections case is that a former company was a “sham corporation,” so the trial court properly pierced the corporate veil on summary judgment.
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7th Circuit rules trial attorneys not ineffective

August 23, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals declined to find a defendant's trial attorneys' representation objectively deficient or ineffective pertaining to how they handled a man’s sentencing hearing.
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Bunch freed after 16 years in prison

August 23, 2012
IL Staff
Kristine Bunch, the woman who claimed she was wrongfully convicted of killing her son in a fire in 1995, was released from prison following a bond hearing Wednesday in Decatur County. The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed her convictions and ordered a new trial on the murder charge.
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Alternate juror’s comment doesn’t entitle man to new trial

August 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court properly determined an alternate juror’s alleged conduct posed only a remote risk of prejudice, and the judge’s admonishment of that juror was not an error, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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Father’s confession shouldn’t have been admitted at trial

August 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a father’s conviction of child molesting related to his daughter, finding his confession, which was admitted into evidence at trial, was obtained in violation of Miranda protocol.
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Indiana pleased with decision to vacate EPA Transport Rule

August 22, 2012
IL Staff
The split decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to vacate the Environmental Protection Agency’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule because of federal law violations is “great news” for Indiana, Gov. Mitch Daniels said.
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State moves forward with IBM appeal

August 21, 2012
Dave Stafford
Attorneys for the state of Indiana have begun the formal appeal process after a Marion County court in July awarded a $52 million judgment to IBM over cancellation of the company’s contract to privatize social service claims processing.
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Judge did not modify jury instructions

August 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Lawrence County man was unable to prove to the Court of Appeals that the trial court abused its discretion when it denied his motion for a mistrial. He argued the judge modified the jury instructions when he answered a question from the jury in mid-deliberations.
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Tax judge declines to require attorneys represent LLCs in court

August 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Department of State Revenue asked the Indiana Tax Court to create a rule requiring limited liability companies be represented by attorneys in court, similar to a rule pertaining to corporations, but Judge Martha Wentworth declined to “invent such a rule where one does not currently exist.”
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Man had no constitutional right to counsel

August 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claims in support of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus, finding his motion to correct sentence wasn’t a motion pursuant to Indiana Code, but was a collateral attack on his sentence.
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Judges uphold insurers’ share of settlement liability

August 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A District judge did not err in how he apportioned liability among three insurers for payment of a settlement between an injured worker and a contractor, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Friday.
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Trial court has no authority to alter man’s conviction

August 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
An Elkhart Superior judge was correct in determining that he couldn’t reduce a man’s Class D felony conviction to a Class A misdemeanor a year after the original judgment was made, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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7th Circuit rules in favor of attorneys in failed business investment

August 16, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A group of investors suing attorneys who worked on the establishment of two business entities – which later failed – were unable to show the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that the attorneys owed the investors any legal duty.
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Couple’s trial strategy worked against them

August 15, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A couple who consented to an entry of judgment on the evidence against them in a negligence claim in order to appeal the evidentiary rulings lost their case in the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Inmate’s public records request denied

August 15, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
An inmate at the Pendleton Correctional Facility was unable to identify with reasonable particularity the records he sought from the Fort Wayne Police Department, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Wednesday. The case also allowed the judges for the first time to address “reasonable particularity” under the Access to Public Records Act.
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Judges order proceedings on guarantors’ liability

August 15, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part a dispute between a company and its mortgage holder regarding how money received from the city of Lawrenceburg as part of a settlement should be applied to the mortgage.
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Man did not validly waive right to jury trial

August 15, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a Vanderburgh County man’s misdemeanor convictions of battery and public intoxication, finding he did not waive his right to a jury trial.
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Nurses may be expert witnesses in some standard of care disputes

August 15, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals declined Wednesday to create a blanket rule that nurses cannot qualify as expert witnesses under the Indiana Evidence Rule and testify as to whether a health care provider breached a standard of care or whether an alleged breach caused an injury.
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Immigration law challenge moves forward in Northern District

August 15, 2012
IL Staff
U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew P. Rodovich in Hammond Tuesday granted the state’s unopposed motion to lift the stay of a lawsuit in the Northern District challenging portions of Indiana’s immigration law dealing with employment.
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ITT college director fails in federal appeal over dismissal

August 14, 2012
Dave Stafford
A former director of a California ITT Technical Institute campus failed to convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that he was terminated because he complained about the way the school handled federally subsidized student loans and grants.
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COA finds evidence supporting restitution order too flimsy

August 14, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A victim of a burglary will have to turn to the civil process to get restitution after the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed and remanded with instructions a trial court’s order that provided the victim with $711.95 in compensation.
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