Court opinions

Appellate court cites claim-splitting, res judicata in rejecting appeal

December 6, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
In a life insurance case that has spanned eight years, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that an appeal from a widow is without merit.
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Confidential informant testimony did not hinder defense

December 6, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
A man who was arrested after a confidential informant arranged drug buys was not hindered by the fact that the informant testified at trial anonymously, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA finds no error in juvenile adjudication

December 6, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a juvenile court’s decision to place a minor in a residential treatment center, holding sufficient evidence exists to support the court’s dispositional order.
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Photos admissible when evidence has been destroyed

December 5, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
In an appeal from a man convicted of Class B dealing in methamphetamine and Class B misdemeanor visiting a common nuisance, the Indiana Court of Appeals has held that photos of a methamphetamine lab were admissible because the physical evidence had been destroyed.
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COA sides with appellant in probation violation complaint

December 5, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has held that when a probation is transferred between Indiana counties, the receiving county assumes supervisory authority over the case.
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Former city-county councilor sentenced to 40 months

December 2, 2011
IL and IBJ Staff
U.S. Senior Judge Larry McKinney on Thursday sentenced former Indianapolis City-County Councilor Lincoln Plowman to 40 months in federal prison for attempted extortion and bribery.
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7th Circuit affirms ruling against woman kicked out of public housing

December 1, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who challenged the Housing Authority of South Bend’s decision to terminate her lease for federally subsidized public housing because of criminal activity lost her appeal before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Appellate court upholds criminal recklessness conviction

December 1, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals determined there was sufficient evidence to uphold a man’s conviction of criminal recklessness regarding his firing of a gun.
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'Inextricably intertwined' exception appropriate under state constitution

November 30, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that under Article 1, Section 13 of the Indiana Constitution, the right to counsel is violated only where a different offense is inextricably intertwined with the charge on which counsel is already representing the defendant.
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Majority reverses Hopper advisement created last year

November 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A divided Indiana Supreme Court has reversed its 2010 decision to require pro se defendants be informed about the dangers of pleading guilty without an attorney. Two of the justices who originally voted to create the “Hopper advisement” found themselves in the minority on the high court’s decision on rehearing.
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COA addresses impact of guilty pleas on immigration status

November 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a man’s petitions for post-conviction relief, finding his attorneys’ failure to advise him of adverse immigration consequences of pleading guilty did not prejudice his defense.
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Appellate judges travel to Indianapolis high school

November 28, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals will hear arguments in Christopher Bryant v. State of Indiana Tuesday at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis.
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Judge grants limited class certification in stage collapse lawsuit

November 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
While she said she doubts the plaintiffs can win their case, U.S. Judge Sarah Evans Barker is allowing limited class certification in a lawsuit challenging the state’s $5 million damage liability cap. Plaintiffs incurred injuries in the Indiana State Fair stage collapse Aug. 13.
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7th Circuit cautions against 'ostrich-like' advocacy

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Warning appellate lawyers not to ignore precedent, a 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decision today issues a short but clear message to not use “ostrich-like” tactics when briefing and arguing cases.
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COA delves into grammar in reversing trial court

November 23, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals issued three opinions Wednesday that dissect the grammar of a state statute in reversing a trial court’s decision regarding sentence enhancements.
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7th Circuit rules on Indiana's prison grievance process

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Addressing a question for the first time about prison inmate complaints, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held that a prisoner's participation in internal affairs investigations isn’t an alternative for the administrative process an inmate must follow in filing a grievance.
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Supreme Court rules town can regulate aquifer's water use

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Underground aquifers are “watercourses” as defined by state law and as a result the Indiana Supreme Court says community officials have the ability to reasonably regulate how that water is taken out and used by other local governments.
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Judge rejects dental coverage cap

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Ruling puts Medicaid dental program in jeopardy.
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Knowing the possible consequences

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Legal community works to ensure defendants know plea agreements could impact immigration status.
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COA orders trial court to award credit for time served

November 22, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled a trial court erred in calculating credit for time served but found the record was insufficient to prove that additional credit time should be awarded for the defendant’s participation in a drug-treatment program.
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Tax Court rules on inheritance tax valuation

November 22, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Tax Court has rejected an estate’s attempt to sidestep trial rules by allowing verified tax returns to stand in for affidavits in determining a property’s fair market value.
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Court relies on equitable estoppel determination test

November 21, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Examining both state and national caselaw in an appeal involving an Allen County car crash, the Indiana Court of Appeals has used a two-part test in determining whether equitable estoppel is available to those filing a claim.
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COA: Serving notice on an adult's parents isn't adequate

November 21, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that a trial court can’t serve notice on the home of someone’s parents if that adult doesn’t live there and expect that to serve as adequate notice for the party to appear in court.
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7th Circuit decides MDL appeal question

November 18, 2011
Michael Hoskins

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeal wants each federal judge handling multi-district litigation to have the flexibility to choose between sending parts of unresolved cases back to the original courts or keep those in one jurisdiction, once a final district-level decision has been made and the time for appeal arrives.

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COA affirms trial courts in truant kindergartner cases

November 18, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has sided with the trial courts in two cases that have been consolidated in one appeal in determining that referral and attendance records for truant students were admissible at trial under the state’s business records exception.
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  1. Bill Satterlee is, indeed, a true jazz aficionado. Part of my legal career was spent as an associate attorney with Hoeppner, Wagner & Evans in Valparaiso. Bill was instrumental (no pun intended) in introducing me to jazz music, thereby fostering my love for this genre. We would, occasionally, travel to Chicago on weekends and sit in on some outstanding jazz sessions at Andy's on Hubbard Street. Had it not been for Bill's love of jazz music, I never would have had the good fortune of hearing it played live at Andy's. And, most likely, I might never have begun listening to it as much as I do. Thanks, Bill.

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  5. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

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