Court opinions

Court of Appeals allows legal malpractice case to continue

May 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The legal malpractice action filed by a man who pleaded guilty to money laundering – when he had the possibility to plead guilty to a misdemeanor if not for his attorney’s actions – will proceed after the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of the attorney’s motion for summary judgment.
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Statute doesn’t allow consecutive habitual offender sentences

May 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a man’s sentence for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, finding the trial court had no authority to order his present sentence, enhanced by the habitual substance offender statute, to be served consecutively to his previously enhanced sentences.
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Justices uphold conviction for blogger's threat to judge

May 7, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court held that a blogger’s actions arising from being stripped of his children’s custody placed targets of his contempt in fear for their safety.
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Excessive force, discrimination suit over alleged beating advances

May 6, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man who claims he suffered a bone-breaking beating at the hands of school employees providing security at his son’s high school football game may proceed with a federal lawsuit against the school district.
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Appeals panel reverses judgment favoring insurer

May 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred in granting summary judgment to an insurance company that argued a driver injured in a car crash could not collect on an underinsured motorist policy because she received payments from other sources in excess of her policy limits.
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7th Circuit affirms rulings for EPA in Bloomington PCB cleanup

May 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday turned away a citizen-led appeal of rulings favorable to the Environmental Protection Agency in an ongoing cleanup of a former Westinghouse Electric Corp. plant that polluted the Bloomington site with toxic PCBs.
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Supreme Court draws distinctions in blogger Brewington case

May 1, 2014
Dave Stafford
Blogger Daniel Brewington’s convictions for intimidating Dearborn Circuit Judge James Humphrey and obstruction of justice were upheld by the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday, but under different reasoning than the Indiana Court of Appeals applied.
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Justices find school corporation circumvented public bidding laws

May 1, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The southern Indiana school corporation that facilitated renovations of its warehouse through an agreement with a local public school endowment organization violated Indiana Public Bidding Laws, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday. The justices rejected taxpayers’ claims that the process also constituted a violation of the Antitrust Law.
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Blogger Brewington loses Supreme Court appeal over online threat

May 1, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court Thursday affirmed multiple convictions of a southern Indiana man who threatened a judge through inflammatory posts on a blog.
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Company that violated HICA not entitled to attorney fees

April 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a company hired to provide water remediation services for a homeowner did not comply with the Indiana Home Improvement Contract Act, it is not entitled to recover attorney fees on its complaint against the homeowner after he didn’t pay the full amount billed.
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COA: Man not entitled to have restricted access to OWI conviction

April 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man committed another crime while on probation, he failed to satisfy the obligations imposed as part of his sentence, so he did not qualify to have access to his conviction records restricted under Indiana Code 35-38-8, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.
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Court orders hearing on child’s best interests

April 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed an order giving a father physical custody of his child. The child’s maternal grandparents had assumed guardianship of the child following the death of the child’s mother. 
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COA affirms $120,000 for student attacked at school

April 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A former Gary high school student is entitled to $120,000 in damages following an attack in a hallway during school, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday. Gary Community School Corp. appealed the jury award.
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Lessor entitled to judgment that oil and gas lease expired

April 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Partial summary judgment for the lessor was affirmed Wednesday by the Indiana Court of Appeals in a contract dispute involving an oil and gas lease of land in Sullivan County.
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Justices clarify jury taint, mistrial standards

April 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because the Indiana Court of Appeals cited three different mistrial standards in a man’s appeal of the denial of his motion for a mistrial, the Indiana Supreme Court took his case to clarify its precedent for trial courts to use to determine whether a mistrial is a cure for a jury taint.
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7th Circuit finds 5-year-old information not ‘stale’

April 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals declined a defendant’s request to find the information used to execute a search warrant of his computer for child pornography stale because more time had passed in his case as compared to previous cases ruled on by the Circuit Court.
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Majority reverses teen’s underage drinking adjudication

April 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals wanted to make a point “loud and clear” Tuesday: Suspicion of criminal activity is not an exception to the warrant requirement. The majority reversed a teen’s adjudication as a delinquent based on acts of illegal possession of alcohol, illegal consumption of alcohol, and aiding illegal consumption of alcohol.
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DNA in glove at scene sufficient to uphold burglary conviction

April 29, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court on Tuesday reinstated a conviction vacated by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The high court unanimously affirmed a conviction of Class C felony burglary with a habitual offender enhancement, finding a glove at the crime scene with the suspect’s DNA was sufficient for a jury to determine guilt.
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Man’s guilty but mentally ill conviction upheld

April 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals declined to reweigh the evidence that led to a man being found guilty but mentally ill of murder and battery. Jamal Ahmad Gore argued he should have been found not guilty by reason of insanity.
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COA: No fundamental error in admitting testimony

April 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man’s two convictions of sexual misconduct with a minor after finding that there was no fundamental error in the admittance of certain testimony at his trial.
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Judges deny stepfather’s request to adopt children

April 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A mother’s deliberate decision to thwart the attempts of her ex-husband to communicate with their two small children supports the trial court’s decision to deny her current husband’s attempt to adopt the children, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Tuesday.
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Lawyer reprimanded for enforcing associate’s separation agreement

April 29, 2014
Dave Stafford
A Clark County attorney was reprimanded Tuesday by the Indiana Supreme Court over terms of a separation agreement he enforced against an associate who left the firm.
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Truck’s ‘excessive’ smoke justified traffic stop

April 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that a police officer had reasonable suspicion to pull over a driver after seeing his truck emit an “excessive” amount of smoke.
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COA affirms dropped charges for ex-IURC chief Hardy

April 29, 2014
Dave Stafford
Because David Lott Hardy, former chairman of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, broke no laws, a trial court didn’t abuse its discretion in dismissing felony official misconduct charges against him, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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Plea bars man from credit for time served on electronic monitoring

April 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man entered into a plea agreement that he was not entitled to credit for the time he was on electronic monitoring as a condition of bond, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed his 14-year sentence.
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