Court opinions

Lawsuit to take bar exam goes to 7th Circuit

April 22, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The man who believes he should be able to sit for the bar exam even though he didn’t go to law school has asked the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider the dismissal of his lawsuit.
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Justices find email is constitutionally protected speech

April 21, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred in granting summary judgment to a fire chief and township in a firefighter’s suit following his termination by the chief for sending a personal, political email that the chief believed contained false statements of fact. The firefighter’s email was actually constitutionally protected speech, the Indiana Supreme Court held Thursday.
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Social Security income shouldn't be considered in restitution orders

April 21, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Dealing with an issue of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that Social Security income must be excluded when considering a defendant’s ability to pay restitution.
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NCAA championship ticket distribution not a lottery

April 21, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The National Collegiate Athletic Association’s ticket-distribution plan for championship games doesn’t constitute a “lottery” under Indiana law, the Indiana Supreme Court decided Thursday. The issue was before the justices as certified questions from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Kissing a sleeping victim doesn't constitute sexual battery

April 20, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A victim being asleep isn’t equivalent to a mental disability or deficiency for purposes of the sexual battery statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Justices dismiss appeal

April 20, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal in an insurance case involving attorney-client privilege because the parties have reached a mediated settlement.
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Judge argues state must prove actual endangerment

April 18, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split Monday regarding a man’s conviction of misdemeanor operating while intoxicated, with Judge Terry Crone arguing the statute requires the state to prove actual endangerment of the driver or others, not just the possibility of it.
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Justices accept ordinance case

April 18, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court will decide whether an Indiana town’s ordinance that would give the town the exclusive right to control, regulate, and sell water is actually invalid.
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Court splits on standard used to modify custody

April 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Even though the trial court departed from established statutory procedures by using the “best interests” standard to modify physical custody, the majority of Indiana Court of Appeals judges affirmed the lower court’s decision.
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COA: Attorney entitled to lien on former client's file

April 13, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
An attorney doesn’t have to produce documentation of the amount of money a former client owes in order to have a valid retaining lien, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Judges affirm retroactive application of amendments to blood draw statute

April 13, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Applying 2010 statutory amendments governing chemical tests for evidence of intoxication to a case of a man charged in 2009 with driving while intoxicated didn’t violate the prohibitions against ex post facto criminal sanctions, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Judges disagree on whether landowners are 'aggrieved'

April 12, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Jurists on the Indiana Court of Appeals disagreed on an issue of first impression about what an “aggrieved” party is when it comes to filing a mandate or injunction against a water conservancy district under state statute.
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Court addresses forgery statute on electronic credit card purchases

April 12, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Using someone else’s credit card and electronically signing that person’s name is considered “uttering” a written instrument under Indiana’s forgery statute, the state’s appellate court has ruled.
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State responsible for costs in relocating Medicaid patients

April 11, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Family and Social Services must reimburse an Arcadia, Ind., long-term care facility for the costs the facility paid in caring for Medicaid patients after FSSA ended its provider agreement based on the conditions at the facility, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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COA: personal injury action should be allowed to proceed

April 8, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals examined how the 120-day time limit under Indiana Trial Rule 15(C) on amending a complaint to substitute a party interacts with the two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims, and held that the 120-day time limit can’t be allowed to operate prematurely to bar a claim when the statute of limitations is still running.
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Judges divided on calculation of damages after negligence

April 7, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was split in deciding whether an estate received the correct amount of damages from the Indiana Patients’ Compensation Fund. One judge believed the trial court used an incorrect approach for calculating damages because the deceased man had at least a 50 percent chance of survival before the medical negligence.
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Court tackles 'sexual activity' meaning in statute

April 7, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals addressed Thursday the term “sexual activity” – an issue in which there is scant law – and ordered a man be acquitted. The man was convicted under federal statute for attempting to entice a girl he believed to be less than 18 years old to engage in any sexual activity while they chatted online.
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Coroner's office loses 2nd reverse-discrimination appeal

April 5, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a reverse-discrimination case against Marion County should be able to proceed in federal court in Indianapolis because evidence shows the former county coroner’s decision to terminate a forensic pathology company’s contract may have been based on race.
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COA reverses judgment in title insurance issue

April 4, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has declined to extend to an insurance agent the duty of an insurer as declared by the state’s highest court. In doing so, the judges reversed the denial of a title insurance company’s motion for summary judgment.
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Circuit Court orders new trial on Rule 404(b) grounds

April 4, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has found an Indiana federal court should not have allowed evidence of a defendant’s prior drug convictions under Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b). As a result of the violation, the judges reversed the man’s drug conviction and ordered a new trial.
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7th Circuit rules on Rolls-Royce job-bias case

March 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A day after the nation’s highest court heard arguments on the largest female gender-discrimination case in history, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has delved into that same territory and upheld a federal judge’s decision denying class certification in a sex discrimination suit in which a group of female Rolls-Royce employees accused the manufacturer of paying women less than men for the same or similar work.
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Judges: defendant should be able to confront witness

March 31, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered the District Court to grant a convicted murderer’s habeas petition, finding the admission of out-of-court statements at his trial violated the man’s Sixth Amendment right of confrontation.
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Court: DNR case can proceed despite 11-year delay

March 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has looked past a trial rule calling for diligent prosecution of claims, finding that a state Department of Natural Resources land ownership dispute can proceed despite an 11-year delay in prosecuting because it’s of great public importance and should be decided on the merits.
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Court: 'ingress' and 'egress' doesn't include parking

March 30, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a trial judge on a land use dispute between two sets of neighbors, finding that the clear meanings of “ingress" and "egress” do not include parking as two of the Porter County residents had argued based on past caselaw.
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Appellate court affirms arbitration on claims against college

March 29, 2011
Michael Hoskins
With one judge frustrated that Indiana residents and students may have been “hornswoggled” by a college’s advertisements about being accredited, the Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld an order compelling arbitration on a claim that three students were fraudulently induced to enroll because of misrepresentation about that accreditation.
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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