Court opinions

Judges divided over prison term for probation violation

October 25, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was divided in affirming a man’s revocation of probation and order that he serve 12 years of his suspended sentence, with the dissenting judge finding this decision will penalize his child who is relying on support payments.
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COA rules man can challenge med mal act

October 25, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a man whose wife died because of a missed medical diagnosis and obtained an $8.5 million jury verdict is entitled to an evidentiary hearing about whether the state’s statutory cap on medical malpractice awards is unconstitutional.
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Court rules on mistaken statutory language

October 24, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A mistaken statutory provision has led to a reversal of a decision by a trial court judge from Wells County.
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Judges interpret left turn traffic statute

October 24, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Turning left from an intersection doesn’t mean you must drive into the lane closest to the center line, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Judge affirms assessment of theater

October 20, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court affirmed the 2006 assessment of a Marion movie theater, finding the Grant County assessor is essentially asking the court to reweigh the evidence, which it cannot do.
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Defendants not negligent in father's suicide, murder of daughter

October 20, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A father’s decision to crash a plane his daughter was in – killing them both – superseded any negligence that may be attributed to his flight instructor or other defendants in a wrongful death action, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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COA upholds $300,000 verdict, addresses 'patient abandonment'

October 19, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled on the first of hundreds of medical malpractice claims filed against a former ear-nose-throat specialist in Merrillville, upholding a $300,000 jury verdict and also delving into novel legal issues that haven’t been widely addressed by the state’s appellate courts.
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Supreme Court upholds life without parole sentence

October 18, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has affirmed a man’s murder and robbery convictions and left in place his sentence of life without the possibility of parole.
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Justices rule trial court didn't err in granting mistrial

October 18, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court found that although a defendant didn’t consent to a mistrial, the trial judge didn’t abuse his discretion in finding that a mistrial was justified by “manifest necessity.”
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Man pleads guilty to espionage, theft

October 18, 2011
IL Staff
A Chinese national and former employee of Dow AgroSciences LLC pleaded guilty Tuesday to economic espionage and theft of trade secrets in federal court. Kexue Huang’s case is the first prosecution in Indiana for foreign economic espionage.
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Judges to go to Oakland City for arguments

October 14, 2011
IL Staff
Indiana Court of Appeals judges Melissa May, Michael Barnes and Terry Crone will hear a convicted murderer’s appeal for post-conviction relief at Oakland City University Oct. 19.
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COA: Judge erred in giving jury instruction

October 13, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A Jefferson Superior judge erred in giving a jury an instruction on a lesser included offense of domestic battery because there wasn’t a serious evidentiary dispute about whether the battery was committed in the presence of children, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Appellate court reverses summary judgment for insurer

October 13, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of a hotel’s insurance company in a negligent hiring suit, ruling there is a question as to whether the teenage hotel guest was under the “care, custody or control” of the hotel at the time the teen was molested by an employee.
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Appellate court tackles child support issues

October 12, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In three opinions released Wednesday, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled on child support issues – the application of Social Security benefits to an arrearage and whether two fathers who were incarcerated for not paying child support could have their support obligations modified.
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Judges rule against hospital in fee suit

October 12, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Citing caselaw that goes back 120 years, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a Marion Superior judge’s dismissal of a complaint against a central Indiana hospital pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 12(B)(6).
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Guidance offered on incarcerated parents' attendance at termination hearings

October 11, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Scolding the Indiana Department of Child Services for how it handled a parental termination case, the Indiana Supreme Court has found an incarcerated mother’s due process rights were not violated when she did not receive adequate notice about pending proceedings that would affect her rights as a parent or when she was not allowed to attend the hearings.
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State justices accept certified question

October 11, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court will consider a certified question from federal court concerning disability pension funds for police and firefighters who are already eligible and receiving benefits governed by Indiana statute.
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COA affirms jury's rejection of insanity defense

October 7, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has sided with a jury in rejecting a man’s insanity plea, holding that even when crimes seem horrific and senseless, that does not mean the perpetrator is legally insane.
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COA: Remonstrators didn't request timely stay of annexation

October 6, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of remonstrators’ challenge to annexation of land by the city of Evansville, finding the issue to be moot because the annexation has already been completed.
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Deputy owed no duty to warn of icy road

October 6, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A county sheriff’s department that doesn’t own, maintain or control a county road does not owe a common law duty to warn the public of known hazardous conditions upon the roadway, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
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Judges extend due process safeguards regarding interpreters to civil cases

October 4, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court must take the same steps in a civil action as it does in a criminal action regarding the use of an interpreter in order to address due process concerns, the Indiana Court of Appeals held for the first time Tuesday.
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Appellate judges will hear arguments in East Chicago

October 4, 2011
IL Staff
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges will travel to northern Indiana Thursday to hear the appeal of a man convicted of attempted murder.
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Judges uphold admission of robbery confession

October 3, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not err in admitting evidence of uncharged misconduct from another incident during a defendant’s trial for robbery, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday. The evidence contained a letter that helped corroborate the man’s confession to the robbery.
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Justices agree subsidiaries are not new employers

September 30, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Emphasizing its ruling only deals with determining the proper merit rate for unemployment fund contributions, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled a manufacturer did not create employers through its new subsidiaries, so it wasn’t entitled to a lower rate.
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Circuit Court rules in favor of utility

September 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed summary judgment in favor of a Louisville utility in a dispute as to whether landowners could eject the utility from their property after violating portions of the lease. The appellate judges also declined to certify a question to the Indiana Supreme Court.
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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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  3. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  4. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  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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