Court opinions

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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Justices suspend attorney for collecting 'exploitive fee'

September 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has suspended an Indianapolis attorney after finding he engaged in attorney misconduct by collecting a “clearly unreasonable and exploitive fee” from a vulnerable client.
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Court: CHINS fact-finding hearing required by due process

September 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals disagrees with the state Department of Child Services that fact-finding and dispositional hearings in a child in need of services case are interchangeable. The appellate panel has ruled a Marion County father’s due process rights were denied because he didn’t receive the opportunity for a fact-finding hearing.
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Justices uphold murderer's convictions

September 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has affirmed that a man will serve life in prison without parole for his role in the murders of seven people in Indianapolis in 2006.
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Appeals court reverses judge on visitation ruling

September 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The state’s intermediate appellate court has reversed a southern Indiana judge’s ruling that a boyfriend should retain visitation rights over an ex-girlfriend’s child. It ruled that the finding is contrary to law because lawmakers didn’t allow for that type of circumstance to warrant visitation.
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Federal judge finds U.S. law preempts state 'robo-call' statute

September 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The state is not able to prevent out-of-state entities from placing political calls to residents within Indiana because of an existing federal law, according to a federal judge’s ruling on Indiana’s auto-dialer statute.
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Judge: query goes too far

September 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Ruling strikes down one Indiana bar exam application question.
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Justices clarify police resistance ruling

September 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Emphasizing that it’s not trampling on the Fourth Amendment and allowing police to illegally enter one’s home, the Indiana Supreme Court has revisited a case it decided four months ago and reinforced its ruling that residents don’t have a common law right to resist police entering one’s home.
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BLE will strike broad question, revise other

September 27, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court’s Board of Law Examiners is cutting one controversial question from its annual bar exam application and will revise another in order to comply with a federal judge’s recent ruling.
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Judges rule on issues stemming from cemetery case

September 26, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled on matters involving alleged looting of cemetery funds in two cases Monday, upholding the denial of class certification in one case and adopting a “plain legal prejudice” standard in the other case.
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COA: woman not denied right to confrontation

September 26, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In a woman’s appeal of her prostitution conviction, the Indiana Court of Appeals addressed the right to confront witnesses and its interrelationship with hearsay evidence.
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COA reverses trial court's ruling in favor of attorney

September 23, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of an attorney who failed to monitor an estate checking account while serving as the estate’s counsel.
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Elements of crimes did not occur in Indiana

September 22, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ordered that charges be dropped against a pair living in Houston who faced counterfeiting and theft charges, finding the trial court lacked territorial jurisdiction.
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Federal judge: 1 bar exam application question goes too far

September 21, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A federal judge has found that one of the Indiana bar exam application questions violates the Americans with Disabilities Act because it infringes on potential lawyers’ privacy rights.
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Man's conviction hinges on 'induce' definition

September 20, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals had to determine how to interpret the term “induce” related to a man’s contributing to the delinquency of a minor case and upheld his conviction based on the term’s dictionary definition.
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Judges uphold involuntary commitment

September 19, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
When a defendant has been previously committed to a state institution because he was found incompetent to stand trial, that state institution may be considered a community mental health center for purposes of a report required under Indiana Code 12-26-7-3(b), the Indiana Court of Appeals held Monday.
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COA finds 2007 version of statute is an ex post facto law

September 19, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed in part a man’s petition for post-conviction relief challenging the finding that he is ineligible to petition for a change of status regarding being a sexually violent predator. The 2007 version of the applicable statute is an unconstitutional ex post facto law as applied to him.
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Fired professor wins one, loses another appeal

September 19, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A tenured English professor at the University of Evansville who was fired after an inappropriate interaction with a fellow professor lost his appeal against his co-worker, but his case against the university will proceed.
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Judge allows state to cut Medicaid fees to pharmacists

September 15, 2011
Michael Hoskins
An Indianapolis federal judge has reversed the temporary restraining order she issued two months ago that stopped the state from cutting fees it pays to pharmacists for dispensing Medicaid prescriptions.
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Judges rule on breach of contract lawsuit

September 15, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The City of Jeffersonville breached its contract with a company hired to maintain its sewer system by not adequately providing written notice before ending the contract.
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Justices split over how to determine a lawsuit is equitable

September 15, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has expanded on a previous decision to create a multi-pronged inquiry to determine whether a suit is essentially equitable, a move that causes two justices to worry the new test may often foreclose a defendant’s right to a jury on distinct and severable legal claims.
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Justices vacate transfer of insurance case

September 15, 2011
IL Staff
By a vote of 4 to 1, the Indiana Supreme Court has decided to vacate transfer to an insurance case that split the lower appellate court regarding the definition of “ever” on a home insurance application.
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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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