Court opinions

Looking back on rulings

August 3, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Looking in the rearview mirror on judicial precedent is a task that every judge on every court faces.
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Lawmakers may consider sentencing options for children waived to adult courtRestricted Content

August 3, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Within a six-month period, one Indiana county prosecutor faced two situations where he had to make one of the toughest types of decisions – whether a child should be tried in juvenile or adult court based on the brutality of a crime and age of the offender.
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Workers' comp cases question line between employer liability and employee responsibilityRestricted Content

August 3, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
In June, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, affirmed the finding of a workers’ compensation judge who ruled that a man whose wife died of a pulmonary embolism while working from home was entitled to workers’ compensation survivor benefits. In Renner v. AT&T, No. A-2393-10T3, a doctor admitted that other factors – including obesity – may have been risk factors for developing the fatal blood clot.
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COA cites 'good faith' exception for child pornography search warrant

August 2, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s denial of a motion to suppress evidence, holding that even though a search warrant was invalid, the evidence it produced is admissible due to a “good faith” exception to the exclusionary rule.
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7th Circuit judge grants prisoner’s request for certificate of appealability

August 1, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana prisoner’s request for a certificate of appealability has been granted by a 7th Circuit judge who found the man’s application set forth a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right.
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Man entitled to damages following excavation of home without notice

July 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In reviewing a case in which an attorney appointed guardian of an adult male unilaterally decided to tear down his home without providing notice to the man, the Indiana Court of Appeals found the attorney violated the man’s due process rights and damages were necessary.
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Court reverses suspension of mother's parenting time

July 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the modification of a mother’s parenting time to end any visitation with her autistic son because the father didn’t present evidence justifying terminating the parenting time.
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'Notario' pleads guilty to tax evasion, illegal law practice

July 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A Marion Superior judge has sentenced an Indianapolis woman who offered illegal immigration services without a law license and evaded paying her income taxes through that business.
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COA rules on man's theft conviction for third time

July 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Following an order from the Indiana Supreme Court that the lower appellate court more fully address the Proportionality Clause of the Indiana Constitution, the Indiana Court of Appeals has again upheld a man’s felony theft conviction.
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Hospital doesn't owe attorney any contingency fees

July 27, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A Kokomo attorney is not entitled to collect his contingency fees from a hospital in his representation of a patient caught in an insurance dispute, the Indiana Court of Appeals has held.
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No summary judgment on issue of whether complaint was timely filed

July 27, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of a doctor in a medical malpractice action, finding there are questions around whether the plaintiff timely filed the proposed complaint.
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Judges ask family to end litigation over parents' interments

July 26, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In a dispute among divided siblings on where their deceased parents should be buried, the Indiana Court of Appeals asked the family to end the litigation and let the parents “rest in peace.”
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COA split on whether scooter is 'motor vehicle'

July 26, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was divided in a case involving a man who was convicted of driving a motor vehicle while his privileges were suspended, with one judge agreeing with the state that the defendant’s scooter qualified as a motor vehicle under statute.
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Circuit Court affirms admission of drugs, sentence

July 22, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a man’s argument that his past conviction of vehicular flight isn’t a crime of violence, citing a recent decision by the United States Supreme Court on that matter.
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Judge approves proposed settlement agreement

July 22, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge has approved a proposed settlement agreement in a class-action lawsuit against the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration alleging that an agency policy that doesn’t allow certain Medicaid waiver enrollees to apply for services other than what’s been approved by their case manager is in violation of federal Medicaid law.
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7th Circuit finds remand to be unreviewable

July 21, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals looked at the issues of removal and remand in the context of bankruptcy in a case July 21 and found the bankruptcy court’s decision to remand a case to state court is unreviewable.
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Justices reduce sentence of man found asleep in office

July 21, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Four of the five Indiana Supreme Court justices decided that the man found asleep in the waiting room of a dental office – who had an empty handgun on him – should only be sentenced to 20 years for the crime instead of 40 years.
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Trial court shouldn't have struck expert witness affidavit

July 20, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment for a doctor in his attempt to collect an unpaid medical bill, finding the trial court erred when it struck the affidavit of an expert witness designated by the defendant.
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COA rules man is not guilty by reason of insanity

July 20, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Examining the issue of whether a defendant’s mental disease brought on by years of drinking could support an insanity defense, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded the man’s psychosis was a mental defect under Indiana Code and he should have been found not guilty by reason of insanity.
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Ruling against local planning, zoning officials has statewide implicationsRestricted Content

July 20, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Deciding where the planes fly in or out of an airport and how land and buildings are used on airport grounds became the pivotal issue in a recent lawsuit in Marion Superior Court.
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Hail creates firestorm for State Farm

July 20, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Hailstorm damages more than property, resulting in $14.5 million defamation verdict against the insurer.
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Appellate judges rule on court warrant officer's claim

July 19, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled an Anderson City Court judge didn’t wrongly reassign a police warrant officer from his courtroom because the two didn’t share an employee-employer relationship that would allow for a suit under the Indiana Wage Claim Statute.
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Circuit Court upholds ban on pen-pal solicitation by inmates

July 19, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The First Amendment rights of Indiana inmates aren’t being violated by a ban instituted by the Department of Correction on advertising for pen-pals and receiving materials from resources that allow people to advertise for pen-pals, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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Appeals court splits on new sentence modification issue

July 18, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
An inmate’s request for a sentence modification has divided the Indiana Court of Appeals, with the majority concluding that the 365-day period during which a trial court could grant a modification begins when someone is originally sentenced, not re-resentenced after a successful appeal.
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Judge: Man did not commit attempted child exploitation

July 18, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split on whether a man committed attempted child exploitation when he tried to take pictures up teenagers’ skirts at a mall using a camera attached to his shoe.
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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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