Court opinions

COA vacates conviction on double jeopardy grounds

June 17, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that a man who helped participate in a robbery that left the victim blind must be cleared of a criminal confinement conviction because the same evidence may have been used to convict him on another charge.
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Judge: video games don't infringe on Dillinger trademark

June 17, 2011
Cory Schouten
A federal judge has shot down a lawsuit brought by heirs of notorious bank robber John Dillinger over the depiction of the Dillinger name in video games based on the classic movie "The Godfather."
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Ex-prosecutor gets 4-month suspension

June 16, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Former Delaware County Prosecutor Mark McKinney has been suspended for 120 days, the Indiana Supreme Court announced Thursday. The suspension begins July 28, with automatic reinstatement upon its conclusion, subject to the conditions of Admission and Discipline Rule 23(4)(c).
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Federal judge decertifies class in hail-damage suit

June 15, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
On order from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, an Indiana judge has decertified the class in a lawsuit against State Farm following a 2006 hail storm in central Indiana.
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Justices address incompetent defendants in 2 cases

June 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court handed down two opinions Tuesday in which the defendants, who were found to be incompetent at some point, argued that pending charges violated their rights to due process on fundamental-fairness grounds.
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Appellate court upholds motion to suppress after traffic stop

June 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a trial judge that a police officer didn’t have reasonable suspicion to stop a driver believed to be intoxicated.
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COA reverses worker's comp board on prescription drug denial

June 13, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a finding by the state Worker’s Compensation Board that a woman’s employer isn’t responsible for providing a specific prescription drug to her, noting that the board only focused on one possible reason why the drug is prescribed.
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Judges affirm motion to suppress after illegal police entry

June 10, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge wrote a separate opinion in an unlawful arrest case, emphasizing that the facts before the court differ from those before the Indiana Supreme Court justices in Barnes v. State.
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COA reverses judgment for apartment manager in negligence case

June 10, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In ruling on a slip-and-fall case involving injury occurring in an apartment complex parking lot during the winter, the Indiana Court of Appeals noted that there are not any Indiana cases with an identical fact pattern, so they looked to a similar Missouri case for guidance.
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SCOTUS: Vehicular flight from police is 'violent' felony

June 9, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The nation’s highest court has upheld an Indianapolis federal judge's ruling, finding that someone who flees from police in a vehicle is committing a “crime of violence” that justifies a longer sentence.
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COA rules on public utility issues

June 9, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part the decision by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission finding United States Steel Corp. acted as a public utility when it delivered electricity and natural gas to another steel producer in northwestern Indiana.
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7th Circuit affirms ruling against former jail nurses

June 9, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In a discrimination and hostile work environment case, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded for the first time that displays of confederate flags in the workplace may support a hostile work environment claim. However, the judges agreed with the District Court that several African-American nurses formerly employed by a Marion County jail could not support their legal claims.
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SCOTUS rules on Indiana 'crime of violence' case

June 9, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The nation’s highest court has upheld an Indianapolis federal judge’s ruling, finding that someone who flees from police in a vehicle is committing a “crime of violence” that justifies a longer sentence.
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Man’s Sixth Amendment right not violated

June 8, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The failure of a judge to inquire into a defendant’s written complaint about his public defender didn’t violate the defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel, the Indiana Supreme Court held Wednesday. However, the justices explained if a trial judge finds him or herself in a situation similar to the one presented, that judge should at least receive assurances from the public defender’s office that the complaint has been adequately addressed.
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Judges rule on legal malpractice action

June 8, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that a man has standing to pursue his legal malpractice action, although issues of material fact preclude him from summary judgment as to the attorney’s liability for malpractice.
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COA: Statute of repose doesn't bar woman's complaint

June 8, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that a woman’s negligence complaint isn’t barred by a statute of repose.
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Touched by controversy

June 8, 2011
Michael Hoskins
In the history of court controversies, a recent ruling by the Indiana Supreme Court has created public outcry and calls for change in ways that few others do.
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Justices rule: No right to resist

June 8, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court caught many people off guard when it abolished the common law right of citizens to reasonably resist police from entering their homes, no matter the situation and regardless of whether the entry is legal.
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Keeping baseball legal

June 8, 2011
Michael Hoskins
An Indianapolis sports law attorney who represented a prosecution witness at the start of the baseball steroid case against Barry Bonds recently saw the final “at bat” for the prosecution and defense in a California courtroom.
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Local counsel rule found unconstitutional

June 8, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that the Northern District of Indiana was essentially creating a built-in appeal issue on ineffective assistance of counsel, and it called out a senior judge for violating a man’s Sixth Amendment right to choose his own lawyer.
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Closing Indiana's largest MDL line

June 8, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The final case in the Bridgestone/Firestone multi-district litigation has come to a close in the Southern District of Indiana, putting an end to a line of litigation that began more than a decade ago.
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Prosecutor's conduct leads to child-molesting conviction reversal

June 7, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals said a Tippecanoe County man has the right to a retrial on a child molestation charge because the prosecutor inappropriately vouched for the victim’s credibility and had offered to show the victim a transcript of past statements without the teenager asking for that recollection.
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Justices take state employee back-pay case

June 6, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court will hear the case in which past and present state workers were initially granted more than $42 million in damages in their suit to recover back pay. That amount was later reduced by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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High court to hear insurance, drug, murder cases

June 6, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court accepted three cases June 3, including two cases in which the Indiana Court of Appeals were split in their rulings on a drug case and an insurance case.
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7th Circuit affirms dismissal of hostile work environment claim

June 3, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has determined that a woman failed to prove that she was subject to a hostile work environment at Ball State University.
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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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  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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