Courts

Man unable to prevent settlement agreement

August 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The man who wanted to purchase a divorcing couple’s farm lacked a present interest in the real estate and couldn’t prevent a settlement agreement between the couple, which led to the husband keeping the farm, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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Law firms pursue BP bad-gas class action

August 24, 2012
Dave Stafford
One Indiana firm has filed a class-action lawsuit against BP in the wake of the company's gasoline recall in northwest Indiana. Two other law firms are pursuing a possible class-action suit.
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Updated instructions aim to prevent social media use during trial

August 24, 2012
IL Staff
Federal judges have new guidelines for keeping Twitter and Facebook out of the jury box.
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Steak ’n Shake loses appeal over franchisee’s independent pricing

August 24, 2012
Dave Stafford
A longtime Steak ’n Shake franchisee who sued the chain after it insisted on setting prices for menu items prevailed again Friday as the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an Illinois federal court’s ruling in the franchisee’s favor.
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Judges disagree over use of summary judgment to pierce corporate veil

August 23, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
One Court of Appeals judge believed the “only reasonable inference” that could be drawn from the evidence in a collections case is that a former company was a “sham corporation,” so the trial court properly pierced the corporate veil on summary judgment.
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7th Circuit rules trial attorneys not ineffective

August 23, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals declined to find a defendant's trial attorneys' representation objectively deficient or ineffective pertaining to how they handled a man’s sentencing hearing.
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Bunch freed after 16 years in prison

August 23, 2012
IL Staff
Kristine Bunch, the woman who claimed she was wrongfully convicted of killing her son in a fire in 1995, was released from prison following a bond hearing Wednesday in Decatur County. The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed her convictions and ordered a new trial on the murder charge.
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Alternate juror’s comment doesn’t entitle man to new trial

August 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court properly determined an alternate juror’s alleged conduct posed only a remote risk of prejudice, and the judge’s admonishment of that juror was not an error, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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Father’s confession shouldn’t have been admitted at trial

August 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a father’s conviction of child molesting related to his daughter, finding his confession, which was admitted into evidence at trial, was obtained in violation of Miranda protocol.
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Court addresses use of epidemiological evidence in med mal cases

August 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held that the trial court ruled correctly when it did not allow certain epidemiological evidence by a plaintiff’s expert witness in a medical malpractice lawsuit, but the court stopped short of saying this type of evidence could never be admitted in a medical malpractice case.
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Indiana pleased with decision to vacate EPA Transport Rule

August 22, 2012
IL Staff
The split decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to vacate the Environmental Protection Agency’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule because of federal law violations is “great news” for Indiana, Gov. Mitch Daniels said.
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Pyle to join Court of Appeals Aug. 27

August 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals announced Tuesday that its newest judge, Rudolph Pyle III, will take the oath of office in a private ceremony Aug. 27.
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State moves forward with IBM appeal

August 21, 2012
Dave Stafford
Attorneys for the state of Indiana have begun the formal appeal process after a Marion County court in July awarded a $52 million judgment to IBM over cancellation of the company’s contract to privatize social service claims processing.
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Judge did not modify jury instructions

August 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Lawrence County man was unable to prove to the Court of Appeals that the trial court abused its discretion when it denied his motion for a mistrial. He argued the judge modified the jury instructions when he answered a question from the jury in mid-deliberations.
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Justices take 1 case, deny 7

August 21, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court took a post-conviction case Aug. 13 and sent it back to the Court of Appeals for consideration.
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Pyle leaving Circuit Court Aug. 26

August 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Madison Circuit Judge Rudolph Pyle III has told the Indiana Supreme Court he will resign from Circuit Court Aug. 26 to take his spot on the Indiana Court of Appeals. Gov. Mitch Daniels appointed Pyle an appellate judge Aug. 7.
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DCS, criminal law study committees meet this week

August 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Department of Child Services Interim Study Committee will meet for the first time Wednesday afternoon to discuss various matters including funding and child in need of services cases.
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Tax judge declines to require attorneys represent LLCs in court

August 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Department of State Revenue asked the Indiana Tax Court to create a rule requiring limited liability companies be represented by attorneys in court, similar to a rule pertaining to corporations, but Judge Martha Wentworth declined to “invent such a rule where one does not currently exist.”
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Man had no constitutional right to counsel

August 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claims in support of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus, finding his motion to correct sentence wasn’t a motion pursuant to Indiana Code, but was a collateral attack on his sentence.
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Judges uphold insurers’ share of settlement liability

August 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A District judge did not err in how he apportioned liability among three insurers for payment of a settlement between an injured worker and a contractor, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Friday.
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AT&T technicians file lawsuit over lunch policy

August 17, 2012
Chris O'Malley
Eleven AT&T technicians have filed a federal lawsuit seeking class-action status to collect unpaid wages and overtime, alleging the company compels them to work during unpaid lunch breaks.
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Federal Rules website revamped, accepting comment on rule changes

August 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The United States Courts’ Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Appellate, Bankruptcy, Criminal, and Evidence Rules announced Friday that it is seeking comment on several proposed changes to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure, as well as changes made to its website. Officials hope the revamped website will be more user-friendly.
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Trial court has no authority to alter man’s conviction

August 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
An Elkhart Superior judge was correct in determining that he couldn’t reduce a man’s Class D felony conviction to a Class A misdemeanor a year after the original judgment was made, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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7th Circuit rules in favor of attorneys in failed business investment

August 16, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A group of investors suing attorneys who worked on the establishment of two business entities – which later failed – were unable to show the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that the attorneys owed the investors any legal duty.
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JNC’s justice candidate evaluation letter sent to governor

August 16, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission sent its letter to Gov. Mitch Daniels Wednesday explaining the qualifications of justice finalists Hamilton Superior Judge Steven Nation, Tippecanoe Superior Judge Loretta Rush, and Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP partner Geoffrey Slaughter.
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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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