Courts

COA: Debt collector not entitled to attorney fees under agreement

June 20, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A company assigned to collect on a woman’s medical debt cannot also collect attorney fees, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday. The agreement the woman signed with a medical provider that allows for the collection of attorney fees did not apply to the physician group which assigned her debt to the collections company.
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Treble damages under Sales Rep Act not subject to Punitive Damages Act

June 20, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court unanimously held Thursday that treble damages under the Sales Representative Act are not subject to the Punitive Damages Act.
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Janitor loses pro se complaint alleging discrimination

June 20, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals noted that it was a “close call” whether a man worked in a hostile work environment as a school temporary janitor, but judges found that he could not meet his legal burden to prove that he suffered severe or pervasive harassment based on his race.
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Judge removes herself from county treasurer cases

June 19, 2014
 Associated Press
The judge overseeing the case of a central Indiana treasurer charged with mishandling public money and a lawsuit aimed at removing him from office has disqualified herself from both cases.
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State appeals ruling recognizing single same-sex marriage

June 19, 2014
Dave Stafford
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has asked the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse an Indianapolis federal judge’s ruling requiring the state to recognize the same-sex marriage of two women, one of whom is gravely ill.
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Judge concerned insurance ruling has ‘broad-range consequences’ for future cases

June 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals issued a lengthy opinion Thursday dealing with an insurance coverage dispute between a company headquartered in Indiana and its insurers regarding claims from Taiwanese workers that they were made ill from contaminants from a manufacturing plant.
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7th Circuit: Defendant’s counsel not ineffective

June 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday declined to find that a defendant’s appointed attorney provided ineffective assistance of counsel requiring the court to vacate or correct his 20-year sentence.
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SCOTUS nixes patent on financial risk software in closely watched case

June 19, 2014
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States has tossed out an Australian company's patent for business software in a closely watched case that clarifies standards for awarding patents.
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2 convicted for roles in death of fellow inmate

June 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Two inmates at the Terre Haute Federal Correctional Institution have been convicted for their roles in the death of a fellow inmate, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana announced Wednesday. William J. Bell and Lenard Dixon were recently ordered to wear modified leg restraints during their trial.
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Commission announces new fees for CLE

June 19, 2014
IL Staff
Attorneys and sponsors who are late in reporting attendance to the Indiana Commission for Continuing Legal Education will be subject to up to a $50 fee, according to an order released by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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How the Supreme Court handles death cases

June 19, 2014
 Associated Press
Supreme Court of the United States decisions to allow inmates to be put to death or to grant a rare reprieve often come at the last minute, and sometimes after the appointed hour of execution has come and gone.
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Ogden receives 30-day suspension for criticizing judge

June 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Indianapolis attorney and blogger Paul Ogden has been suspended for 30 days by the Indiana Supreme Court based on comments he made regarding a judge who presided over an estate case involving Ogden’s client.
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US Supreme Court declines to hear Fort Wayne case

June 18, 2014
 Associated Press, IL Staff
The case of an Ohio man sentenced to 60 years for killing a man he found sleeping in a motel room where he and other traveling magazine vendors were staying is headed to the Indiana Court of Appeals after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear it.
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COA rules against bank in lien dispute

June 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Wells Fargo Bank could not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse default judgment entered against it in favor of two companies trying to foreclose on mechanic’s liens. The court also had a warning for litigants when filing amended complaints.
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COA split over whether convicted murderer needs new trial

June 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a murder conviction Wednesday after the defendant argued his right to confront witnesses against him was violated. But one judge on the panel agreed with Michael Torres and wrote in his dissent that Torres should have a new trial.
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Order requiring man to participate in sex offender program not unconstitutional

June 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has found that the order requiring a man to participate in the Sex Offender Management and Monitoring program does not violate Indiana’s prohibition of ex post facto laws.
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7th Circuit: Attorney provided effective assistance to man facing drug charges

June 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s argument that his trial attorney was ineffective because he failed to object to an interpreter arrangement during a witness’s testimony and chose not to have all of discovery translated into Spanish.
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County treasurer says judge also mishandled money

June 18, 2014
 Associated Press
A central Indiana county treasurer charged with mishandling public money wants the judge overseeing his case to step aside, arguing she did the same thing.
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Debate over historic Brown County courthouse continues

June 18, 2014
Dave Stafford
At one of the state’s most-visited tourist crossroads stands a courthouse at a crossroads of its own.
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Change at the top means new leadership at Supreme Court

June 18, 2014
Dave Stafford
Chief Justice Brent Dickson led the Indiana Supreme Court for just two years, but attorneys who practice before the court said his decision to hand the reins to a colleague is in keeping with the leadership tone he set. Dickson expects to step down from his position as chief justice sometime before Sept. 1.
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Guarding against undue influence

June 18, 2014
Dave Stafford
Changes in a person’s will and estate plan that vary from equal distribution of assets among heirs, as favored by law, should raise red flags, elder law attorneys say.
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Disciplinary Actions - 6/18/14

June 18, 2014
IL Staff
Read who has been disciplined by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Dealership did not abide by contract terms, COA rules

June 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Citing the terms spelled out in the contract, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that a car dealer that entrusted a buyer with mailing a title to the lender will have to pay the balance of the auto loan.
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Appeals on Wheels continues to enjoy the open road

June 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals will hit a milestone this week when it convenes at Trine University in Angola.
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14 cases remain for US Supreme Court

June 17, 2014
 Associated Press
The religious rights of corporations, the speech rights of abortion protesters and the privacy rights of people under arrest are among the big issues still unresolved at the Supreme Court of the United States.
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