First impression

COA rules on first impression railroad issue

April 15, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
In an issue of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded a Federal Employer Liability Act claim premised on unsafe ballast isn't precluded by Federal Railroad Safety Act regulations of ballast in a man's suit for injuries he sustained while employed with a transportation company.
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Judges disagree on retroactive support issue

March 31, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
In a matter of first impression, a panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges couldn't agree on whether an initial support order can be retroactive to a date preceding the filing of a petition for resolution. The judges disagreed as to whether a court has the authority to reach into an intact marriage and order a party to pay child support to the other.
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COA: no error in admitting no contest plea

March 25, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A plea of no contest can be admitted under Indiana Evidence Rule 803(8) as a public record proving the fact of a conviction, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed today. The appellate court found no error in admitting a defendant's nolo contendere plea to a Florida murder as proof he was convicted of an offense qualifying him as a serious violent felon.
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Supreme Court grants 3 transfers

March 18, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted three transfers Wednesday, including a case of first impression on sentence enhancements.
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Couple not a 'successful party' in settlement

March 16, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Despite a lack of Indiana caselaw addressing the use of the term "successful party" for an award of attorney fees after a settlement, the Indiana Court of Appeals deemed the term interchangeable with the term "prevailing party."
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High court grants 6 transfers

March 1, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer today to decide whether casinos can ban card counters. The high court also granted transfer to five cases Thursday, including a case of first impression regarding post-retirement health-insurance premiums.
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Circuit Court rules on first impression issueRestricted Content

February 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals resolved an issue of first impression today: what is needed to be deemed "adequate writing" under the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
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Majority: No double jeopardy in enhancement

January 20, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
In a matter of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals was divided about whether a man's sentence enhancement based on his use of a deadly weapon violated the application of double-jeopardy principals.
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COA: No presumption of undue influence

January 19, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A 2005 amendment to Indiana Code sets aside the common law presumption of undue influence with respect to certain transactions benefiting an attorney in fact, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today on an issue of first impression.
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COA adopts 'site-specific' approach

December 3, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
For the first time, the Indiana Court of Appeals adopted a site-specific approach to rule on an insurance case with multiple policies in several states. The appellate court had been following a uniform-contract-interpretation approach when ruling on choice of law questions in contract actions.
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Court splits on first impression dissipation case

November 30, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge dissented today from his colleagues' decision that a spouse may be found to have dissipated property after refusing to sign and file joint tax returns because the judge believes the ruling is "bad law and bad policy."
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COA: Government vehicle exclusion is void

November 25, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded today in a matter of first impression that the government vehicle exclusion in underinsured motorist policies is void as against public policy.
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COA: Insurance funds aren't a money judgment

November 16, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In a matter of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided today that a summary judgment granting insurance policies isn't equivalent to a money judgment that would allow for 8 percent post-judgment interest.
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Prior conviction doesn't fall under exception

November 5, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a defendant's argument that his felon-in-possession indictment was insufficient because his previous conviction of stealing cable doesn't meet the definition of a "crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year" under 18 U.S.C. Section 921(a)(20)(A).
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Insurance presents first-impression issue

October 30, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals determined today for the first time that post-retirement health insurance premiums paid by a former employer aren't a marital asset subject to a division.
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Farming dispute creates first impression issue

October 16, 2009
Michael Hoskins
In a ruling from the Indiana Supreme Court on an issue of first impression, two of the state's five justices fear a new holding will have far-reaching impact not only on the forfeiture cases at issue, but also mortgage foreclosure cases impacting the commercial and industrial real estate world.
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First impression in utility fee case

October 7, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In a matter of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals had to determine whether the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission properly reviewed the rates and fees charged by a regional sewage district at the request of a campground owner.
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Court rules on LLC matter of first impression

September 10, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals had to decide for the first time whether a company owes a continuing fiduciary duty to a former shareholder or member to accurately report the company's fiscal results to the IRS for a year in which the former member held stock or was still a member of the limited liability company.
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First impression in jury rule issue

September 2, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The participation of alternate jurors in discussions of evidence during recesses from trial, as allowed under Indiana Jury Rule 20(a)(8), doesn't violate Indiana statute that prevents alternates from participating in deliberations. The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled on the matter for the first time today.
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Supreme Court grants 3 transfers

August 21, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer this week to three cases, including a first impression case involving whether someone who has drugs within 1,000 feet of a youth program center run in a church can have their conviction enhanced.
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Fax confirmation creates issue of fact

August 20, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals addressed for the first time in a ruling today the evidentiary significance of a fax confirmation generated by the sender's machine. The Circuit Court determined the fax confirmation is strong evidence of receipt, so the District Court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of a company in an employment-discrimination case.
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Apartment creates issue of first impression

July 27, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In an issue of first impression, the Indiana Tax Court decided housing owned by a non-profit that receives governmental subsidies to rent to low- and moderate-income people at below-market rates is not property used for a charitable purpose.
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COA: Dog sniff requires reasonable suspicion

July 14, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Analyzing the issue for the first time, the Indiana Court of Appeals today determined reasonable suspicion is needed to conduct a drug-detecting dog sniff of a private residence. Even though the state didn't argue the police had reasonable suspicion, it established the officers relied on the warrant executed after the sniff in good faith.
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COA: Rentals not restricted by covenants

July 9, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals determined today the rental of cabins in a subdivision was allowed under its restrictive covenants because the rental property was for "residential use."
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First impression for habitual offender statute

July 7, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In an issue of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals had to decide whether a defendant's prior conviction for conspiracy to deal in cocaine qualified as a conviction for dealing in cocaine under the state's habitual offender statute.
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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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