Indiana Court of Appeals

Judges split in adopted trust-beneficiaries matter

August 13, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
In an issue of first impression regarding the retroactivity of a 2003 amendment to the state’s trust code, the Indiana Court of Appeals was divided on whether adopted children should have been included as beneficiaries of a trust.
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Majority affirms default judgment against Sears

August 12, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split today as to whether a department store was entitled to have a default judgment set aside.
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COA affirms doctrine of transferred intent applies

August 11, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed that the doctrine of transferred intent applied in the case of a juvenile adjudicated for committing battery for hitting his teacher unintentionally when trying to punch another student.
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Couple should have jury trial on legal claims

August 11, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A couple whose home is being foreclosed on is entitled to a jury trial on their legal claims against the mortgage holder and loan servicer, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Judges: 2-year statute of limitations doesn't apply

August 10, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal of a medical group’s application for adjustment of claim for provider fee, finding the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board erred by ruling the application was filed outside the statute of limitations.
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Felony can't be modified to misdemeanor 9 years later

August 6, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
In a case of first impression, the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded with instructions a trial court’s modification of a criminal sentence from a Class D felony to a Class A misdemeanor nine years after the appellee-defendant pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
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Court: Man properly executed will, not under undue influence

August 6, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
The Indiana Court of Appeals today affirmed a jury’s decision that upheld a will after the decedent’s children questioned whether the will was executed properly and whether the trial court erred in rejecting a jury instruction regarding undue influence.
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Judges find ruling denied mentally ill man's due process rights

August 5, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed today the denial of a mentally ill man’s motion to dismiss charges against him because not dismissing the charges was a violation of his due process rights.
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Man entitled to commission, but a reduced amount

August 4, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Because a former employee wasn’t aware of nor agreed to a plan that would effectively limit his earnings from selling crop insurance, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed based on Indiana law that he was entitled to his commission he secured in 2005 even if premiums weren't received until later. The appellate court did, however, reduce the amount of money his former employer owed him due to draws and set-offs.
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Appellate rulings can create confusion for attorneys, trial judgesRestricted Content

August 4, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Clear and concise court rulings are what judges hope can be produced, so that lawyers and lower courts can have guidance on how to address a particular legal issue. But that doesn’t always happen.
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Woman loses bid for new trial, appeals

August 4, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A Greensburg woman – who said she was wrongfully convicted 14 years ago of an arson that killed her son – has lost her latest bid for a new trial and is now taking her case to the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Court: insufficient notice bars tort claim

August 3, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
The Indiana Court of Appeals today ruled that insufficient notice barred a complaint for damages in a case involving a condominium complex and its various longtime issues.
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COA extends judicial immunity to arbitrators

August 3, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a real estate broker’s action to vacate an arbitration award to another broker. In doing so, the appellate court extended judicial and quasi-judicial immunity to arbitrators and their sponsors.
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Justices grant 3 transfers

August 3, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court granted three transfers and dismissed one case during its conference late last week, when the justices examined a total 35 cases that were before them for possible transfer.
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Court defines due process rights for drug court participants

July 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a defendant that his due process rights were denied when his participation in a drug court program was ended without giving him notice of a hearing, or allowing him to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses.
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Court declines to review commitment cases differently

July 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals declined Thursday to change how it reviews cases dealing with involuntary commitment.
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Mother of stillborn fetus satisfies actual victim requirement in Med-Mal Act

July 27, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals held today that a mother who suffers a stillbirth due to medical malpractice qualifies as an injured patient and satisfies the actual victim requirement under the Medical Malpractice Act, regardless of whether the malpractice resulted in injuries to the mother, fetus, or both.
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Judge worries ruling may make bright-line rule in traffic stops

July 27, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges each wrote their own opinion on whether a police officer’s safety concerns were legitimate enough to allow the officer to search a car after a traffic stop.
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Arbitration of FCRA claim survives bankruptcy discharge

July 26, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A man’s Fair Credit Reporting Act claim can be arbitrated even though the debt was addressed and discharged in bankruptcy proceedings, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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COA: Trial court to decide pre-sentencing educational credit time

July 23, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
A trial court is the proper authority to determine credit if a defendant earns educational credit time prior to sentencing, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Judges disagree on whether grandfather can adopt

July 21, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Judges on the Indiana Court of Appeals disagreed as to whether a grandfather could adopt his biological granddaughter but allow the mother to retain her parental rights under Indiana law.
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Medicaid applications review policy doesn't violate federal law

July 21, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
An administrative law judge’s refusal to consider evidence of conditions that aren’t disclosed on a Medicaid disability application doesn’t violate federal law and the Due Process Clause, a majority on the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Attorney fees not recoverable under adult wrongful death statute

July 20, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
The Indiana Court of Appeals today disagreed about an issue of first impression regarding recovery of attorney fees under the adult wrongful death statute.
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State, federal double-jeopardy challenge fails

July 20, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
A man’s claims of federal and state double-jeopardy violations were rejected today by the Indiana Court of Appeals, which affirmed the trial court in a case involving multiple child pornography videos.
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COA reverses juvenile's exploitation adjudication

July 19, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a juvenile’s adjudication for exploiting an endangered adult because the state didn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the 17-year-old took advantage of the mentally retarded man.
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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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