Judge Elaine B. Brown

COA reverses involuntary termination order for a second time

October 8, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals sharply rebuked a trial court as having “committed clear error” by relying on old evidence and testimony in terminating a Vanderburgh County couple’s parental rights.
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COA affirms Pennsylvania proper forum for complaint

March 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday that a producer of limestone and other products must file its complaint for indemnification in Pennsylvania based on its contract with a trucking company, and not Lake County, Ind.
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Judges: employee discharged for just cause

August 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the finding by an administrative law judge and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development that an employee of a funeral home was fired for just cause.
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Appellate court upholds easement ruling

January 11, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court judgment in favor of the owners of a RV campground regarding an access easement.
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Judges split on mortgage issue

May 17, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In a case of first impression between a lender and the mortgagee on record, the Indiana Court of Appeals was divided as to whether the mortgagee on record had an enforceable right under a mortgage.
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Judges order modification of dissolution decree

May 5, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a trial court abused its discretion when it didn’t consider a $160,000 change in value of a property when calculating marital assets and distributing marital property.
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Court divided on purchase agreement termination

February 24, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The judges on the Indiana Court of Appeals were split in deciding whether the seller of a condominium should have to refund a deposit to purchase after the buyers discovered electrical problems that turned out to be minor issues.
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Appeals court rules on Ohio River phone-stalking case

January 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reaffirmed its standing that prosecutors can’t elevate a misdemeanor crime to a felony if the defendant didn’t know the victim worked in law enforcement.
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Majority upholds dismissal of unemployment benefits appeal

January 26, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split today on whether a woman’s appeal after she was denied unemployment benefits should be reinstated. The woman claimed she missed the administrative law judge’s phone call because of confusion regarding different time zones.
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Federal act preempts state law claims

January 25, 2011
Jennifer Nelson

The Indiana Court of Appeals held that the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Act preempts state law claims brought by a man’s first ex-wife seeking to keep her and her grandchildren as beneficiaries of the man’s life insurance policy.

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Panel criticizes late discovery introduction

December 28, 2010
Michael Hoskins
While recognizing that the state’s practice of allowing late introduction of evidence basically rewards attorneys who don’t prepare for trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals looked beyond that practice in a recent decison to how the rules still protect a person’s right to a fair trial.
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Court divided on invasion of privacy charge

November 8, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split today as to whether a woman who had an order for protection against her should have been convicted of invasion of privacy when she spoke to the protected party during a court hearing.
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All judges up for retention to stay on bench

November 3, 2010
IL Staff
The 11 judges up for retention this year – including five on the Indiana Court of Appeals – will remain on the bench.
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State bar releases results of COA retention survey

October 13, 2010
IL Staff
If the results of the Indiana State Bar Association’s 2010 Judicial Retention Poll are any indicator of next month’s election, then the five Indiana Court of Appeals judges up for a vote will be easily retained.
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5 Court of Appeals judges up for retention

October 13, 2010
Michael Hoskins
One third of the Indiana Court of Appeals judges face a retention vote this year. Read the judges’ answers to questions posed by Indiana Lawyer.
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COA: variance for residential wind turbine allowed

August 31, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
The Court of Appeals today affirmed a decision from the Warrick Superior Court that found the Board of Zoning Appeals of the Area Plan Commission of Warrick County was right in allowing a 20-foot variance for the construction of a residential wind turbine.
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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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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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5 appeals judges up for retention

June 3, 2010
Michael HoskinsMore

COA reverses judgment for Ford in liability suit

September 21, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment today in favor of Ford Motor Co. in a products liability lawsuit, but the judges disagreed as to whether the manufacturer breached its duty to warn of the dangers of children riding in the front seat with airbags turned on.
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Court split on ineffective trial counsel

September 9, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed that an attorney was ineffective because the majority found the attorney told her client he "should" win the case whereas one judge pointed out in the record the attorney admitted to telling the client he "would" win.
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Judges differ on if 'property damage' occurred

June 23, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A majority of Indiana Court of Appeals judges affirmed summary judgment in favor of a homebuilder's insurance provider, insurance broker, and subcontractor's insurer, ruling the damage to the homes wasn't "property damage" as covered by the insurance policies.
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COA: No preliminary injunction against casinos

May 14, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges agreed a city isn't entitled to a preliminary injunction to order riverboat casinos to make payments to the city, but the judges disagreed as to why the city didn't meet its burden to prove an injunction was necessary.
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Jury instruction requires new damages trial

May 12, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A jury instruction the Indiana Court of Appeals found to incorrectly state the law required the court to remand for a new trial on damages in a negligence suit.
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COA rules on first impression lemon-law issue

May 5, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals tackled today an issue of first impression regarding the state's lemon law: Once a consumer has met the law's repair threshold, he can still file an action under the lemon law even if a subsequent repair fixes the problem.
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  1. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  2. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  3. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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