Justice Brent E. Dickson

Appellate court openings spark discussion about experience

July 7, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Whether someone has worn a black robe before joining an appellate court is a discussion that often surfaces whenever one of those judiciary posts opens in either the state or federal system.
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Indiana Supreme Court review analyzes trends, voting patterns

July 7, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Every summer, an attorney-authored review analyzes and highlights the Indiana Supreme Court’s activity during the past year. But only rarely does that report come at a time when the state’s highest court is seeing change.
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Justices: statements fall within qualified privilege

June 18, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed summary judgment in favor of a company and its employee in a defamation suit because qualified privilege precludes the defamation action.
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Decision resolves conflicting appellate rulings

March 3, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
An offense of attempted dissemination of matter harmful to minors can be committed when a defendant attempts to transmit prohibited matter by the Internet to an adult police detective posing as a minor, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
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Justices decide statute, court rule issue

January 15, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Even if a court rule is no longer relevant and an underlying state statute has been removed from the books, the Indiana Supreme Court says it still applies and must be followed until the justices revisit it themselves or say otherwise.
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Justices split on transfer of noncompete case

December 21, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Two Indiana Supreme Court justices disagreed with their colleagues in not accepting an appeal, finding that a ruling from the state's intermediate appellate court muddled caselaw on medical business and noncompete agreements, and significantly jeopardizes the public's access to medical care.
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Reimbursement to estate should be proportional

November 18, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled today that a proportional allocation of proceeds from a pre-trial settlement would be best way to reimburse an estate for funeral and burial expenses.
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Justices issue ruling in casino revenue case

June 30, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled today on an ongoing appeal about how casino revenue is funneled to a for-profit organization in East Chicago, an issue that has also been raised in an ongoing federal racketeering suit in northern Indiana.
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Justices: Jury issues don't require new trial

June 18, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed a jury award in favor of a man accused of rape in a civil suit, ruling the jury didn't receive improper communications and the trial court didn't err in providing impasse assistance to the jury.
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Tax exemption doesn't apply to hotel utilities

June 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court was split today in its ruling on whether a hotel was entitled to a sales tax exemption on utilities it purchased during 2004 and 2005.
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Justices dismiss public school funding case

June 2, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Even if Indiana's public school system falls short of where it should be in providing quality education, courts aren't constitutionally able to set standards or establish a financing formula because that's a task falling solely to the General Assembly.
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Justices split on discounted medical expenses

May 28, 2009
Michael Hoskins
In a ruling about whether insurance discounts can be used to determine reasonable medical expenses, two Indiana Supreme Court justices say their colleagues have created a new rule that is "incomplete, misleading, and unfair" and will add "layers of complexity, time, and expense to personal injury litigation, impairing the efficient administration of justice."
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Court rules on ADR sanctions, Open Door Law

April 28, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Trial courts can sanction government entities through the state's Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules, but officials aren't necessarily acting in bad faith if they don't immediately approve mediated agreements to comply with the Indiana Open Door Law, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today.
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High court hears first 'rocket docket' appeal

April 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In the first appeal of a juvenile case under Indiana Appellate Rule 14.1, the "rocket docket," the Indiana Supreme Court ruled the juvenile court's determination that a child shouldn't be immediately reunited with his mother until after the school year concluded - contrary to what the Department of Child Services recommended - wasn't clearly erroneous.
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Justices: No drunk driving on private property

April 9, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A person driving drunk can be arrested even if they are driving on private property, including their own property, ruled the Indiana Supreme Court Wednesday.
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Justices uphold death sentence

April 7, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has upheld the sentence for a man sentenced to die for the 2001 rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl in southern Indiana.
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High court rules on recovery issue

April 7, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Under the statute governing the wrongful death of an unmarried adult with no dependents, the amount recoverable for reasonable medical and hospital expenses necessitated by the alleged wrongful conduct is the total amount ultimately accepted after contractual arrangements with an insurer, Medicare, or Medicaid, and not the total of the charges billed, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today.
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Court rules on upward sentence revision

February 10, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
The Indiana Supreme Court held today that appellate courts have the authority to increase a sentence on appeal, but the state can't initiate or cross-appeal review of the sentence and can't ask for a greater sentence if the defendant doesn't initiate an appeal.
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Justices split in granting transfer

February 4, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court was split in its decision to deny transfer in a case in which a defendant claimed misconduct by the prosecutor when he read a poem about drugs during voir dire.
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Justices disagree about jury instruction

October 21, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court was split in its ruling that a trial court properly instructed a jury regarding a habitual offender finding, with the dissenters arguing the court's instruction was inadequate as compared to the defendant's proposed jury instruction.
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  1. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  2. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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