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7th Circuit won't rehear prayer suit

January 15, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals won't rehear en banc Indiana's statehouse prayer suit.
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Court affirms stepfather's visitation rights

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals April 23 affirmed a trial court's decision that a stepfather may continue to have visitation rights with his stepdaughter even though the mother wanted his visitation rights terminated. In Nicole A. Shaffer v. Robert J. Schaffer, No. 22A04-0709-CV-513, Nicole requested Robert's third-party stepparent visitation rights with her daughter, M.S., be terminated because it was in her daughter's best interest to not have any more contact with Robert. Nicole and Robert were married when she had a child...
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Court grants transfer in prisoner suit

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case involving whether a man's request challenging his prison detainment should have been treated as post-conviction relief or a writ of habeas corpus.Justices granted transfer late last week in Floyd Tewell v. State of Indiana, No. 48A02-0701-PC-118, which comes after a Nov. 5, 2007, decision from the Court of Appeals that had affirmed a ruling from Madison Superior Judge Thomas Newman Jr.The appeal stems from the court's denial of Tewell's petition for writ...
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COA: insurer owed duty to defend

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
After nearly 10 years of litigation, the Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a grant of summary judgment in favor of an insurance company because the company couldn't show it was prejudiced by a late notice from its insured as a matter of law. In the unanimous 27-page opinion, Tri-Etch Inc., et al v. Cincinnati Insurance Co., No. 49A02-0709-CV-827, the appellate court ruled in favor of the appellants-plaintiffs in this appeal - Tri-Etch, which provides security services; the estate of Michael Young;...
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Court rules on out-of-state marriages

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
Even if a marriage is questionable in another state, Indiana will recognize that marriage if it complies with Hoosier law.An Indiana Supreme Court ruling late Tuesday gave that answer in Emma McPeek, et al. v. Charles McCardle, No. 58S01-0708-CV-305, which hails from Ohio Circuit Court and involves a technical issue regarding a couple not having an official out-of-state marriage license when they wed in Ohio, even though they'd had one from Indiana.The plaintiff-appellants in this case sued following their mother's death in...
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Justices: State must prove loaded gun

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The state has the burden to prove a gun was loaded when charging a defendant with pointing a firearm as a Class D felony, but it is up to the defendant to raise the issue when the state's evidence has not done so, the Indiana Supreme Court has decided. In Henry J. Adkins v. State of Indiana, No. 20S03-0709-CR-374, the Supreme Court Wednesday upheld Henry Adkins' conviction of pointing a firearm as a Class D felony because during the trial he failed...
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Non-firm job options: Recent law grads share advice

January 1, 2008
Rebecca Berfanger
When considering law school, students may have the idea that getting a law degree will equal a large salary or a lifestyle similar to television shows that portray lawyers in spacious apartments, wearing designer clothes, and hosting large events. The reality is that may be true for some. For those who would rather work in politics, as in-house counsel, or start their own business, the salary may be smaller, but depending on one's interests and career goals, it could be more...
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Courts must ID trade secrets

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned a northern Indiana judge's order to protect certain information and trade secrets, holding the District Court judge didn't adequately distinguish what shouldn't be released in a copyright and trade secrets dispute between two competing modular home builders.A unanimous three-judge panel ruled today in Patriot Homes, Inc. and Patriot Manufacturing, Inc. v. Forest River Housing, Inc., d/b/a Sterling Homes, No. 06-3012.The case involved Patriot Homes and Forest River Housing, who'd been competing contentiously for years,...
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New judicial speech rights suit filed

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A federal lawsuit challenging Indiana's rules prohibiting judicial candidates from responding to a survey about their views is picking up where a similar suit left off late last year.The nonprofit Indiana Right to Life Inc. filed a suit April 18 on behalf of Marion Superior Judge David Certo, who is running for the court for the first time after being appointed by Gov. Mitch Daniels to fill a vacancy last year, and Torrey Bauer, a candidate for Kosciusko Superior Court. The...
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Federal court rules in favor of Indy company

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A federal appeals court in Florida has upheld an Indianapolis-based company's right to sell distant networking programming to its customers, finding the company was acting in accordance with the Satellite Home Viewer Act (SHVA). The unanimous opinion from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Monday, CBS Broadcasting Inc., et al. v. EchoStar Communications d.b.a. DISH Network, et al. No. 07-10020, ruled National Programming Service (NPS), a proposed intervenor-cross-appellant on the case, has the right to lease satellite equipment from EchoStar Communications Corp....
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COA: Court has personal jurisdiction over CIDs

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana trial courts can assert personal jurisdiction over out-of-state companies for the purposes of enforcing an Indiana Attorney General's petition to enforce a civil investigative demand, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals today. In a case of first impression, the appellate court was asked to determine whether a trial court lacked personal jurisdiction over an Ohio company that had franchises located in but not registered in Indiana, and thus erred by granting the Attorney General's petition to enforce a civil investigative...
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Court rules on annexation, land dispute

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A county was able to establish an economic development area in unincorporated land that was also in the process of being annexed by a town because the annexation process hadn't been completed yet, ruled the Indiana Supreme Court. When the Boone County Redevelopment Commission (RDC) initiated proceedings to create an economic development area (EDA), the area included land on which Whitestown had initiated annexation proceedings just one week earlier in July 2006. In October 2006, the Boone County Board of Commissioners...
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Judge, attorneys to get national, state awards

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
A judge and two attorneys from Indiana will receive awards for their work in the legal community and media law.Dearborn Superior Judge G. Michael Witte will receive the Franklin N. Flaschner Award given by the National Conference on Specialized Court Judges Aug. 7 at the American Bar Association's annual meeting. The award recognizes a judge in a court of limited jurisdiction who has an excellent reputation, commitment to high ideals, and exemplary character, leadership, and competence in performing legal duties. Judge...
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Court: amended charges not allowed

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reinstated one conviction and reversed two others for a man charged with resisting law enforcement, auto theft, and battery. At issue in Donyea Fowler v. State of Indiana, No. 71A05-0704-CR-200, is whether the trial court properly reversed Fowler's conviction of resisting law enforcement. Fowler also appealed his convictions of auto theft and battery, arguing the charges were added after the time allowed by Indiana statutes. Police officers from several departments showed up to the home where Fowler...
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Inmates' child support orders can be modified

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
  In a decision that may affect child support modification orders, the Indiana Court of Appeals held today an earlier Indiana Supreme Court decision also applies to a request for a modification because of incarceration. In Todd Allen Clark v. Michelle D. Clark, No. 35A05-0801-CV-26, the appellate court used the Indiana Supreme Court's decision in Lambert v. Lambert, 861 N.E.2d 1176 (Ind. 2007), to determine whether Todd Clark's verified petition for abatement and/or modification of child support order should have been granted. ...
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COA: Parental rights termination set aside

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a juvenile court's termination of parental rights of both parents of an infant, finding evidence presented to support the termination wasn't clear or convincing. In In the matter of the termination of the parent-child relationship of A.B., and Angela B. and Brian J. v. Lake County Department of Child Services, No. 45A03-0712-JV-567, the appellate court ruled the court's judgment terminating the parental rights of Angela and Brian over A.B. was erroneous because the Lake County Department...
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Third-party settlement ends fund liability

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court held in a case of first impression in worker's compensation that when a settlement with a third-party ends an employer's liability, the liability of the Second Injury Fund will also be terminated. However, when the Indiana Worker's Compensation Board approves an agreement by the employer to continue paying worker's comp benefits after the settlement, the injured employee may make a claim to the Second Injury Fund. In Ronald Mayes v. Second Injury Fund, No. 93S02-0802-EX-0107, Ronald Mayes...
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Appeal likely in post-deadlocked capital case

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court may be asked to determine whether an Evansville judge correctly decided to uphold a death sentence after a jury's indecision regarding the penalty.Attorneys for death row inmate Daniel Ray Wilkes aren't taking issue with how Vanderburgh Circuit Judge Carl Heldt applied the law but rather the nature and constitutionality of the statute itself.Judge Heldt in late January decided on the death sentence for Wilkes, who was convicted in December on three murder counts for the April 2006...
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Court rules on marital estate divisions

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A trial court should assume that when a divorcing couple divides part of their marital assets on its own, that division is done justly and reasonably and the court should divvy up the remainder of their estate as the entire balance.The Indiana Court of Appeals made that holding in today's ruling on Thelma M. Nornes v. Raymond M. Nornes, No. 46A03-0712-CV-564, a divorce case out of LaPorte County. The two were married in 1998 and started the dissolution process in 2006.Prior...
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Court reverses grandparent visitation

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a father that his due process rights were violated when a trial court ordered grandparent visitation over his objection. The majority reversed the petition for grandparent visitation filed by the children's maternal grandparents, with one judge dissenting and writing the ruling would give parents a carte blanche to deny visitation for any reason. In James M. Hicks v. Gary Larson and Judy Larson, No. 26A01-0707-CV-302, Hicks had two children with Geri Hicks, the daughter of...
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Court chooses 'lesser of two evils'

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was forced to choose between the lesser of two evils in a case in which an ex-husband appealed a trial court's nunc pro tunc order granting his ex-wife's motion to correct error regarding their marriage dissolution decree. In James E. Johnson Jr. v. Marcia Johnson, No. 02A03-0710-CV-496, the appellate court had to decide whether the trial court erred in granting the nunc pro tunc order. James argued the trial court didn't rule on Marcia's motion to correct...
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Indiana-based firm named best for women

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
Indianapolis-based law firm Ice Miller has been ranked as one of the 50 best law firms in the country for women, according to Working Mother magazine and Flex-Time Lawyers. It is the only Indiana-based law firm to make the list this year.The firm was chosen based on the fact that it allows attorneys to work reduced hours on a case-by-case basis, the number of leadership roles held by women in the firm, and establishment of a "mothers' lounge" for women who...
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SCOTUS rules on patent exhaustion case

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The U.S. Supreme Court has limited the ability of companies to collect royalties after the first sale of a patented product. The case tackled an issue of patent exhaustion that hasn't been ruled on in 66 years.In a unanimous opinion this morning in Quanta Computer, et al. v. LG Electronics, No. 06-937, the nation's highest court said that longstanding patent law precedent extends to method patents that are often part of high-technology components and products. "For over 150 years this Court...
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Ministers not protected under labor act

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a District Court's decision to toss out a case because the plaintiffs were not entitled to minimum wage and overtime under the "ministerial exception," although the Circuit Court modified the reason for dismissing the case. In Steve and Lorrie Schleicher v. The Salvation Army, No. 07-1333, the Schleichers appealed the decision of U.S. District Judge Richard Young of the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, to dismiss the case for lack of federal jurisdiction. The...
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Indy firm expands practice into Chicago

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
Indianapolis-based law firm Baker & Daniels has opened a new law office in downtown Chicago with seven attorneys who recently left the same Chicago firm. The firm previously established B&D Equity Property Tax Group in the city, which will now join the law firm in the same office. The goal of the expansion is to meet the growing needs of its Midwest clients as well as establish a presence in Chicago. The firm hopes to grow its new office to 50-plus...
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  1. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  2. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  3. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

  4. Why do so many lawyers get away with lying in court, Jamie Yoak?

  5. Future generations will be amazed that we prosecuted people for possessing a harmless plant. The New York Times came out in favor of legalization in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.

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