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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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Court order questions confidentiality agreement

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court issued an order to show cause today seeking to determine whether a trial court- approved confidentiality stipulation and order should be vacated in a case involving insurance coverage for bodily injury claims caused by exposure to silica. The parties in Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, et al. v. United States Filter Corporation, et al., No. 49S02-0712-CV-596, asked the trial court to approve a confidentiality stipulation and order while the litigation was pending in Marion Superior Court in...
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Court to decide on prevailing party issue

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer Thursday to determine who would be considered the "prevailing party" when a settlement lacks a judicial resolution. In Kirk Reuille v. E.E. Brandenberger Construction, Inc., No. 02A04-0704-CV-186, Reuille appealed the trial court's judgment in favor of E.E. Brandenberger when the court decided Reuille was not the prevailing party in the contract between him and Brandenberger and said the trial court erred in characterizing his motion for attorney fees as one for summary judgment. Reuille and...
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High court to hear 2 arguments Thursday

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court will hear arguments on two cases Thursday to determine whether a health services provider is entitled to interest on payment owed for services and if a city had missed the statute of limitations to bring contamination-related claims against a company.At 9 a.m., the high court will hear arguments on Cooper Industries, LLC, et al. v. City of South Bend and The South Bend Redevelopment Commission, No. 49A04-0511-CV-637, in which the Court of Appeals reversed the Marion Superior Court's...
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Popular online guidelines made user-friendly

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
The parenting time and child support guidelines on the Indiana Supreme Court's Web site just got a little friendlier to use. The guidelines have been reformatted to allow easier printing. The Supreme Court received feedback about the challenges the public, courts, and clerks' offices were having in printing and making copies of the guidelines because they were lengthy. The number of pages for the parenting time guidelines has been reduced from 27 to 15 pages; the child support guidelines shrank from...
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Boone County courts seek rule comments

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
Boone Circuit and Superior courts are seeking comments to proposed local rule changes, including altering jury trial procedures, financial declarations, workshops about how children cope with divorce, and family court rules. To view the proposed changes, click here. Comments may be made until Aug. 9 to Judge Matthew Kincaid at jkincaid@co.boone.in.us.
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Asian American Alliance to host reception

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
The Asian American Alliance Inc. will host a reception to celebrate its professional leadership program, cAtAlyst, and the organization's efforts to inspire Asian Americans to lead and serve. The reception will be from 5 to 7 p.m. March 12 at Indianapolis law firm Bingham McHale. To attend, contact Pam Dove at (317) 968-5352 or pdove@binghammchale.com by March 10. For more information about the organization, visit AAAI's Web site.
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Court rules marriage not valid, affirms sentence

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A woman who helped her husband flee from police after committing three murders in southern Indiana can be convicted of assisting a criminal because her marriage is void in Indiana, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today. In Misty D. Davis v. State of Indiana, No. 63A01-0712-CR-605, the Court of Appeals today upheld Misty Davis' convictions of and sentence for assisting a criminal in murder and giving a false statement to law enforcement. Davis' husband, Nick Harbison, attacked four people, resulting in...
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Supreme Court arguments Wednesday

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court will have a busy Wednesday morning as it hears arguments scheduled for three cases on appeal. First up is Ronald Mayes v. Second Injury Fund, No. 93A02-0702-EX-162, in which Mayes petitioned the Supreme Court to accept jurisdiction over his appeal. The Worker's Compensation Board denied Mayes' disability benefits from the Second Injury Fund, ruling Mayes' settlement of his claim against third-party tortfeasors precluded those benefits from the fund. The Court of Appeals affirmed finding Mayes failed to prove...
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High court welcomes Australian, Ukraine jurists

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court is welcoming some of its colleagues from other countries this month, first an Australian justice and then a group of jurists from the Ukraine.Justice Marcia Neave of the Australian Supreme Court of Victoria, Court of Appeals division, is visiting Indiana this week as part of a lecture at Valparaiso Law School. She was slated to meet today with Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard and Justices Ted Boehm and Robert Rucker; they were to take an afternoon...
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COA: Laser hair removal not 'health care'

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
Laser hair removal isn't considered "health care" within the meaning of the state's Medical Malpractice Act, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.A unanimous ruling today affirmed a trial court decision in OB-GYN Associates of Northern Indiana P.C. v. Tammy Ransbottom, No. 71A03-0711-CV-503, which involved a St. Joseph County case and the denial of a motion to dismiss a negligence action. In January 2006, Ransbottom had gone to a Mishawaka OB-GYN's office and underwent the cosmetic laser hair removal treatment. She went...
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COA: Insurance policy not contrary to code

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A minimum-coverage insurance company's policy language that excludes coverage for leased vehicles in certain circumstances isn't contrary to Indiana Code, the Court of Appeals ruled today. In the appeal of Safe Auto Insurance Co. v. Enterprise Leasing Company of Indianapolis, et al., No. 01A02-0712-CV-1120, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Enterprise Leasing on Safe Auto Insurance's complaint for declaratory judgment. Safe Auto filed the complaint arguing its policyholder, Jeffrey Harrison, was not...
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