attorney fees

COA affirms propane company must pay customers’ attorney fees

July 15, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a trial court that a propane company is on the hook for two customers’ attorney fees after it failed to deliver prepaid propane gas under an agreement with the couple.
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7th Circuit tosses legal fees suit arising from bankruptcy case

July 8, 2016
Dave Stafford
An unsecured creditor’s lawsuit against two law firms over legal fees collected for services provided to a bankrupt Fort Wayne company’s estate should not have proceeded, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Cinemark attorneys want victims to pay $700K in legal fees

July 1, 2016
 Associated Press
Attorneys for Cinemark want victims of a 2012 shooting at a Colorado movie theater to pay nearly $700,000 in legal fees after they unsuccessfully sued the theater chain.
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7th Circuit reversal: Conour fraud victims, not creditor, take priority

June 23, 2016
Dave Stafford
Fraud victims of disgraced former lawyer William Conour have the upper hand over his former law firm creditor who was awarded a judgment of almost $775,000, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday, reversing the District Court and signaling too much may have been awarded.
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7th Circuit cuts attorney fees in Indy skyline photo case

June 17, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found the district court did not calculate attorney fees correctly in a dismissed copyright lawsuit and remanded the case so the correct amount could be awarded.
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COA: Mother justified in deciding not to work as doctor

May 31, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
In a child support case in which a man challenged the decision by his son’s mother to quit her job as a doctor to stay at home with her children, the Indiana Court of Appeals found she had just cause to do so based on the sons’ special needs.
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COA: Attorney who litigated his case pro se not entitled to attorney fees

April 26, 2016
Scott Roberts
A lawyer who represented himself in his case against two Marion County governmental entities and won is not entitled to attorney fees or compensation of any kind for missed business, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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7th Circuit: Woman who lost case still entitled to attorney fees

April 26, 2016
Scott Roberts
A plaintiff who lost a breach of contract and negligence suit is entitled to attorney fees in the case after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling that said the company she sued engaged in “obstreperous discovery behavior.”
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Sued company should get attorney fees, COA rules

April 21, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a company that dropped a lawsuit against another for breach of warranty must still pay attorney fees of the company they sued.
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State pays ACLU over $1.4M under Pence

April 20, 2016
Dave Stafford
Under the administration of Gov. Mike Pence, legal fees paid to the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana have soared beyond $1.4 million and may approach $2 million, according to an Indiana Lawyer analysis.
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Conour victims ask 7th Circuit for fees awarded to creditor

April 14, 2016
Dave Stafford
Judges on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals appeared sympathetic to victims of former attorney William Conour during oral arguments Wednesday over legal fees that a District Court judge ordered paid to a Conour creditor rather than to defrauded clients who were shut out of the case.
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Cost to shield Indiana lawmakers over emails hits $160,000

April 5, 2016
 Associated Press
The legal fight to shield Indiana lawmakers from having to release email correspondence with lobbying groups has cost taxpayers at least $160,000.
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Pence signs med-mal cap increase on final day

March 25, 2016
 Associated Press, IL Staff
Medical malpractice victims will be eligible for more compensation after Gov. Mike Pence signed into law a bill increasing the payment cap for the first time since the 1990s. The cap would increase from the current $1.25 million limit to $1.65 million next year and then to $1.8 million in 2019.
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Bill would allow recovery of attorney fees in all wrongful death actions

December 28, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A northern Indiana senator has introduced legislation to amend Indiana’s wrongful death statute to allow for surviving families to collect attorney fees.
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Reversal: Care facility must pay legal fees after $1M negligence verdict

December 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
An assisted-living facility where a resident died after being badly burned must pay the estate’s attorney fees, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday in reversing a trial court.
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Appeals court concerned about fee-shifting provisions in domestic relations cases

December 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s decision to not award a mother attorney fees despite the inclusion of a fee-shifting provision in her divorce settlement. In doing so, the appeals court pointed out how these provisions may go against public policy.
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COA rules in contentious attorney fees case

December 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals had harsh words for the three lawyers involved in a protracted, unprofessional legal battle over attorney fees owed in a breach of contract lawsuit against Lake Station, Indiana.
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Lawyer loses fee appeal against defunct Stewart & Irwin

December 10, 2015
Dave Stafford
A lawyer who claimed his former law firm and its shareholders wrongly withheld fees he was contractually owed lost his appeal of a judgment in the firm's favor Thursday.
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Protecting Your Practice: Avoid problematic fee agreements

December 2, 2015
Neal Bowling, Dina Cox
It is crucial to have a clear, written agreement with your client explaining not just the scope of your services, but how you will be paid for those services. Be careful that you don’t run afoul of your professional obligations in that fee agreement or in your billing.
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Court must recalculate attorney fees

November 6, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court has the discretion to determine whether and how much to award in attorney fees, but a Porter Superior Court incorrectly determined what attorney fees the prevailing party was entitled to in a slander of title action, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday.
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Figuring out flat fees

November 4, 2015
Dave Stafford
A recent Indiana State Bar Association Legal Ethics Committee opinion says lawyers who charge clients flat fees considered earned on receipt shouldn’t deposit the fees in their Interest on Lawyer Trust Account, but should put the money in the firm’s operating account. Some lawyers aren’t convinced this makes sense.
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COA affirms sanctions for lawyer’s misrepresentation of invoices

October 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals called out an attorney for the errors in her appellate brief and considered requiring her to prove she attended continuing legal education on appellate practice before filing anything else before the appeals court.
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Justices affirm attorney fees award in domestic arbitration

October 16, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court ruling ordering an ex-husband to pay his ex-wife’s legal fees in a divorce settled under the Family Law Arbitration Act was affirmed Friday by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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COA affirms attorney fee order

October 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the decision by a trial court that in order for proceedings supplemental to be withdrawn without prejudice, the moving party must pay attorney fees as ordered by the lower court.
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COA outlines approach to awarding attorney fees in estate challenges

October 14, 2015
In a case in which the trial court awarded a woman and her children more than $170,000 in attorney fees even though two of the three claims raised were without just cause or good faith, the Indiana Court of Appeals specified the approach judges should follow when a party seeks attorney fees pursuant to I.C. 29-1-10-14.
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  2. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  3. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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