Courts

COA holds that arbitration exclusion applies to State Farm case

December 27, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of State Farm Insurance Tuesday, writing that the appellants in the case could not compel arbitration due to an exception in the arbitration agreement it signed with the insurance company.
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Summary judgment in favor of New Castle prison employees reversed

December 27, 2016
Olivia Covington
An Indiana inmate can continue his case against prison officials he said prohibited him from bringing his case before the U.S. Supreme Court after the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Tuesday that summary judgment in favor of the officials was erroneous.
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COA: Stage collapses not foreseeable as a matter of law

December 27, 2016
Olivia Covington
The company hired to provide security to country duo Sugarland on the night of the deadly stage collapse at the 2011 Indiana State Fair could not have reasonably foreseen the stage collapse as a matter of law and, thus, is entitled to summary judgment, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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East Chicago residents face opposition to intervene in court

December 27, 2016
 Associated Press
Federal officials say court proceedings aren't the proper place for residents of an East Chicago neighborhood that's contaminated with lead and arsenic to voice their concerns.
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Ex-lawyer who bilked relatives of $1.3M gets prison sentence

December 27, 2016
 Associated Press
A former Indiana attorney who pleaded guilty to bilking relatives out of more than $1.3 million has been sentenced to 2 ½ years in prison.
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Conour seeks reconsideration of wire-fraud sentence

December 22, 2016
Dave Stafford
Convicted fraudster and former attorney William Conour is arguing that a case decided earlier this year entitles him to an appeal of his entire 10-year sentence for defrauding clients of more than $6.5 million.
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Nokia sues Apple to escalate mobile-patent licensing battle

December 22, 2016
 Bloomberg News
Nokia Oyj sued Apple Inc. saying the iPhone maker infringed several mobile patents, turning simmering tension between the companies into a bitter public  legal battle on multiple fronts.
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Environmental crime most common among organizational offenders

December 22, 2016
IL Staff
Organizations charged with federal criminal offenses most commonly were accused of environmental offenses, the United States Courts announced Thursday, citing a report published by the United States Sentencing Commission.
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2016 marks low point for death sentences since 1970s

December 22, 2016
 Associated Press
Only 30 people were sentenced to death in the United States this year, the lowest number since the early 1970s and a further sign of the steady decline in use of the death penalty.
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Divide stops effort to repeal North Carolina LGBT law

December 22, 2016
 Associated Press
A supposedly bipartisan deal to repeal North Carolina's anti-LGBT law collapsed when both sides balked and started blaming each other, likely meaning their state will keep being shunned by corporations, entertainers and high-profile sporting events.
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Ikea OKs tentative settlement in fatal dresser tip over

December 22, 2016
 Associated Press
Ikea, the leading Swedish home furnishings retailer, says a tentative settlement has been reached in the case involving three families in the United States whose children died after Ikea chests and dressers tipped over.
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7th Circuit affirms health care fraud, firearms convictions

December 21, 2016
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s firearms and fraud convictions Wednesday, rejecting each of the former counselor’s arguments against his attorney and the district court judge.
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COA reverses termination of parental rights, finds DCS exhibited ‘troubling behavior’

December 21, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed Wednesday a decision terminating a mother and father’s parental relationships with their son, writing that the Department of Child Services had exhibited an “extraordinarily troubling pattern of behavior.”
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Man remains on sex offender list, but residency restrictions not applicable

December 21, 2016
Olivia Covington
A Dearborn County man will have to keep his name on the Indiana Sex Offender Registry for the rest of his life but will not face certain residency restrictions after the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed in part the denial of his petition for relief.
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Search of man’s mouth ruled unconstitutional

December 21, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals has overturned a man’s conviction, ruling the drugs found in his mouth should be excluded under the “fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine.”
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COA affirms ruling for lender in Shelbyville low-income housing dispute

December 21, 2016
Dave Stafford
A general partner developing Shelbyville low-income apartments lost its appeal of rulings that it misappropriated or was in breach of nearly $2.75 million guaranteed for the project and that it should be liable for the lenders’ legal fees of more than $385,000.
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Curry reflects on 4 years of Richmond Hill prosecutions

December 21, 2016
Olivia Covington
More than four years after an intentional home explosion killed two south-side Indianapolis residents and damaged dozens of nearby houses, Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said reaching the end of the emotional legal battle is gratifying.
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Shirley gets maximum 50 years in Indianapolis house blast

December 20, 2016
 Associated Press
A woman who was one of five people charged in a deadly Indianapolis house explosion has been sentenced to 50 years in prison.
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Attorney resigns amid misconduct allegations

December 20, 2016
IL Staff
A Greenwood attorney has resigned from the Indiana bar after facing an investigation by the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission.
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Tax Court: Orbitz doesn’t have to pay additional sales, innkeeper’s taxes

December 20, 2016
Olivia Covington
A popular travel and booking website will not have to pay the state more than $200,000 in back taxes after the Indiana Tax Court held that the website is not considered a retail merchant.
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COA upholds battery conviction for altercation outside bar

December 20, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man’s battery conviction Tuesday after finding that he failed to prove any abuse of the Delaware Circuit Court’s discretion.
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3 Pulse families sue social media, alleging aid for IS

December 20, 2016
 Associated Press
Families of three patrons killed in the Orlando nightclub massacre are suing Facebook, Google and Twitter, claiming the gunman who killed their loved ones was radicalized through propaganda found through social media.
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Trump University settlement filed for judge's review

December 20, 2016
 Associated Press
Lawyers for Donald Trump and former students of his now-defunct Trump University filed an agreement in court to settle lawsuits alleging that the president-elect defrauded them, signaling that a deal announced last month remains on track for a judge's approval next year.
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Pot-legalization group wins injunction against Tippecanoe County rally ban

December 20, 2016
Dave Stafford
A group advocating the legalization of marijuana that was denied permission to hold a rally at the courthouse in Lafayette won an injunction against the county in federal court.
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Lawsuit throws spotlight on chaos surrounding Anderson cardiology practice

December 20, 2016
John Russell, IBJ Staff
A cardiologist fired after hospital officials accused him of overcoding and violating medical standards said the grounds for firing were untrue and unfair, and he fought them in court for more than four years. He sued St. Vincent Health for breach of contract and won more than $1.6 million from a jury.
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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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