Indiana Court of Appeals

COA affirms attorney owes ex-assistant thousands in unpaid wages

December 23, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Elkhart solo practitioner must pay his former legal assistant more than $85,000 after she sued him to recover unpaid wages owed to her over the course of two years, the Court of Appeals affirmed Wednesday.
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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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South Bend man wins partial reversal of sewer nuisance suit

December 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who sued South Bend claiming that noxious gas from city sewer lines had been forced into his home may proceed with part of his lawsuit against the city.
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COA upholds decision to deny Edinburgh tax deed

December 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not err when it entered an order denying the town of Edinburgh’s request for the issuance of a tax deed and granting the landowner equitable relief, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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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: Breath test properly admitted

December 21, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man convicted of drunken-driving failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that the state did not prove that the chemicals used in his breath test equipment were certified under Indiana administrative rules.
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Judge believes restitution order properly entered

December 21, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge dissented from his colleagues Monday in a case in which the majority reversed the court-ordered $3,600 in restitution for a coin sale that turned out to be fraudulent. The dissenting judge also raised public policy concerns about requiring victims to appear at sentencing hearings.
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Monarch Beverage again fails in liquor distribution suit

December 17, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Monarch Beverage Company’s arguments that Indiana alcohol wholesale laws are discriminatory fell flat at the Indiana Court of Appeals, marking the second time this week that attempts to overturn the state’s statutes regarding booze failed.
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Reversal: Expungement petitioner entitled to hearing when prosecutor objects

December 17, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred in denying a man’s expungement petition on a Class B felony conviction of aiding robbery because the statute requires a hearing when a prosecutor objects, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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COA strikes sentence about laughing jurors in footnote

December 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
That jurors laughed at times during a handwriting expert’s testimony in a case contesting probate of a will has been removed from the official court opinion. The Court of Appeals made the move in a rehearing opinion issued Wednesday.
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Beer distributor foams at Indiana’s alcohol law

December 16, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Monarch Beverage launches another effort to upend limits on liquor wholesalers.
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Fraud claims against insurers wrongly dismissed

December 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
Plaintiffs who purchased cash-value life insurance policies for their employees and deducted those contributions on income taxes that were later disallowed were wrongly denied their day in court against the insurers.
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‘Inference of discriminatory motive’ in striking juror not reversible error

December 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals noted one of a prosecutor’s reasons for striking a prospective juror in a criminal case “raises an inference of discriminatory motive,” but this was insufficient to reverse a man’s felony resisting law enforcement conviction.
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Reversal: Host owed duty to guest who died after drinking, fight

December 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
The host of a birthday party for her live-in boyfriend had a duty to render aid to a guest she saw unconscious after he’d been drinking and involved in a fight, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. The man later died.
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Majority: Sex offender registration not ex post facto law

December 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the requirement that man convicted of a sex crime in Washington must also register as a sex offender in Indiana, finding the requirement is not an ex post facto punishment under the Indiana Constitution. But one judge disagreed, and would reverse his registration requirement.
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Speeding ticket tossed because of invalid Carmel ordinance

December 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
“Carmel’s wholesale adoption of chapters of Indiana Code resulted in its ordinance being nothing more than a ‘duplicate’ of already existing State law,” Court of Appeals Judge Melissa May wrote.
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Daughter’s emancipation leads to reduction in child support

December 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court should have reduced a father’s child support obligation to his three children because his daughter’s emancipation constitutes a substantial and continuing change, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday. The trial court denied the father’s motion because the amount of child support offered differed by less than 20 percent of the amount dictated by the Indiana Child Support Guidelines.
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Court divided over drug sentence

December 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man’s convictions for making and delivering methamphetamine, but the judges did not agree that the 32-year sentence imposed by the trial court was appropriate.
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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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Woman sentenced to 215 years for crash deaths loses PCR appeal

December 10, 2015
Dave Stafford
A woman who drove the wrong way on State Road 67 near Martinsville and collided with a minivan killing a man and six children in 2000 lost her post-conviction relief appeal Thursday.
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Court: It’s risky to take justice into your own hands

December 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Affirming an award of treble damages and remanding for appellate attorney fees, the Indiana Court of Appeals warned in a criminal conversion case Thursday that self-help remedies are perilous and potentially expensive, and it’s best to not take justice into your own hands.
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Circuit court without jurisdiction to grant father’s child support relief

December 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Madison Circuit Court 5 did not have jurisdiction to rule on a man’s motion for relief from a child support decision entered by Madison Circuit Court 2, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Thursday.
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Company owner personally liable for unpaid phone book ads

December 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Reversing a Hamilton County trial court, an appellate panel found a company owner individually liable and remanded for a determination of damages, interest and attorney fees.
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Company not entitled to relief from mortgage foreclosure judgment

December 9, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana trial court incorrectly ruled a company was entitled to relief under Indiana Trial Rule 60(B)(6) after deciding a mortgage foreclosure action was void based on who owned interests in the mortgage.
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Indiana Tax Court moves to e-filing in January

December 9, 2015
IL Staff
Beginning Jan. 4, all three of Indiana’s appellate courts will accept electronic filing. Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush signed an order Wednesday announcing the Tax Court’s addition to the e-filing project.
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  1. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  2. If the end result is to simply record the spoke word, then perhaps some day digital recording may eventually be the status quo. However, it is a shallow view to believe the professional court reporter's function is to simply report the spoken word and nothing else. There are many aspects to being a professional court reporter, and many aspects involved in producing a professional and accurate transcript. A properly trained professional steno court reporter has achieved a skill set in a field where the average dropout rate in court reporting schools across the nation is 80% due to the difficulty of mastering the necessary skills. To name just a few "extras" that a court reporter with proper training brings into a courtroom or a deposition suite; an understanding of legal procedure, technology specific to the legal profession, and an understanding of what is being said by the attorneys and litigants (which makes a huge difference in the quality of the transcript). As to contracting, or anti-contracting the argument is simple. The court reporter as governed by our ethical standards is to be the independent, unbiased individual in a deposition or courtroom setting. When one has entered into a contract with any party, insurance carrier, etc., then that reporter is no longer unbiased. I have been a court reporter for over 30 years and I echo Mr. Richardson's remarks that I too am here to serve.

  3. A competitive bid process is ethical and appropriate especially when dealing with government agencies and large corporations, but an ethical line is crossed when court reporters in Pittsburgh start charging exorbitant fees on opposing counsel. This fee shifting isn't just financially biased, it undermines the entire justice system, giving advantages to those that can afford litigation the most. It makes no sense.

  4. "a ttention to detail is an asset for all lawyers." Well played, Indiana Lawyer. Well played.

  5. I have a appeals hearing for the renewal of my LPN licenses and I need an attorney, the ones I have spoke to so far want the money up front and I cant afford that. I was wondering if you could help me find one that takes payments or even a pro bono one. I live in Indiana just north of Indianapolis.

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