Indiana Court of Appeals

COA divided on whether 'bully' comments require new trial

August 3, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split in affirming a man’s drunk-driving conviction, with the dissenting judge finding the prosecutor’s questions to the jury and repeated reference to the defendant as a bully at trial made a fair trial impossible.
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Looking back on rulings

August 3, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Looking in the rearview mirror on judicial precedent is a task that every judge on every court faces.
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Former clerks recall a judge who gave support and kindness

August 3, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Hon. Robert H. Staton achieved many professional milestones in his lengthy career. But after his death on July 18, what people seemed to remember most about him was his enduring positive influence in their lives.
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COA cites 'good faith' exception for child pornography search warrant

August 2, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s denial of a motion to suppress evidence, holding that even though a search warrant was invalid, the evidence it produced is admissible due to a “good faith” exception to the exclusionary rule.
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Man entitled to damages following excavation of home without notice

July 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In reviewing a case in which an attorney appointed guardian of an adult male unilaterally decided to tear down his home without providing notice to the man, the Indiana Court of Appeals found the attorney violated the man’s due process rights and damages were necessary.
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Court reverses suspension of mother's parenting time

July 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the modification of a mother’s parenting time to end any visitation with her autistic son because the father didn’t present evidence justifying terminating the parenting time.
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COA rules on man's theft conviction for third time

July 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Following an order from the Indiana Supreme Court that the lower appellate court more fully address the Proportionality Clause of the Indiana Constitution, the Indiana Court of Appeals has again upheld a man’s felony theft conviction.
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Hospital doesn't owe attorney any contingency fees

July 27, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A Kokomo attorney is not entitled to collect his contingency fees from a hospital in his representation of a patient caught in an insurance dispute, the Indiana Court of Appeals has held.
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No summary judgment on issue of whether complaint was timely filed

July 27, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of a doctor in a medical malpractice action, finding there are questions around whether the plaintiff timely filed the proposed complaint.
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Judges ask family to end litigation over parents' interments

July 26, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In a dispute among divided siblings on where their deceased parents should be buried, the Indiana Court of Appeals asked the family to end the litigation and let the parents “rest in peace.”
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COA split on whether scooter is 'motor vehicle'

July 26, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was divided in a case involving a man who was convicted of driving a motor vehicle while his privileges were suspended, with one judge agreeing with the state that the defendant’s scooter qualified as a motor vehicle under statute.
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Justices accept 5 cases

July 25, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer to five cases, including a first impression issue dealing with Social Security income and restitution.
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Former appellate court judge dies

July 21, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Hon. Robert H. Staton, who was an Indiana appeals court judge for nearly 30 years, died July 18. He was 86.
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Trial court shouldn't have struck expert witness affidavit

July 20, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment for a doctor in his attempt to collect an unpaid medical bill, finding the trial court erred when it struck the affidavit of an expert witness designated by the defendant.
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COA rules man is not guilty by reason of insanity

July 20, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Examining the issue of whether a defendant’s mental disease brought on by years of drinking could support an insanity defense, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded the man’s psychosis was a mental defect under Indiana Code and he should have been found not guilty by reason of insanity.
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Wrongful conviction arguments heard

July 20, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals heard arguments July 13 in the post-conviction relief case of a woman convicted of intentionally setting a fire that killed her young son, leading to what she says was a wrongful conviction and imprisonment 15 years ago.
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Appellate judges rule on court warrant officer's claim

July 19, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled an Anderson City Court judge didn’t wrongly reassign a police warrant officer from his courtroom because the two didn’t share an employee-employer relationship that would allow for a suit under the Indiana Wage Claim Statute.
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Appeals court splits on new sentence modification issue

July 18, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
An inmate’s request for a sentence modification has divided the Indiana Court of Appeals, with the majority concluding that the 365-day period during which a trial court could grant a modification begins when someone is originally sentenced, not re-resentenced after a successful appeal.
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Judge: Man did not commit attempted child exploitation

July 18, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split on whether a man committed attempted child exploitation when he tried to take pictures up teenagers’ skirts at a mall using a camera attached to his shoe.
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Judges examine estate case involving will, self-proving clause

July 15, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Deciding on an issue of first impression regarding the proper execution of a person’s will, the state’s second-highest appeals court has determined the Indiana General Assembly doesn’t want validly signed wills and self-proving clauses to be set aside lightly.
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Court decides 2nd marijuana-odor case in 2 days

July 15, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Continuing a line of holdings during the past decade, the Indiana Court of Appeals has clearly stated that the odor of raw marijuana can be enough for police to search someone during a valid traffic stop.
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Search didn't violate driver's rights

July 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The smell of burnt marijuana on a person alone may constitute probable cause to support an arrest and search incident to arrest, the Indiana Court of Appeals held in a case of first impression.
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COA: Evidence supports dealing conviction

July 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a defendant’s conviction of dealing in methamphetamine, finding that pill dough created while making the drug could be used to count toward the three grams needed to charge someone with Class A felony dealing.
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COA upholds $12 garnishment

July 13, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A Miami Circuit Court did not err in its interpretation of a statute involving garnishment of wages when ruling a company was correctly withholding only $12.17 from an employee, held the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday.
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Judges remand medical malpractice action

July 13, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a trial court to hold a hearing as to what testimony an expert could give and to revise one of its orders in limine in a medical malpractice suit stemming from an overdose of Benadryl more than 15 years ago.
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  1. Bill Satterlee is, indeed, a true jazz aficionado. Part of my legal career was spent as an associate attorney with Hoeppner, Wagner & Evans in Valparaiso. Bill was instrumental (no pun intended) in introducing me to jazz music, thereby fostering my love for this genre. We would, occasionally, travel to Chicago on weekends and sit in on some outstanding jazz sessions at Andy's on Hubbard Street. Had it not been for Bill's love of jazz music, I never would have had the good fortune of hearing it played live at Andy's. And, most likely, I might never have begun listening to it as much as I do. Thanks, Bill.

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  5. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

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