Latest News

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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Juvenile facility seeking new superintendent

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
The Marion County juvenile detention facility is conducting a nationwide search to find a new superintendent to replace Richard L. Curry, who will join the Indiana Department of Correction at the beginning of September.Earlier this month, Curry was named Indiana Department of Correction director of staff development and training. Curry was appointed the superintendent of the Marion County juvenile detention center in 2007. Curry took over as superintendent at a time when the juvenile detention center experienced numerous issues highlighted in...
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Court agrees with IDEM on 'public water system'

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management was correct in interpreting a federal safe drinking water act to mean that a public water system can be composed of separate, unconnected wells serving a larger area together, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.In IDEM v. Construction Management Associates L.L.C. and Hilltop Farms, No. 52A02-0711-CV-994, a three-judge panel reversed a Miami Circuit judge's ruling that the state agency had incorrectly determined that separate, unconnected wells constituted a public water system and required the apartment...
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New chief public defender? Not yet

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
Nine people will soon decide whom they want to see as the next chief public defender for Indiana's largest county.The Marion County Public Defender Agency's board of directors conducted second interviews March 4 with two applicants who want to succeed Chief Public Defender David E. Cook when he leaves the agency. A third had withdrawn his name prior to those interviews, according to board chairman Jimmie McMillian.He declined to release any names and would only say the second interviews "went well." The board...
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Trial allowed in school mental-health test case

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A federal judge in South Bend is allowing a civil suit to proceed to trial in a case involving a once-controversial school mental-health screening where parents weren't informed.U.S. District Judge James Moody for the Northern District of Indiana issued a 45-page ruling Tuesday in Teresa and Michael Rhoades v. Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation, et al., No. 3:05-CV-586. The case dates to a St. Joseph County student's suicide in 2003, which spawned the creation of a suicide-prevention pilot program the following year involving...
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Supreme Court rules on belated appeals

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer Thursday to two cases dealing with belated appeals. The high court granted transfer with opinion in Demond Hughes v. State of Indiana, No. 49S04-0802-CR-86. At issue was whether Hughes was allowed to file a belated appeal to challenge the appropriateness of his 40-year concurrent sentence. Hughes pleaded guilty to felony murder and Class A misdemeanor reckless possession of a handgun. Initially, the trial court sentenced Hughes to a 50-year concurrent sentence, with five years suspended. Hughes...
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Former recorder's extortion convictions upheld

January 1, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a former Lake County Recorder's convictions of extortion, but remanded so that his sentence could be revised because the District Court placed too much weight on following the sentencing guidelines.In United States of America v. Morris Carter, No. 06-2412, Morris Carter challenged his three convictions and sentence of 51 months of incarceration on extortion charges. Carter was found guilty of violating the Hobbs Act, 18 U.S.C. Section 1951(a) while he was still county recorder....
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Peace of mind restored: Cemetery trust case results in multi-million dollar settlement

January 1, 2008
Michael Hoskins
It was bad enough that Cecilia Means had to watch as her grandmother's casket was pulled from a waterlogged gravesite where it had been buried for 17 years. On that day in March 2007, the southeast Indiana woman stood covering her mouth and sobbing as workers pulled the stainless steel casket from several feet of muddy brown water and a steady stream of water leaked from where the lid joined the sides. That day seemed liked a nightmare at the 40-acre...
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Pro bono services conclave April 25

January 1, 2008
IL Staff
The deadline to RSVP for the conclave on the delivery of pro bono services in Indiana has been extended through Monday, April 14. A subcommittee of the Indiana State Bar Association's Pro Bono Committee has organized the all-day event from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 25 at Barnes & Thornburg Conference Center, 11 S. Meridian St., Indianapolis. Event organizers extended the deadline to RSVP after realizing some people were on spring break this week. The event will feature education and...
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