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Insurance dispute divides Court of Appeals

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A split Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a trial court’s finding that a landlord was not covered by the tenant’s insurance policy.
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Order to demolish home reversed by Court of Appeals

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A couple whose lakeside house was built at a different elevation than specified in the site development plan will not be able to call the wrecking crew yet.
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Requiring deaf mom to sign doesn’t violate due process

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A mother whose parental rights were terminated was not denied due process when a judge who couldn’t understand her spoken testimony required her to sign to an interpreter who then spoke her responses aloud.
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Hamilton County clerk voluntary dismissed from same-sex marriage appeal

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
One Indiana county clerk has withdrawn from the state’s fight to maintain its ban on same-sex marriage.
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Court affirms judgment for NIPSCO in easement dispute

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A trial court was correct in awarding a northern Indiana utility company $245,858 for the cost of reconstructing power lines on a new easement after prior owners had mined sand on the prior easement, making servicing poles difficult.
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Court affirms denial of post-conviction relief

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
An Elkhart County man twice convicted and sentenced to 50 years in prison on drug convictions was not improperly denied post-conviction relief, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Denial of summary judgment affirmed in wrongful death case

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A doctor and a South Bend healthcare facility must stand trial on a wrongful death claim, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday, affirming a trial court’s denial of summary judgment.
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Law firm sued over med-mal fees prevails on appeal

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis law firm was properly granted summary judgment in a lawsuit brought by a former client in a medical malpractice lawsuit, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Soldiers get $92M in debt relief under settlement

July 30, 2014
 Associated Press
Thirteen states, including Indiana, have settled an investigation into improper lending with a court agreement that is expected to provide $92 million in debt relief for 17,800 U.S. military personnel.
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Same-sex couples tell 7th Circuit Indiana’s marriage ban is discriminatory

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Plaintiffs challenging Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage filed their appellate brief with the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals July 29, making their argument that the state’s marriage law violates their constitutional rights.
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Deputy’s ‘playful’ groin shot not cause for termination, COA affirms

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A longtime Bartholomew County merit deputy disciplined after he “playfully shot a fellow officer in the groin with non-lethal training ammunition” was not fired for cause, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in affirming an administrative law judge’s determination the deputy was entitled to unemployment benefits.
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Feds cite Indiana Medicaid fraud unit over notices

July 30, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal agency found that the Indiana attorney general's office didn't give proper notice in nearly a quarter of the Medicaid fraud cases it helped prosecute in recent years.
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Processing issue delays bar exam submissions in multiple states

July 30, 2014
 Associated Press
Florida-based testing software provider ExamSoft Worldwide Inc. said a processing issue has caused delays for bar exam takers in multiple states who were submitting their answers.
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Decision against travel bureau over domain name draws sharp dissent on appeal

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge recently wrote that her colleagues who formed the majority to rule against a local tourism board were “out of touch,” and she suggested a case over an Internet domain name presented a novel issue that no court in the country has addressed.
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ABA releases tool to assess cognitive impairment

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
To help attorneys who are concerned about the intellectual fitness of another lawyer or judge, the American Bar Association has recently released a cognitive assessment tool. The “Working Paper on Cognitive Impairment and Cognitive Decline” is a questionnaire designed to give attorneys guidance in determining whether a partner or friend is just having a bad month or is suffering from something more serious. It also provides recommendations for talking to a colleague who is exhibiting troublesome behavior.
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New partnerships require a shared vision, bit of nerve

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
Lawyers who’ve teamed up to start firms as partnerships say putting their professional names and reputations on the line together takes mutual trust, respect, a shared vision, and a fair amount of nerve.
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Retired attorney's interpretation of famed Hoosier poet is a labor of love

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
Henry Ryder has portrayed James Whitcomb Riley for more than 30 years, with his last appearance at the Indiana State Fair Aug. 9.
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Supreme Court committee studying alternatives to bail

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Committee to Study Evidence-Based Pretrial Release was established by Indiana Chief Justice Brent Dickson in December 2013. The Supreme Court wants a study and evaluation of the risk-assessment tools that are available to determine when pretrial release is appropriate and under what conditions.
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Metrics create benchmarks for 'granular' evaluations of lawyer performance

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
Metrics measuring attorney and law firm performance have exploded in recent years, and trend watchers say the implications for the industry are only beginning to be felt.
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State agencies claim information protected by deliberative process privilege

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
An acrimonious fight between an Indiana businessman and the Indiana Department of Revenue has not only forced the Indiana Tax Court to take the unusual step of getting involved in the discovery process but also created a case of first impression.
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Video depositions can be a more compelling tool to use at trial

July 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The ability to catch the nonverbal messages and vocal inflections made by witnesses and experts are the biggest benefits to videotaping depositions, attorneys say. A slouch, a gulp, a snide tone of voice can bring added meaning to the testimony that cannot be conveyed through a cold reading of the transcript.
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DTCI: Mentoring – taking care of lawyering business

July 30, 2014
Cynthia Muse
Guess what? Unless you keep your office door closed, don’t talk on the telephone and don’t use email/Facebook/Twitter, you mentor every working day.
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Inbox - 7/30/14

July 30, 2014
A reader responds to a recent article about employment after graduating law school.
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Bell/Gaerte: 3 things to know about ethical advocacy in closing argument

July 30, 2014
James Bell, K. Michael Gaerte
Recently, several published decisions have found attorneys to have engaged in improper advocacy. Here are three things to know about ethical advocacy in closing argument.
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Hammerle On … 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,' 'Begin Again'

July 30, 2014
Robert Hammerle
Bob Hammerle says if you loved "Once," then you should see "Begin Again."
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  1. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  2. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  3. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

  4. Why do so many lawyers get away with lying in court, Jamie Yoak?

  5. Future generations will be amazed that we prosecuted people for possessing a harmless plant. The New York Times came out in favor of legalization in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.

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