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$14.5 million defamation judgment against State Farm stands

October 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. is on the hook for a $14.5 million award to a contractor on his defamation lawsuit after the Indiana Supreme Court declined to take the case last week.
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7th Circuit affirms above-guidelines sentence for embezzlement

October 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A man’s 60-month sentence for stealing from his employer for many years – a sentence beyond the advisory guidelines range – is reasonable, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday. The man challenged the District Court’s recalculation of his guidelines range after he appealed his sentence.
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IMPD officer Bisard trial begins in Fort Wayne

October 14, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Jury selection began Monday in the trial of an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer accused of driving while intoxicated, leading to an accident that killed one motorcyclist and injured two others in 2010. David Bisard’s trial was moved to Allen County due to pre-trial publicity.
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IU Maurer to participate in national family mediation study

October 14, 2013
IL Staff
The Indiana University Maurer School of Law and IU’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences have been awarded a four-year, $763,686 grant from the National Institute of Justice to study safety concerns in family mediation.
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Legal aid agency now has room to grow

October 14, 2013
IL Staff
The Indianapolis Legal Aid Society has completed its move into larger office space which will help the organization service its growing roster of clients.
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Teacher’s suggestive messages to student were ‘immoral’ but not a crime, COA rules

October 11, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the Indiana Court of Appeals found a high school teacher’s behavior toward a 16-year-old female student to be “deplorable and immoral,” it overturned his convictions because his actions were not criminal under statute.
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COA reverses contempt finding, but upholds sanctions

October 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A nurse who made false allegations leading to the detention of a co-worker for mental health reasons will have to pay as ordered toward the woman’s attorney fees even though the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed an indirect civil contempt finding.
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Divided COA: Statement on record unneeded to waive jury trial

October 11, 2013
Dave Stafford
The majority of a Court of Appeals panel affirmed a Hendricks County man’s conviction in a bench trial of misdemeanor intimidation, but a dissenting COA judge wrote the defendant was improperly denied a jury trial and his conviction should be tossed.
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COA clears way for negligence complaint against medical device company

October 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A lawsuit filed against medical device manufacturer Medtronic following the death of a man who had one of the company’s medical devices implanted can continue, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday. It held the Medical Device Amendments to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act does not preempt a family’s negligence claim.
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Jury should hear discrimination suit filed by fired ‘salesman of the year’

October 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The reasons a company gave for firing its most productive salesman – who also happened to be its oldest – raise potential credibility issues, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The judges decided the salesman’s age discrimination lawsuit should proceed to a jury.
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South Bend attorney to be sentenced in December on forgery convictions

October 11, 2013
IL Staff
A disbarred sole practitioner from South Bend who was found guilty in September on three counts of forgery will be sentenced Dec. 11 in St. Joseph County.
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Indiana consumers to receive payout in settlement with negative option marketer

October 11, 2013
IL Staff
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced Thursday that a company accused of deceptive advertising has entered into a $30 million settlement with 48 states, resulting in $238,900 in money for Indiana customers.
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Dickson, Kirsch honored guests at annual American College of Trial Lawyers dinner

October 11, 2013
IL Staff
U.S. Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson of the Southern District of Indiana will speak Friday at the annual dinner of the Indiana chapter of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Indiana Chief Justice Brent Dickson and Indiana Court of Appeals Judge James Kirsch are the honored guests of the fellows at the dinner.
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Mother unable to show error in terminating her parental rights

October 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A mother of four children with special needs who also has a cognitive disability, was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals she should be allowed to keep custody of her children.
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COA still finds supervised visitation argument moot

October 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
After acknowledging that a father did file a reply brief arguing the issue of supervised parenting time was not moot, the Indiana Court of Appeals on rehearing still found his argument to be moot.
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COA affirms parental termination in child’s best interest

October 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A mother’s inability to adequately care for her child, leading to the girl’s failure to thrive, supports the termination of mother’s parental rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Contractor owed no duty to worker injured during construction of Carmel arts center

October 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Summary judgment for a contractor on the Carmel Regional Performing Arts Center construction was appropriate, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled, rejecting an injured worker’s argument that a duty was owed to him based on federal workplace safety regulations.
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Archbishop echoes message of Pope Francis in address to legal community

October 10, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Speaking to members of the legal community, Indianapolis Archbishop William Tobin pointed to the growing polarization among people, and he called for everyone to take a more gentle tone, respect the beliefs of others and work to build a “culture of encounter.”
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Having the ingredients is not proof of a man’s intention to cook

October 10, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Despite the state’s attempt to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that its decision in a similar case was erroneous, the panel upheld precedent and found that a man’s possession of cold tablets and batteries is not proof he intended to manufacture methamphetamine.
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Owners of spooked horse entitled to summary judgment in negligence suit

October 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the owners of a horse that trampled a man after getting loose at the Marshall County 4-H Fairgrounds didn’t have reason to know the horse had any dangerous propensities prior to the accident. The court affirmed summary judgment in a negligence lawsuit on the issue.
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Fake IOLTA notice potential phishing scheme

October 9, 2013
IL Staff
Some lawyers received two email notices involving Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts this week. But, only the one sent from the state courts is legitimate. The other may be a phishing scheme.
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Warrick County man’s land correctly classified as residential excess acreage

October 9, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Warrick County man fighting the 2009 tax year assessment of his land received only a partial victory in the Indiana Tax Court Tuesday. The validity of his 2009 assessment will stand.
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Summary judgment reversed in retroactive tax case

October 9, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Finding a genuine issue of material fact as to when a company’s owners could have discovered that their plans investing in cash value life insurance were actually taxable, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of the consultant who advised the company’s owners to invest in those plans.
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Participation in travel soccer league supports modifying custody

October 9, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a mother’s request to modify a custody order entered in 2007 when her children were in grade school, finding their participation in travel soccer leagues and the distance between the parents’ homes warrants a change.
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Citing shutdown, federal court stays many civil cases

October 9, 2013
Dave Stafford
The federal government shutdown has led to a stay of nearly all civil actions in the U.S. courts in Evansville, Indianapolis, New Albany and Terre Haute in which the federal government has an interest.
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