Law school hosts appellate hearings

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Law School News is Indiana Lawyer’s new section that will highlight news from law schools in Indiana. While we have always covered law school news and will continue to keep up with law school websites and press releases for updates, we’ll gladly accept submissions for this section from law students, professors, alums, and others who want to share law school-related news. If you’d like to submit news or a photo from an event, please send it to Rebecca Berfanger,, along with contact information for any follow up questions at least two weeks in advance of the issue date.

Indiana University Maurer School of Law – Bloomington recently hosted two appellate hearings at the law school’s moot court room.

The Indiana Court of Appeals visited the law school Oct. 4 as part of the court’s “Traveling Oral Argument” series while the Indiana Supreme Court visited in early September.

The appeal for Paul Arlton v. Dr. Gary Schraut, M.D., et al., No. 79A02-0906-CV–541, from Tippecanoe Circuit Court, involved three issues according to a program for the hearing that was on the court’s website: “whether the trial court abused its discretion when it: (1) did not admit into evidence enlarged photographic exhibits of the plaintiff’s retina, (2) did not provide the jury with means to access certain digital evidence, and (3) refused the plaintiff’s tendered jury instruction regarding the jury’s ability to access digital evidence.”

The case resulted from a 2002 treatment Paul Arlton received from Dr. Gary Schraut that caused a blind spot in Arlton’s central vision.

Court of Appeals Chief Judge John G. Baker, along with Judges Edward W. Najam Jr. and Paul D. Mathias heard the arguments and stayed afterward to answer questions from the law students.

On Sept. 10, the Indiana Supreme Court traveled to Bloomington to hear arguments in the case of a teenage girl who was injured by a golf ball while driving the beverage cart at a golf outing.

In Cassie E. Pfenning v. Joseph Lineman, et al., No. 27S02-1006-CV-331, Cassie Pfenning was 16 years old when she attended a golf scramble with her grandfather, Jerry Jones, to work a beverage golf cart. Jones ended up playing in the scramble so he left Pfenning in the care of his sister. The two were in the golf cart without a roof or windshield when Joseph Lineman’s golf ball flew more than 70 yards before hitting Pfenning in the mouth, causing severe injuries to her teeth, mouth, and jaw.

Indiana Court of Appeals Judges Carr Darden and Melissa May had affirmed summary judgment for the defendants, which included the club, promoters, and Pfenning’s grandfather, ruling that the defendants didn’t have a duty to protect the teen from injury; weren’t negligent in their supervision of her; and there wasn’t a breach of duty of reasonable care under premises liability. The majority also extended the definition of participants from Geiersbach v. Frieje, 807 N.E.2d 114 (Ind. Ct. App. 2004), to include not only players, coaches, or players on the bench during the game, but also sporting event volunteers.

Judge James Kirsch had dissented because he believed that because Pfenning was on the property as a business invitee, the golf club had a duty of care; he also found her grandfather owed her a duty of reasonable care because she was entrusted into his care during the tournament. Judge Kirsch declined to extend the ruling in Geiersbach to include the facts of this case.

The Supreme Court had not handed down a decision at IL deadline.•


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.