Opinions July 14, 2010

July 14, 2010
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Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals

Eastern Alliance Insurance Group, Chubb Insurance Group, and Total Interior Systems America, LLC v. Elizabeth Howell

Civil. Reverses penalties assessed against Eastern Alliance by the Full Worker’s Compensation Board due to a lack of diligence. The board’s factual findings demonstrate that Eastern Alliance reasonably investigated the claim and communicated with the parties, and afterwards it reasonably determined that it was not liable for the claim. Vacates penalties assessed against the company and remands that the board determine and enter an order regarding whether Chubb Insurance should be held responsible for the entirety of the penalty and attorneys’ fees awarded for its lack of diligence.

Paul Christy and Julia Christy v. Paul Sebo and Anita Sebo
Civil. Reverses the order denying the Christys’ request for attorney’s fees and costs against the Sebos in the Christys’ defense of an adverse possession claim and litigation of a breach of warranty claim. Summary judgment was granted in favor of the Christys and against the Sebos on whether the Sebos breached the warranty of title and the Sebos have not appealed that ruling. The fact that the Christys and the Clarks ultimately settled their adverse possession dispute is irrelevant to the question of whether Sebos breached the warranty of title. Remands for further proceedings.

Randy O'Brien, et al. v. C. Bruce Davidson, et al.
Civil. Reverses order granting summary judgment in favor of The Bar Plan Mutual Insurance Co. in Ashby and O’Brien’s legal malpractice action against The Bar Plan’s insured, C. Bruce Davidson Jr. Bar Plan has been able to investigate and defend the clients’ claims against the insured after receiving prompt, actual written notice of the claims from the clients.

Fidelity National Title Insurance Company v. Rhys Mussman and Sally Mussman
Civil. Reveres grant of summary judgment of $1.6 million in favor of the Mussmans on their complaint alleging conversion of funds held in an escrow account by Intercounty Title Company. ITC was Fidelity’s title insurance agent, not its agent for closing and escrow services, so the trial court erred when it held the Mussmans are entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Remands with instructions.

Jeannie Hall v. Larry Hall Trust and Jack Hall, Trustee (NFP)
Civil. Affirms determination that Jeannie Hall is not entitled to the income from all of the properties in the Larry A. Hall Trust.

Maurice J. Tatum v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms order revoking probation.

John Jacob Campbell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Reverses order revoking probation and remands with instructions to the trial court to accommodate Campbell’s indigence consistent with the opinion.

Michael Furlong v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony burglary and Class D felony theft.

Marcus R. Berry v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

Johnny Byers v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony attempted murder.

Shalini Kohli v. Vishal Mahajan (NFP)
Domestic relation. Affirms the decree dissolving marriage.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline


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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues