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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

93A02-0912-EX-1287
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
55A05-1002-CC-131
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.
49A04-0910-CV-569
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
64A03-0905-CV-204
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)
64A05-0912-CV-715
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)
49A02-0912-CR-1213
Criminal. Affirms order revoking probation.

John Jacob Campbell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
18A02-0912-CR-1189
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)
49A04-0911-CR-658
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony burglary and Class D felony theft.

Marcus R. Berry v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1002-CR-109
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

Johnny Byers v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A04-0910-CR-612
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony attempted murder.

Shalini Kohli v. Vishal Mahajan (NFP)
29A02-1002-DR-131
Domestic relation. Affirms the decree dissolving marriage.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline
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  1. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  2. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  3. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  4. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  5. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

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