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Opinions Nov. 23, 2010

November 23, 2010
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Nightingale Home Healthcare, Inc. v. Anodyne Therapy, LLC
10-2327
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker
Civil. Affirms the judgment of the District Court that granted Anodyne’s request for an award of attorneys’ fees in the amount of $72,747. The award was based on 15 U.S.C. § 1117(a), which allows attorneys’ fees to be awarded to prevailing parties in Lanham Act suits, but only in “exceptional cases.” Nightingale contended no award of attorneys’ fees was justified because the case was not “exceptional.” Also grants Anodyne’s motion for fees and costs pursuant to Rule 38 of the appellate rules. Dismisses as moot Anodyne’s motion to strike Nightingale’s brief and appendix.

June Kimmel v. Western Reserve Life Assurance Company of Ohio
10-1336
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Magistrate Judge Paul R. Cherry
Civil. Affirms District Court’s grant of summary judgment to Western Reserve Life Assurance Company of Ohio. The insurance company had neither accepted nor denied the life insurance application of June Kimmel’s late husband, Richard Kimmel, within a 60-day timeframe. Richard died in an automobile accident six weeks after the end of that 60-day period. The 7th Circuit concludes that  "although Western Reserve deserves criticism for its handling of Richard’s application for life insurance, its behavior is not actionable under Indiana tort law” because ”the relationship between an insured and an insurer is different enough from the relationship between an applicant and a prospective insurer.”

Indiana Supreme Court posted no opinions before IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
 
Deidre Carter v. Grace Whitney Properties
82A04-1003-SC-177
Civil. Reverses and remands findings of small claims court. Concludes Vanderburgh County Local Rules 1.23(C) and 1.05(E), as applied here, violate Article 1, Section 22 of the Indiana Constitution because they contemplate the use of contempt to enforce an obligation to pay money even where, as here, the debt does not involve child support or fraud.
 
Larry Cox v. State of Indiana
79A04-0912-CR-741
Criminal. Reverses and remands Cox’s convictions of 10 counts of Class A felony child molesting and five counts of Class C felony child molesting. Concludes the trial court improperly permitted the state to introduce a videotaped statement in lieu of live direct examination, and that that error was not harmless.

Gregory Owens v. State of Indiana
29A02-1002-CR-390
Criminal. Affirms Owens’ conviction of child molesting. Concludes the state did not infringe upon his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination by introducing evidence that he did not contact police. Also finds the prosecutor’s comment in closing argument was improper but did not rise to the level of fundamental error requiring reversal.
 
Erik E. Neal, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)

71A03-1003-CR-214
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for felony murder.
 
Steven Thrash v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1005-CR-483
Criminal. Affirms conviction of aggravated battery, a Class B felony. Revises 10-year sentence to eight years with six years executed and two years suspended.

Tara K. Mateyko v. State of Indiana (NFP)
29A02-1002-CR-226
Criminal. Affirms conviction of theft, a Class D felony.
 
Kyle Sheets v. Kandie Sheets (NFP)
48A02-1004-DR-419
Civil. Affirms trial court’s grant of mother’s request for permission to move with the parties’ children to Oklahoma.

Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions before IL deadline.
 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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