Opinions Sept. 25, 2013

September 25, 2013
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Steven Harper and Rose Harper as Co-Personal Representatives of the Estate of Steven Harper, Deceased v. Gerry Hippensteel, M.D.
Miscellaneous/medical malpractice. Affirms trial court grant of summary judgment in favor of Dr. Gerry Hippensteel, concluding that he did not owe a duty to Steven Harper Jr. on the basis of a Collaborative Practice Agreement the doctor signed with a nurse practitioner who provided care. Because Hippensteel took no affirmative action with regard to Harper, he is entitled to summary judgment because no doctor-patient relationship existed or was imposed by the agreement.

Robert Fechtman, as Guardian of the Estate of Roberto Hernandez v. United States Steel Corporation, Zurich North America
Civil tort. Affirms jury findings in awarding damages of $4.65 million to the estate of Hernandez, who suffered carbon monoxide poisoning as a contractor working at the U.S. Steel plant in Gary, and its determination that U.S. Steel was 15 percent at fault, resulting in a judgment of $698,668 against U.S. Steel. Rejects Zurich North America’s cross-claim as moot. The trial court did not err in refusing to provide Hernandez’s tendered jury instruction regarding strict liability for an abnormally dangerous activity.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of D.P., Minor Child, and her Father, D.P.; D.P. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services and Child Advocates, Inc.

Juvenile. Reverses termination of parental rights, finding that Father D.P’s due process rights were violated when a judge ruled on findings of fact prepared by a new magistrate who prepared findings based on the results of a hearing conducted by a magistrate who resigned. Remands to the juvenile court for a new evidentiary hearing.

In Re The Marriage of: David L. Fendley v. Misty L. Converse f/k/a Misty L. Fendley (NFP)
Domestic relation. Reverses former husband David Fendley’s motion to set aside a judgment against him for $128,104, holding that a prior agreement between him and ex-wife Misty Converse abated his obligation in 1994.

Brian L. Marchand v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms on interlocutory appeal two orders denying Brian Marchand’s motions for discharge under Indiana Criminal Rule 4(C).

Brian McGill v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony aggravated battery and finding of habitual offender.

Indiana Surpeme Court and Indiana Tax Court issued no opinions by IL deadline. U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana opinions by 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.