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Monday, January 12, 2009

Ind. Decisions - Upcoming oral arguments this week

This week's oral arguments before the Supreme Court:

This Thursday, Jan. 15th:

9:00 AM - Allstate Insurance Co. v. Ted K. Fields - Following a jury trial, the Lake Superior Court entered a judgment against Allstate and awarded Fields $2 million in compensatory damages and $6 million in punitive damages on his claim that Allstate engaged in bad faith when handling his claim. The Court of Appeals reversed after concluding the trial court erred by not granting Allstate's pretrial motion for summary judgment. Allstate v. Fields, 885 N.E.2d 728 (Ind. Ct. App. 5/8/2008). Fields has petitioned the Supreme Court to accept jurisdiction over the appeal. Attorneys for Allstate: Karl L. Mulvaney, Nana Quay-Smith, Candace L. Sage, Indianapolis, IN. Thomas D. Collignon, Patrick J. Dietrick, Indianapolis, IN. Jack A. Kramer, Schererville, IN. Ronald D. Getchey, San Diego, CA. Attorneys for Fields: Kenneth J. Allen, William Lazarus, and Michael Terwilliger, Valparaiso, IN. [Note: See ILB summary of COA opinion here, 4th case.]

9:45 AM - Kail Fortson v. State of Indiana - Fortson was convicted in the Vanderburgh Circuit Court of receiving stolen property, a Class D felony. Fortson appealed, contending the evidence was insufficient to support an inference that he knew the property was stolen. The Court of Appeals affirmed in an unpublished memorandum decision. Fortson v. State, No. 82A04-0801-CR-16 (Ind. Ct. App. Aug. 29, 2008). The Supreme Court has granted a petition to transfer the case and has assumed jurisdiction over the appeal. Attorney for Fortson: Matthew Jon McGovern, Evansville, IN. Attorney for State: Nicle M. Schuster, Indianapolis, IN.

10:30 AM - Thomas Armfield v. State and Damen Holly v. State - Holly was convicted in the Marion Superior Court of possession of marijuana, a Class A misdemeanor. In an unrelated matter, Armfield was convicted in the Hamilton Superior Court of Operating a Vehicle after a Lifetime Suspension, a Class C felony. Both defendants' arrests were incident to traffic stops premised on random license plate checks that revealed the owners of the vehicles had suspended licenses. In Holly v. State, the Court of Appeals reversed, concluding a police officer's knowledge that a vehicle's registered owner lacks a valid license is, by itself, insufficient to permit an investigatory traffic stop. See 888 N.E.2d 338 (Ind. Ct. App. 6/17/2008). [ILB summary here.] In Armfield v. State [ILB Note: This opinion was originally issued as NFP on 8/11/08, made FP on 9/15/08], a different panel of the Court of Appeals affirmed, concluding that a police officer's knowledge that a vehicle's registered owner lacks a valid license is enough to permit an investigatory traffic stop. See 894 N.E.2d 195 (Ind. Ct. App. 8/11/2008). The Supreme Court has granted petitions to transfer in both cases and has assumed jurisdiction over both appeals. The Court will hold a sixty (60) minute combined oral argument for the two cases, but otherwise has not consolidated the appeals per Appellate Rule 39(B).

Webcasts will be available here.


This week's oral arguments before the Court of Appeals that will be webcast:

This Tuesday, Jan 13th:

2:00 PM - James W. Smyth vs. Judy G. Hester and The Estate of Timothy P. Brazill, Brian J. Zaiger as Personal Representative - The law firm of Plews Shadley Racher and Braun LLP ("PSRB") appeals the trial court's order awarding attorney fees to Judy Hester and the Estate of Timothy Brazill, wherein PSRB represented James Smyth in an action involving the breakup and/or dissolution of the partnership of Smyth, Hester, and Timothy Brazill (Deceased). The Scheduled Panel Members are: Judges Friedlander, Darden and Barnes. [Where: Indiana Supreme Court Courtroom]

This week's oral arguments before the Court of Appeals that will NOT be webcast:

This Thursday, Jan. 15th:

12:30 PM - Jeff Perkins & Kessler Advisors, LLC vs. James R. Brown, Lisa Brown and Simspon Brown, LLC, - This appeal originates from a complaint for declaratory relief, accounting, and dissolution of a Kessler Advisor, LLC, a limited liability corporation owned by Appellant-Defendant Jeff Perkins and Appellee-Plaintiff James Brown. The limited liability corporation was dissolved by stipulation prior to the trial. Perkins appeals the trial court's judgment in favor of Brown in the amount of $155,175.84, representing fifty percent of the net profits and retained earnings of the LLC. In his appeal, Perkins contends that the trial court erred when it entered judgment against him personally despite the absence of any evidence that he authorized distributions that left the limited liability corporation insolvent. He additionally claims that the trial court abused its discretion when it granted Brown's motion to amend the pleadings after the entry of final judgment. The Scheduled Panel Members are: Judges Kirsch, Robb and Bradford. [Where: Krannert Center for Executive Education, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907]

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 12, 2009 06:43 AM
Posted to Upcoming Oral Arguments