Monday, June 09, 2014
Ind. Decisions - Upcoming oral arguments this week and next
This week's oral arguments before the Supreme Court (week of 6/9/14):
Thursday, June 12
- 9:00 AM - Indiana Patient's Compensation Fund v. Judy Holcomb (49S05-1404-CC-209) In this case implicating both the Adult Wrongful Death Statute and the Medical Malpractice Act, the Marion Superior Court determined the patient's estate is entitled to recover $54,440 in attorney's fees as damages from the Patient's Compensation Fund, and that the Medical Malpractice Act's 15% limitation on attorney's fees does not limit the amount of compensation the Fund pays. A majority of the Court of Appeals reversed. Indiana Patient's Comp. Fund v. Holcomb, 998 N.E.2d 989 (Ind. Ct. App. 2013), vacated. The Supreme Court has granted a petition to transfer the case and has assumed jurisdiction over the appeal.
ILB: This was a Nov. 27, 2013 2-1 COA opinion. The majority's opinion concluded:
Under the facts the parties have placed before us, including an agreement regarding the Fund’s liability that purported to include no attorney fees as damages, it is impossible to reach a result that is fair to the Estate and to its counsel, yet consistent with the statutory 15% limitation. As the trial court’s award does not accurately reflect either the proper amount of attorney fees or proper allocation of money awarded from the Fund, we must reverse and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
- 9:45 AM - Barbara Pohl v. Michael Pohl (32S04-1404-DR-245) In connection with the parties’ 2009 marital dissolution, Barbara Pohl agreed to pay monthly spousal maintenance to Michael Pohl beginning in 2013. In 2012, Barbara filed a motion seeking modification of the maintenance obligation. The trial court denied Barbara’s motion, and the Court of Appeals affirmed. Pohl v. Pohl, 999 N.E.2d 442 (Ind. Ct. App. 2013), vacated. The Supreme Court has granted a petition to transfer the case and has assumed jurisdiction over the appeal.
ILB: This was a Nov. 26, 2013 COA opinion re post-dissolution spousal maintenance:
Barbara argues that because appellee-petitioner Michael Pohl’s disability was a basis on which the court has the authority to issue spousal maintenance without the agreement of the parties, the trial court had the authority to modify the spousal agreement if circumstances have changed in such a manner as to render the original agreement unreasonable. Barbara contends that the trial court used the incorrect legal standard when it required her to show fraud, duress, or mistake at the time the spousal maintenance Addendum was signed. We conclude that, in considering the evidence, the trial court could have refused to modify the agreement under a standard requiring a showing of fraud, duress, or mistake or a standard requiring a substantial and continuing change of circumstances. We therefore affirm the decision of the trial court.
- 10:30 AM - Jeffrey Cleary v. State of Indiana (45S03-1404-CR-295) On the entrance ramp to an interstate, Cleary struck the back of a truck, which in turn, struck and killed a man who was changing a tire. Cleary’s blood alcohol content was measured more than .15. A jury found him guilty of Class A misdemeanor operating while intoxicated and other lesser offenses, but the jury deadlocked on felony charges. The Lake Superior Court denied Cleary’s motion for judgment on the verdict, and scheduled a new trial. The jury in the second trial found Cleary guilty on all charges, and Cleary was sentenced to 14 years. A divided Court of Appeals rejected Cleary’s argument that he could not be retried. Cleary v. State, 2 N.E.3d 765 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), vacated. The Supreme Court has granted a petition to transfer the case and has assumed jurisdiction over the appeal.
ILB: This is a 2-1, Jan. 24, 2014 COA opinion where the majority and dissent concluded, respectively:
Cleary’s retrial did not violate statutory or Indiana constitutional double jeopardy principles. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the blood test results into evidence, and Cleary has not established that his sentence is inappropriate. We affirm.
The trial court should have entered a judgment of conviction on Cleary’s misdemeanor operating while intoxicated (“OWI”) charges, which would have precluded a retrial on the felony OWI charges. I believe that this result is compelled by principles of fundamental fairness and the principles underlying the Indiana Constitution’s double jeopardy clause. Therefore, I respectfully dissent.
Tuesday, June 17
- 9:00 AM - Wellpoint, Inc., et al v. National Union Fire Insurance, et al (49S05-1404-PL-00244) After Wellpoint, Inc. (f/k/a Anthem, Inc.) settled multi-district litigation without admitting liability, it sought indemnification and defense costs from several insurers. The trial court granted summary judgment to the insurers, and the Court of Appeals affirmed. Wellpoint, Inc. v. Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA, No. 49A05-1202-PL-92 (Ind. Ct. App. 2013), vacated. The Supreme Court has granted a petition to transfer the case and has assumed jurisdiction over the appeal.
ILB: This was a June 19, 2013, 2-1 NFP opinion.
- 9:45 AM - Joseph Buelna v. State of Indiana (32S04-1404-DR-245) Appellant was convicted in the Elkhart Superior Court of manufacturing methamphetamine, a class A felony. Among other things, Court of Appeals determined the drug was “pure or adulterated” as required by Indiana Code section 35-48-4-1.1, and there was sufficient evidence to support the conviction. Buelna v. State, No. 20A04-1305-CR-223 (Ind. Ct. App. Jan. 30, 2014) (NFP memo. dec.), vacated. The Supreme Court has granted a petition to transfer the case, thus vacating the opinion of the Court of Appeals, and has assumed jurisdiction over the appeal.
ILB: This was a Jan. 30, 2014 NFP opinion appealing a conviction and sentence for manufacturing methamphetamine.
Webcasts of Supreme Court oral arguments are available here.
This week's oral arguments before the Court of Appeals (week of 6/9/14):
Tuesday, June 10
- 10:30 AM - Turner v. Kent, et al (64A05-1310-TR-510) Linda Turner, trustee and beneficiary of the Kazlauski Family Trust, appeals the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of beneficiaries Sally Kent and Stanley Kazlauski on the issue of whether a signed writing, executed after the trust agreement, modified the distribution terms of the trust. The separate writing provides for specific gifts of real estate to Stanley and Linda. The trial court determined this to be an invalid attempt to incorporate by reference specific gifts of non-personal property. Linda argues that the writing constitutes a valid amendment to the trust agreement. The Scheduled Panel Members are: Judges Riley, Robb and Bradford [Where: University Place, 1700 Lindberg Road, West Lafayette, IN]
Next week's oral arguments before the Court of Appeals (week of 6/16/14):
Thursday, June 19
- 1:00 PM - Dodson v. Carlson, et al (49A04-1305-CT-267) Curt Carlson was driving home from a business meeting at a hotel when he struck a disabled vehicle. Carlson drank alcohol at the meeting. The collision killed its driver, Eboni Dodson. Dodson's estate sued Carlson's employer, Seven Corners, alleging that Seven Corners was liable for Carlson's actions under the theory of respondeat superior. The trial court granted summary judgment for Seven Corners on the ground that Carlson was not acting in the scope of his employment when he hit Dodson's car. The Scheduled Panel Members are: Judges Baker, May and Bradford [Where: Fabiani Theater, University Center, Trine University, Angola, IN]
The past COA webcasts which have been webcast are accessible here.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 9, 2014 08:15 AM
Posted to Upcoming Oral Arguments