Monday, August 24, 2015
Ind. Decisions - Upcoming oral arguments this week and next
This week's oral arguments before the Supreme Court (week of 8/24/15):
Thursday, August 27
- 9:00 AM - Commissioner of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles v. Rodney Vawter, et al. (49S00-1407-PL-494) IC 9-18-15-4 lists reasons the BMV may refuse to issue a personalized license plate. The Marion Superior Court ruled in part that the statute violates certain rights of free speech in the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. A related administrative regulation and “policy statement” were also ruled invalid. The Bureau appealed. Enforcement of the trial court’s order, including its direction that the Bureau resume issuing personalized license plates, has been stayed during this appeal. Because a statute was declared unconstitutional, the appeal comes directly to this Court in accordance with Appellate Rule 4(A)(1)(b).
ILB: This is the ‘OINK’ license plate case. This Aug. 7th ILB post reports that supplemental briefs have been filed addressing the recent SCOTUS decision in Walker v. Texas. Here is the Indiana case docket. The BMV is represented by AG Zoeller, Mr. Vawter by the ACLU of Indiana. The ILB will attempt to obtain copies of the briefs for posting.
- 9:45 AM - Christopher Helsley v. State of Indiana (63S00-1406-LW-440) Helsley’s murder convictions were affirmed on direct appeal in Helsley v. State, 809 N.E.2d 292 (Ind. 2004), but a new penalty phase was ordered in post-conviction proceedings. Following that retrial, Helsley was again sentenced to life without the possibility of parole by the Pike Circuit Court. In this direct appeal, Helsley argues the new sentence was error and should be revised.
- 10:30 AM - Austin Blaize v. State of Indiana (26S00-1410-LW-771) Following a jury trial at which Blaize was found guilty of murder and other offenses, the Gibson Circuit Court sentenced him to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. In this direct appeal, Blaize argues that a comment made by the judge during the trial deprived him of a fair trial.
Next week's oral arguments before the Supreme Court (week of 8/31/15):
- No arguments currently scheduled.
Webcasts of Supreme Court oral arguments are available here.
This week's oral arguments before the Court of Appeals (week of 8/24/15):
Wednesday, August 12
- No arguments currently scheduled.
Next week's oral arguments before the Court of Appeals (week of 8/31/15):
Monday, August 31
- 2:30 PM - Techna-Fit v. Fluid Transfer (32A05-1410-PL-462) RCM Techna-Fit, Inc. filed a complaint against Fluid Transfer Products, Inc. ("FTP") alleging, among other claims, that FTP engaged in unfair competition with Techna-Fit in violation of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. Section 1051 et seq. and seeking injunctive relief. FTP filed a counterclaim against Techna-Fit alleging breach of contract and a third-party claim against Stuart Trotter alleging breach of fiduciary duty, defamation, and deception. Techna-Fit and FTP each filed motions for partial summary judgment, which the trial court denied. Following a bench trial with the assistance of an advisory jury, the trial court entered judgment in favor of FTP on its counter-claim against Techna-Fit and its third-party claim against Trotter for breach of fiduciary duty. And the trial court awarded damages to FTP as follows: $662,901.86 for Techna-Fit's breach of contract; $125,000 for Trotter's breach of fiduciary duty; and punitive damages for Trotter's breach of fiduciary duty in the amount of $1,500,000. FTP requested attorney's fees, which the trial court awarded following a hearing. Techna-Fit filed a motion to correct error, which the trial court denied. Techna-Fit appeals and presents the following issues for our review: (1) whether the trial court erred when it denied Techna-Fit's motion for partial summary judgment as an improper repetitive motion under Trial Rule 53.4; (2) whether the trial court abused its discretion when it excluded certain evidence at trial; (3) whether the trial court abused its discretion when it refused a proposed jury instruction; (4) whether the trial court erred when it found that a release executed by Techna-Fit and FTP did not preclude FTP's breach of contract claim against Techna-Fit; (5) whether the trial court erred when it awarded FTP $1,500,000 in punitive damages; and (6) whether the trial court abused its discretion when it awarded FTP $146,661,43 in attorney's fees. The Scheduled Panel Members are: Judges Najam, Kirsch and Barnes. [Where: Court of Appeals Courtroom (WEBCAST)]
ONLY those Court of Appeals oral arguments presented in the Supreme or Court of Appeals Courtrooms will be accessible via videocast. [Note: This may be changing...]
The past COA webcasts which have been webcast are accessible here.
NOTE: For a printable version of this list of upcoming oral arguments, click on the date in the next line. Then select "Print" from your browser.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 24, 2015 08:24 AM
Posted to Upcoming Oral Arguments