SCOTUS Resolves Circuit Split on CAFA Amount in Controversy Burden

SCOTUS Resolves Circuit Split on CAFA Amount in Controversy Burden

This installment of the Hoosier Litigation Blog looks at the Class Action Fairness Act's amount in controversy requirement and this week's Supreme Court decision in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Company, LLC v. Owens in which the Court resolved a circuit split, but not without controversy. In an unfamiliar (5-4) split, Justice Ginsburg authored the majority opinion joined by Chief Justice Roberts, and Justices Alito, Sotomayor, and Breyer. The dissent, authored by Justice Scalia and joined by Justices Kennedy, Thomas, and Kagan sought to undue the mistakes of the past in Standard Fire Insurance Company v. Knowles.

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Indiana Supreme Court: Trial Court Has Discretion to Not Grant Crime Victims Relief Act Award Even When Predicate Act is Proven

Indiana Supreme Court: Trial Court Has Discretion to Not Grant Crime Victims Relief Act Award Even When Predicate Act is Proven

This discussion focuses on the Indiana Supreme Court decision in Wysocki v. Johnson, in which the Indiana Supreme Court held that a trial court is not obligated to apply the Indiana Crime Victims Relief Act even where plaintiffs have proven commission of a predicate act.

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Indiana Supreme Court: Family of Disabled Student Who Choked to Death at School Will Have Day in Court

Indiana Supreme Court: Family of Disabled Student Who Choked to Death at School Will Have Day in Court

This installment focuses on the Indiana Supreme Court decision in Lyons v. Richmond Community School Corporation that examined the application of fraudulent concealment and the discovery rule to the Indiana Tort Claims Act and found that the parents of a severely disabled student who was allowed to choke to death on food at her school could have their day in court.

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Indiana Supreme Court Answers Issue of First Impression on Attorney Fees Under Medical Malpractice Act

Indiana Supreme Court Answers Issue of First Impression on Attorney Fees Under Medical Malpractice Act

Today's discussion examines a case of first impression in the Indiana Supreme Court that reversed the court of appeals decision. The court addressed whether a statutory cap on attorney fee recovery from a client in medical malpractice cases could apply to limit liability for attorney fees under the wrongful death statute in medical malpractice cases.

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Does a Subsequent Order Labeling Another a ‘Final Judgment’ Impact the Deadline for Filing an Appeal?

Does a Subsequent Order Labeling Another a ‘Final Judgment’ Impact the Deadline for Filing an Appeal?

This discussion examines a host of cases from the Seventh Circuit and Indiana Court of Appeals from the past week and focuses on a case from Indiana examining whether a subsequent order labeling a prior order as a "final judgment" is a final judgment in accordance with Rule 54 for purposes of appeal.

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Does Indiana’s General Wrongful Death Statute Permit Recovery of Attorney Fees? Court Says, ‘Yes’

Does Indiana’s General Wrongful Death Statute Permit Recovery of Attorney Fees? Court Says, ‘Yes’

This week's discussion looks at a case addressing a novel argument under the Indiana General Wrongful Death Statute that argued attorney fees are only available to decedents without dependents. The Court of Appeals found the statute ambiguous and, applying doctrines of interpretation, held that attorney fees are available to both decedents with and without dependents. Perhaps of greater import, the case looked to whether a contingency fee agreement between plaintiff and its counsel provides the fees to be assessed or whether a reasonable-hourly rate was to be applied. Somewhat surprisingly, the court found the contingency fee agreement to control. The full application of this decision seems certain to be the basis for a great many arguments in the future.

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Indiana Preferred Venue Rules: Is Reputation An Intangible Chattel?

Indiana Preferred Venue Rules: Is Reputation An Intangible Chattel?

Today's discussion focuses on Indiana's venue rules and the quirk of preferred venue but also delves into the issue of what constitutes an intangible chattel for the purposes of venue and whether reputation in a defamation case constitutes intangible chattel.

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Does Indiana’s Cap on Punitive Damages Apply to Statutory Treble-Damage Awards? Court Says ‘No’

Does Indiana’s Cap on Punitive Damages Apply to Statutory Treble-Damage Awards? Court Says ‘No’

This week's discussion examines the interplay between Indiana's Punitive Damages Statute that caps and otherwise limits the ability recover common-law punitive damage awards and exemplary damage awards available under certain statutes allowing for, at times, treble damages for successful litigants. The discussion is conducted through the lens of the recent Indiana Supreme Court decision in Andrews v. Mor/Ryde International, Inc.

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7th Circuit (Wood, C.J.) Examines Federal Interpleader & Application of the Rooker-Feldman Doctrine

7th Circuit (Wood, C.J.) Examines Federal Interpleader & Application of the Rooker-Feldman Doctrine

This week's discussion examines the Rooker-Feldman doctrine along with federal interpleader and the Wilton-Brillhart abstention doctrine through the recent Seventh Circuit decision Arnold v. KJD Rel Estate, LLC. The discussion also takes a brief look at the Indiana Supreme Court case Robinson v. Erie Insurance Exchange–holding that the language of an insurance policy did not extend uninsured motorist coverage to property damage caused by a hit-and-run without physical injury to the driver.

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Indiana Supreme Court: Fraudulent Concealment Tolls Wrongful Death Act Statute of Limitations Period

Indiana Supreme Court: Fraudulent Concealment Tolls Wrongful Death Act Statute of Limitations Period

Today's discussion is a follow up to a prior discussion of the case Alldredge v. Good Samaritan Home, Inc. which found its way to the Indiana Supreme Court. The court held that the Fraudulent Concealment Statute acts to toll claims for wrongful death thereby permitting a full two-year period to file a claim after learning of the wrongful act as opposed to requiring a reasonable time to file a claim after discovery of the concealment. The opinion is also an example of a masterfully well-written decision that blends sound legal reasoning with florid prose making for an enjoyable read.

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Indiana Court of Appeals: When Can a Trial Court Change Its Mind?

Indiana Court of Appeals: When Can a Trial Court Change Its Mind?

This installment of the Hoosier Litigation Blog focuses on the procedures for reviewing challenging an interlocutory order before the trial court. It also looks at the recent changes to Ind. Trial Rule 60(B) after a 2008 amendment removing the application to only final judgments and how it is now applicable to interlocutory orders and the resulting impact that has on T.R. 60(B) caselaw.

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Indiana Court Examines Discretionary Function Immunity After Middle School Shooting Case

Indiana Court Examines Discretionary Function Immunity After Middle School Shooting Case

This week's discussion looks to a case following from a shooting at a school in Martinsville, Indiana and explores the ability of a public school to utilize discretionary function immunity under Indiana Tort Claim's Act as well as the duty of a school to protect its students' safety.

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Does § 1981 Provide a Private Right of Action Against State Actors? On First Impression, 7th Cir. Says No

Does § 1981 Provide a Private Right of Action Against State Actors? On First Impression, 7th Cir. Says No

This week's discussion looks to a case of first impression in the Seventh Circuit: Campbell v. Forest Pres. Dist. of Cook Cnty., Ill. The issue was whether the Civil Rights Act of 1991 amended 42 U.S.C. § 1981 to permit a private right of action against state actors, thereby permitting a four-year statute of limitations, or whether, as set forth in Jett v. Dallas Indep. Sch. Dist., § 1981 claims against state actors must arise under § 1983, thereby limited to the forum state's limitation for personal injury claims.

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7th Circuit: Personal Jurisdiction & the Role of State Long-Arm Statutes

7th Circuit: Personal Jurisdiction & the Role of State Long-Arm Statutes

This week the HLB returns with a bang, or a foomp as the case may be. We delve into the issue of personal jurisdiction and the role of a state long-arm statute in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision in Walden v. Fiore back in February through the case Advanced Tactical Ordinance Sys., LLC v. Real Action Paintball, Inc. handed down by the Seventh Circuit today. The foomp, if you hadn't guessed is an onomatopoeia for the noise of a paintball marker. This and more peculiar witticism from your author inside.

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7th Circuit (Posner) Examines CAFA Amount in Controversy in Light of Knowles & Rooker-Feldman Doctrine

7th Circuit (Posner) Examines CAFA Amount in Controversy in Light of Knowles & Rooker-Feldman Doctrine

This week we look at the Seventh Circuit (Posner) decision in Johnson v. Pushpin Holdings, LLC that examined whether a named plaintiff in a class action could stipulate to limit damages recovery to below the $5 million threshold requirement for federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA). The case also, briefly, stepped into the realm of examining the Rooker-Feldman doctrine that bars review of a state court decision by a federal court other than the Supreme Court and how that might apply to removal under the CAFA.

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7th Circuit: Impact of Defendant’s Exposure on Rule 23(f) Class Cert Appeal & Novel Issues of the TCPA

7th Circuit: Impact of Defendant’s Exposure on Rule 23(f) Class Cert Appeal & Novel Issues of the TCPA

This week's discussion focuses on a decision out of the Seventh Circuit by noted jurist Hon. Richard Posner that examines the impact of the magnitude of a defendant's liability on the determination of whether to exercise Rule 23(f) to permit an interlocutory appeal of class certification. The case also discusses numerous novel issues of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

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Seventh Circuit (Posner) Weighs in on Contractual Indemnification After Settlement of Underlying Injury Suit

Seventh Circuit (Posner) Weighs in on Contractual Indemnification After Settlement of Underlying Injury Suit

This is the fourth installment of the day commemorating the 100th post authored for the Hoosier Litigation Blog by Colin E. Flora. This post examines the Seventh Circuit decision in Krien v. Harsco Corp., in which Judge Posner examined the roll of a settlement in an underlying personal injury case upon the ability for a defendant to file a third-party claim for indemnification.

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Judge Posner Tears Into ‘Frivolous’ Appeal of Contempt Order

Judge Posner Tears Into ‘Frivolous’ Appeal of Contempt Order

This installment looks at the decision from the Seventh Circuit this week that has drawn a great deal more attention for the tone directed at the frivolous nature of the appeal than the substance of the decision. In our third post of the day, we look at the decision in Central States, Southeast & Southwest Areas Health & Welfare Fund v. Lewis, described by the folks at Above the Law as a "benchslap" by Judge Posner.

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Seventh Circuit Examines Standing for Class Rep and Departs from 3rd 8th Circuits on FDCPA Interpretation

Seventh Circuit Examines Standing for Class Rep and Departs from 3rd 8th Circuits on FDCPA Interpretation

This second installment on the day addresses the Seventh Circuit decision in McMahon v. LVNV Funding, LLC, which held for the first time – in direct opposition to the Third and Eighth Circuits – that a letter attempting to collect a time-barred debt does not need to threaten litigation to be actionable under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The case also examined the issue of when a named-plaintiff in a putative class action case has his individual claim rendered moot by offer of settlement.

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