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Products Liability Cases – Feb. 25

The Indiana Product Liability Act is the exclusive mechanism to evaluate claims of personal injury and property damage allegedly caused by products. The Act’s unique statutory regime selectively borrows concepts from the Restatement (Second) of Torts, § 402A, and the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Products Liability, and it rejects strict liability concepts for claims of design and warning defects. The Act also significantly alters prior Indiana common law governing product liability actions. This seminar will explore these features of the Act, and will address opportunities and procedural mechanisms for early resolution of product liability actions, including the narrowing of issues through motion practice, tailored case management orders, and efficient discovery practices designed to control and reduce costs.

Dean T. BarnhardBarnes & Thornburg, Indianapolis
Joseph R. AlbertsDow AgroSciences, Indianapolis
Mathew Scott Winings, Cummins, Inc., Indianapolis


3 CLE – Wednesday, February 25, 2015   1:15 P.M. – 4:30 P.M.

Live In-Person Seminar
- ICLEF Conference Facility, Indianapolis

Live Individual Webcast
- From Your Home or Office Computer

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN


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ICLEF Contributes $2500 to the Indianapolis Bar Foundation

ICLEF is pleased to announce a contribution of $2500 to the Indianapolis Bar Foundation in support of the Neil E. Shook Scholarship Fund.  The Indianapolis Bar Foundation website lists the Neil E. Shook Scholarship as being available to 2nd year Robert H. McKinney School of Law students who exhibit the following characteristics: 1. academic proficiency; 2. interest in creditors’ rights and bankruptcy law; 3. financial need; 4. exceptional leader­ship skills; 5. demonstrated commitment to excellence; 6. proponent of civility in the legal profession.

We are delighted to be able to provide financial support to this important scholarship fund.

Click here if you would like to make a donation to the Indianapolis Bar Foundation.

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

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Family Law Case Review 2/25/11

Case: Stephanie L. Cotton v. Charles C. Cotton

Case Summary by Mike Kohlhaas, Bingham McHale LLP

HELD: To comply with the Indiana Trial Rules and Due Process, the summons served with a petition for dissolution of marriage must include a clear statement to the Respondent of the risk of default for failure to appear or otherwise respond.


Husband and Wife married in 2002. In March 2009, Husband filed a petition for dissolution of marriage. Wife was served with a summons and copy of the petition, but she did not appear personally or by counsel, nor did she respond to the petition. Husband continued to live in the marital residence for five months after filing, leading Wife to believe that the parties were working on reconciliation and that Husband was not pushing finalization of the dissolution.

However, in September 2009, Husband and his counsel attended a final hearing. Wife had not appeared personally or by counsel, and she received no notice of the final hearing. In Wife’s absence, and following only Husband’s testimony, the trial court defaulted Wife and entered a final dissolution decree that included an award of joint legal and physical custody of the parties’ son, and divided the marital estate. Wife subsequently learned of the Decree, hired counsel, and filed a T.R. 60 motion to set aside the Decree, which was denied. Wife appealed.

On appeal, Wife contended that the Decree was void because it was entered without personal jurisdiction over her, due to insufficiency of process; specifically, the summons used by Husband included language to Wife that she “may personally appear” and that “[y]ou must appear before the Court if directed to do so pursuant to a Notice, Order of the Court, or Subpoena,” but no language articulating a risk of default for doing nothing. In reviewing the summons, the Court of Appeals summarized the applicable law of insufficiency of process, and concluded: “We hold that due process requires that, at a minimum, a respondent in a dissolution proceeding be notified of the risk of default for failure to appear or otherwise respond.”

In this instance, the subject summons presented Wife with the option of appearing or responding to the petition, but did not provide notice to her that the trial court could take further and final action without further notice to her. The Court of Appeals added, “the command of Trial Rule 4(C)(5), grounded in due process, is that the respondent in a dissolution proceeding must be given notice in a ‘clear statement’ of the risk of default for failure to appear or other respond . . . ” Concluding that the subject summons did not comply with Trial Rule 4(C)(5), or the Due Process Clause, the dissolution decree was reversed and remanded for further proceedings.

To view the text of this opinion in its entirety, click here: Stephanie L. Cotton v. Charles C. Cotton

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ICLEFs Convenient Group Webcasts Are In Your Neighborhood!

Wouldn’t you welcome a time-saving and convenient way to get CLE? We have that for you! A growing number of Indiana lawyers are experiencing the benefits of ICLEF’s Live Group Webcasts. Lawyers around the state comment: “It’s a great alternative when I need a CLE close to the office.”

There’s more to this popularity though. Of course, the convenience and cost-saving aspects of CLE in your community, or even in your building, are definitely a plus. But we also hear from our attendees that there’s a small-group, community factor they like. Joining fellow practitioners in the local conference room results in interaction that many have come to value.

That’s why we at ICLEF appreciate the cooperation of the host law firms who schedule these community programs. It’s a partnering program that has benefits all around. If you think your firm would like to become a host, we would be happy to talk with you. Call Senior Program Director, Jim Whitesell at ICLEF to get the particulars, (317) 637-9102.

Here’s a sample of the feedback from those CLE partners:    

From May, Oberfell & Lorber in Mishawaka, Anita Fernandez commented: “It began as a way to make it more convenient for attorneys in the law firm to get CLE. But we’ve noted that the seminars in our conference room are now popular in the region. There’s more opportunity for lawyers from our area to talk with other lawyers they don’t necessarily come across… the older ones to communicate with younger ones… No problems with the process. It’s a piece of cake.”

Our host in Lafayette at the Reiling, Teder & Schrier, Kim Albaugh, notes that lawyers attending their webcasts are appreciative that they can save time driving to Indianapolis, especially in bad weather. “When they discover we’re here for them, they are very pleased.”

Steve Murphy from the DeFur Voran Law Firm in Muncie agrees that the convenience is an attraction for attendees in his area of the state. He also comments on the community aspect. “I’ve had the chance to reconnect with some people that I’ve been out of touch with for a while. It’s a great idea…sitting down in the conference room with a cup of coffee and other local lawyers to share the educational experience and chat a while or have lunch.”

Another plus for the Live Group Webcast Seminars is that there’s no limit to how many credit hours you can earn in this format under the MCLE rules. If you’re so inclined, take the full 36-hours in your three-year mandatory CLE period.

Are you ready to try an ICLEF Live Group Webcast at a location near you? It’s easy. Click Here for a list of upcoming Live Group Webcasts. Or click the Live Seminars tab on ICLEF’s homepage, then click Browse by Delivery Type (upper left side of screen) and choose Live Group Webcasts from the drop down window. The numbers of programs in this category varies depending on the selections at any time by each law firm host. Keep an eye on your weekly ICLEF email newsletter for updates.

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

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