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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

Posted in Family Law Case Review0 Comments

The Essentials of Family Law (with practice forms) – December 12

Whether you are new to the area of family law or a seasoned lawyer who occasionally takes a family law case, this seminar is a good place to start off right.  Our Program Chair Andrew Bloch from the Muncie firm Beasley & Gilkison has put together a faculty that consists of experienced attorneys as well as magistrates from various central Indiana jurisdictions.

Join us for a full day of essential information as well as tips from these leading experts in the area of family law.

6 CLE / 1.5 CME – Friday, December 12   9:00 A.M. – 4:30 P.M.

- ICLEF Conference Facility, Indianapolis

- From your home or office computer

- Available statewide after Live date

Posted in Highlighted Seminars0 Comments

2014 Year In Review – Continues Today!

For over 20 Years, ICLEF’s Year in ReviewTM has provided an effective forum for Indiana attorney’s to hear and discuss the most relevant cases and issues in over a dozen areas of law. In addition to our traditional areas of interest such as Tort Law, Business Litigation, Criminal Law, Estate Planning, and Employment Law; this year’s review will also address some interesting topical issues including attorney John Papageorge (Taft Stettinius & Hollister, Indianapolis) will address developments in eDiscovery.

Our two-day seminar returns to the comfortable and conveniently located Ritz Charles in Carmel on Tuesday & Wednesday, December 9-10, but this year you may also attend the seminar at one of our many Group Webcast locations.

Join us and make the Year in ReviewTM an annual part of your CLE calendar.

To see a full agenda and faculty list or to register, click any of the links below.


12 CLE / 1 E – Tuesday & Wednesday, December 9-10, 2014
9:00 A.M. – 4:30 P.M  Both Days (Eastern)

- Ritz Charles Conference Facility, Carmel

RhineErnst LLP, Law Office, Evansville
Grand Wayne Center, Fort Wayne
Radisson Star Hotel, Merrillville
DeFur Voran, LLP Law Office, Muncie
Taft Law Office, Indianapolis
ICLEF Conference Facility, Indianapolis

- From your home or office computer

- Available statewide after Live date


ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

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