Elizabeth Wysong-Berg named to 2014 ISBA Leadership Academy

Elizabeth Wysong Berg, PartnerJanuary 23, 2014 – Goodin Abernathy Partner, Elizabeth Wysong-Berg is one of 25 attorneys from across the state of Indiana chosen to participate in the Indiana State Bar Association’s Leadership Development Academy. This is just one more feather in Elizabeth’s cap, and we are all very proud of her achievement. She is a tremendous asset and will serve the State Bar Association well for many years to come.

GA Expands to Fort Wayne

January 22, 2014 – HELLO, FORT WAYNE INDIANA! Goodin Abernathy LLP is excited about its expansion into the Fort Wayne region. We’ll meet in person with clients in the area, providing a variety of legal services. Call or E-mail us to schedule appointments! Listen for us on Hot 107.9

Wysong-Berg Named Young Title Professional of the Year

Elizabeth Wysong Berg, PartnerSeptember 17, 2013 – Congratulations to our own Elizabeth Wysong-Berg for being named Young Title Professional of the Year at the annual meeting of the Indiana Land Title Association (“ITLA”) in French Lick. Great job, Elizabeth!

Goodin Abernathy Now Handling Immigration Cases

August 17, 2012 – Finally, there is some movement towards immigration reform. Goodin Abernathy LLP / Legalmente Hablando Indy is excited about the great opportunities reform is creating for Hispanics and other immigrants in the Indianapolis area and throughout Indiana. Click here to see a recent NBC article describing the current immigration reform trend. Goodin Abernathy LLP / Legalmente Hablando Indy now offers quality and trustworthy immigration legal services. Visit or call us for a consultation with a law professor who works in the area of immigration. Contact us before choosing a less experienced attorney. Choose us before paying your money to an attorney that doesn’t respond or work on your case.

“Property Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Claims”

May 14, 2012 – Goodin Abernathy attorney, Elizabeth Wysong-Berg will be presenting at a seminar on August 9, 2012 entitled, “Property Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Claims.” For more information regarding this seminar click here.

Goodin Abernathy Welcomes the Newest Member of our Team

November 9, 2011 – GA welcomes Naun (Anthony) Benitez, Law Clerk. Anthony grew up in Dallas, Texas. He is fluent in writing, reading, and conversational Spanish.
Anthony attended Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana where he received his undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in History and Spanish. Anthony currently attends Indiana University School of Law- Indianapolis. While in law school, Anthony earned Dean’s List recognition and was a Legal Writing Fellow in the Dean’s Tutorial Society. He is also the president of the Hispanic Law Society.
Prior to working as a law clerk for Goodin Abernathy, Anthony has worked in the private and public sector. Anthony has clerked for various Indianapolis firms He has worked in the following areas: personal injury, immigration, family law, and business litigation.
In his spare time, Anthony enjoys watching sports, barbequing, and spending time with his family and friends. Anthony lives in Indianapolis with his wife, Sarah, and two kids, Aiden and Adriana.

Jim Goodin Presents: Advanced Civil Mediation Training

James A. Goodin, PartnerSeptember 22, 2011 – Jim Goodin is one of the many talented panelists presenting at a seminar entitled, “Advanced Civil Mediation Training,” on October 20, 2011. The seminar is presented by the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association. You can visit the ITLA website and register for the seminar by clicking here.

Goodin Abernathy is a Proud Sponsor of IYHA

September 14, 2011 – Goodin Abernathy LLP is a proud supporter of the the Indianapolis Youth Hockey Association and its efforts to promote youth hockey in Indianapolis and the surrounding communities. If you or someone you know are interested in youth hockey, please contact the IYHA by clicking here.

Chip Clark Presents NBI Seminar

Christopher E. (Chip) Clark, PartnerSeptember 12, 2011 – Goodin Abernathy partner, Christopher “Chip” Clark, will be one of the presenters at the National Business Institute Seminar entitled, “Handling Complex Auto Insurance Coverage Disputes,” being held in Indianapolis on December 9, 2011. For more information, or to register for this informative seminar, click here.

Indiana’s Texting Ban Takes Effect Friday, July 1st

June 29, 2011 – SOURCE: IC 9-21-8-59; (11)HE1129.1.4. –> SECTION 4. IC 9-21-8-59 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW SECTION TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2011]: Sec. 59. (a) A person may not use a telecommunications device to: (1) type a text message or an electronic mail message; (2) transmit a text message or an electronic mail message; or (3) read a text message or an electronic mail message; while operating a moving motor vehicle unless the device is used in conjunction with hands free or voice operated technology, or unless the device is used to call 911 to report a bona fide emergency. (b) A police officer may not confiscate a telecommuni-cations device for the purpose of determining compliance with this section or confiscate a telecommunications device and retain it as evidence pending trial for a violation of this section.

May is National Safety Council Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

May 12, 2011 – For Immediate Release, 5/1/2010 – Contact: Amy Williams, Communications Director, (630) 775-2307, amy.williams@nsc.org

Motorcyclists are much more vulnerable to crashes than other drivers. Many crashes occur because motorcycles are hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot. It is important that motorists always make a visual check for motorcyclists by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic.
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Throughout May, the National Safety Council will encourage motorists to share the road with motorcyclists and be extra alert when they are nearby.  Fatalities involving motorists and motorcyclists increased 131 percent between 1998 and 2008. The mileage death rate for motorcyclists in 2007 was 37 times greater than for passenger car occupants.  “Throughout spring and summer the number of motorcyclists on the road will increase. It is important for both motorists and motorcyclists to be aware of one another,” said David Teater, NSC senior director of Transportation Initiatives. “To better defend themselves, motorcyclists should follow the rules of the roadway and wear protective gear, including a Department of Transportation compliant helmet.”

NSC offers these tips for motorists and motorcyclists:
Allow greater following distance behind a motorcycle.
Be extra cautious in intersections. Most crashes occur when a motorist fails to see a motorcyclist and turns left in front of a motorcycle.
Give a motorcycle the full lane width – never try to share a lane.
Avoid riding in poor weather conditions.
Position motorcycle in lane where you will be out of a motorist’s blind spot.
Use turn signals for every turn or lane change.
• Illinois Joins Indiana with Law Requiring the Use of Seatbelts in the Backseat
May 6, 2011Categories: Litigation, Personal Injury Law,


• Supreme Court Allows Zicam Suit
March 23, 2011Categories: Litigation, Personal Injury Law,
Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Supreme Court allows suit against Zicam maker to proceed
Zach Zagger at 11:36 AM ET

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Tuesday ruled that a shareholder class action suit can continue against Matrixx Initiatives, the maker of Zicam Cold Remedy, for failure to disclose harmful side effects that were not statistically significant. The shareholders alleged that Matrixx failed to disclose reports of a possible link between the active ingredient in Zicam and loss of smell and that, in light of these reports, had made misleading statements to the public about Zicam’s possible side effects. The unanimous opinion by Justice Sonia Sotomayor in Matrixx Initiatives, Inc. v. Siracusano held that the respondents representing the shareholders had stated a claim under § 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Exchange Commission Rule 10b-5 for employment of a manipulative or deceptive device. These laws require that the shareholders allege that Matrixx intentionally disclosed material information to investors. Matrixx claimed that the link between Zicam and loss of smell was not material because it was not statistically significant. The Supreme Court did not agree with such a bright-line rule:
Although in many cases reasonable investors would not consider reports of adverse events to be material information, respondents have alleged facts plausibly suggesting that reasonable investors would have viewed these particular reports as material. Respondents have also alleged facts giving rise to a strong inference that Matrixx acted with the required state of mind.
The court reasoned that oftentimes medical experts and the Food and Drug Administration rely on less than statistically significant data to prove causation and that a reasonable investor may be inclined to do the same. Matrixx also argued that that the shareholders did not allege facts sufficient to prove the scienter requirement. However, the court held the shareholders met their burden because, assuming the alleged facts to be true, there was a cogent and compelling inference that Matrixx withheld disclosure to prevent harmful impacts on the marketing of Zicam.
The decision upholds the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruling in favor of the shareholders. Counsel for Matrixx had argued during oral argument that the reports do not establish any reliable facts about the drug and that a duty to report these results would unfairly affect the company. Matrixx claimed that, absent evidence that “the company has knowledge of facts establishing a reliable basis for inferring that the drug itself is the cause of the reported event,” neither the materiality nor scienter requirements of the securities laws were violated.

• Construction to make Indianapolis Interstates Safer
March 7, 2011Categories: Personal Injury Law,
(Indianapolis Star)
Think navigating I-465 during rush hour is tough now?
Wait until several construction projects get under way this spring along major bridges and interchanges over the interstate — part of the state’s busiest and most expensive construction season to date.
Highways and interstates can handle the traffic because of upgrades undertaken during the past several years, said Will Wingfield, spokesman for the Indiana Department of Transportation. He credits Major Moves, Gov. Mitch Daniels’ 10-year infrastructure plan that uses money from the $3.8 billion lease of the Indiana Toll Road.
“Significant capacity has been added to the highway network in Indiana over the past few years as a result of Major Moves,” Wingfield said. “Obviously, the interest is to make everyday travel and commuting safer and quicker.”
Perhaps the most visible work locally will be at I-465 and Keystone Avenue on the Far Northside — a key route to Downtown from Carmel — and at four interchanges on the Westside as part of the ongoing Accelerate 465 project.
But bridge and interchange work also is under way or planned along I-465 at Ind. 37/Harding Street and on the Northeastside at 75th Street, 82nd Street and Allisonville Road.
The work will limit options for motorists. With traffic snarled because of work on the Allisonville Road interchange, Michael Wallack detoured to Keystone last week to get to his job Downtown.
But now, work on Keystone is ramping up.
“I think the fastest way home soon will be through Evansville,” he joked.
On the Westside, work is continuing on a $423 million overhaul. Four of nine projects remain, including finishing the last three miles of an 11-mile lane expansion on I-465 from Kentucky Avenue to I-65. The interstate is being upgraded to five lanes from three in each direction.
Once scheduled to be completed in 2012, the work could finish ahead of schedule this year.
Aimed at improving traffic flow and modernizing interchanges, the work this year also includes modifying the I-465 interchanges with I-74, with U.S. 40, with U.S. 136 and with I-70 and Sam Jones Expressway. As with Keystone, interchanges will remain open throughout construction, but there will be periodic ramp closures.
“As one of the oldest remaining sections of I-465, the west side needed to be rebuilt and widened to accommodate future traffic,” Wingfield said.
On the Far Northside, Carmel resident Martha Gavit noticed last week that traffic was backed up more than usual when preliminary work at I-465 and Keystone began. She’s ready for longer delays as the restrictions and ramp closures begin to take effect.
But, saying the intersection hasn’t been too congested so far, the Lawrence Township Schools teacher doesn’t plan to find another way onto the interstate.
“Unless it gets really bad, there’s not another way that would be easier,” she said.
The $18.2 million project — to be finished by October — will reconfigure the ramp and traffic signal system to improve traffic flow. The state also will add one lane in each direction on Keystone — plus turn lanes — roughly between 96th and 98th streets.
And 96th will get a new traffic signal — though it might be short-term. The state has configured the Keystone work so it can be integrated into a future Carmel project.
As usual, Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard is thinking big. After failing to land federal stimulus money last year, he again is pursuing the funding to complete his roundabout-style corridor from the interstate through Carmel.
While work was completed on the $108 million project to turn six intersections into roundabout-style interchanges this year, stoplights remain at 96th and 98th streets.
The mayor’s proposal — estimated at $80 million — would include a roundabout-style interchange at 96th and Keystone, roundabouts along 96th east and west of Keystone, an access road from 96th to 98th, and a reconfiguration of the intersection at Keystone and 98th to remove the stoplight.
But with no funding in hand, there’s no timeline for the work. Still, pointing to a high number of accidents — 17 to 40 per year during the past five years — and commuting delays, Brainard is aggressively pursuing the project.
“We want to finish our part of Keystone in a similar style to the already completed intersections so that drivers do not have to stop for lights,” he said. “We also want to build a roundabout intersection at 96th and Keystone to further reduce the number of serious accidents that we currently have at that intersection.”
Follow Star reporter Chris Sikich on Twitter at twitter.com/ChrisSikich. Call him at (317) 444-6036.
• Supreme Court: Family Can Sue Mazda for Seat Belt Death
February 23, 2011Categories: Litigation, Personal Injury Law,
(AP) WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court will let Mazda be sued in California courts in case involving a woman who died while wearing a seat belt across her lap in her family’s minivan.
The high court in a unanimous judgment Wednesday agreed to let the lawsuit go forward, despite complaints from the car company that federal regulators gave it an option on whether to install lap belts or lap-and-shoulder belts in the middle seats in the back of the van.
Thanh Williamson’s family wants to sue Mazda Motor of America Inc. because it made its 1993 Mazda MPV minivan with only lap seat belts in the middle seat of the van’s second row. Williamson, who was from Utah, died in a 2002 accident; her family says her body jackknifed around the lap belt causing fatal internal injuries.
Federal regulations require lap-and-shoulder belts for the front seats and the rear outer seats but give companies an option on the rear middle or aisle seats. The Williamsons want a court to say that Mazda was negligent for not putting the lap-and-shoulder belts on the inner seats on its own.
But Mazda said it is immune from lawsuits because the federal government in 1989 gave it a choice of installing either lap or lap-and-shoulder seat belts in the middle rear seat. A lawsuit forcing them to use lap-and-shoulder belts, the company said, would invalidate the choice being offered by the regulation.
California state courts have agreed, throwing out the family’s lawsuit. They cited a 2000 Supreme Court decision that threw out lawsuits that tried to force car companies to install air bags in cars instead of other passive restraint devices.
But Justice Stephen Breyer, who wrote the majority judgment, said the only way that Mazda would be immune is if the “significant objective” of the federal regulation was to give auto manufacturers a choice of which seat belts to install.
The Transportation Department “gave no indication that its safety goals required the mixture of seatbelt types that resulted from manufacturers’ ability to choose different options,” said Justice Sonia Sotomayor in a concurring judgment.
Added Breyer: The more important reason why DOT did not require lap-and-shoulder belts for rear inner seats was that it thought that this requirement would not be cost-effective. The agency explained that it would be significantly more expensive for manufacturers to install lap-and shoulder belts in rear middle and aisle seats than in seats next to the car doors. But that fact — the fact that DOT made a negative judgment about cost effectiveness — cannot by itself show that DOT sought to forbid common law tort suits in which a judge or jury might reach a different conclusion.”
Justice Clarence Thomas agreed with the judgment, but said the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 made coming to that conclusion even easier.
“Congress has instructed that ‘compliance with a motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this chapter does not exempt a person from liability at common law,” Thomas said. “This saving clause ‘explicitly preserves state common-law actions.’ … According to Mazda, the Williamsons’ lawsuit alleging that it should have installed a lap-and-shoulder belt instead is pre-empted. That argument is foreclosed by the saving clause; The Williamsons’ state tort action is not pre-empted.”
Justice Elena Kagan did not participate in this case because she worked on it while serving as solicitor general.
The case is Williamson v. Mazda, 08-1314.
• James Goodin and Jon Abernathy Named 2011 Super Lawyers
February 15, 2011Categories: General Practice News,
Indianapolis – Goodin Abernathy LLP partners, James Goodin and Jon Abernathy, were once again named Indiana Super Lawyers for 2011.
• State Fire Marshall Issues Warning For Alternative Heat Sources
February 1, 2011Categories: Personal Injury Law,


• Indianapolis Attorney James Browne is elected 2011 Treasurer for La Plaza
January 24, 2011Categories: General Practice News,
Goodin Abernathy partner, Jim Browne, speaks fluent Spanish and is active in the Indianapolis Hispanic Community. We are proud to announce that Jim has been elected to serve as Treasurer for Indianapolis’ La Plaza organization. To learn more about La Plaza, and all of the great work they do for the Hispanic community in Central Indiana, visit http://www.laplaza-indy.org/index.php
• Food and Drug Administration Recalls Darvocet/Propoxyphene
December 23, 2010Categories: Litigation, Personal Injury Law,

• Government Outlaws Drop-Side Cribs
December 15, 2010Categories: Personal Injury Law,


• Karl Popowics Presents at “Top 10 Litigation Practice Tips for Young Lawyers.”
November 29, 2010Categories: General Practice News, Litigation,


• GA is Pleased to Announce and Welcome our New Associate Attorney, Andrew Janutolo
November 23, 2010Categories: General Practice News,
Andrew hails from Anderson, Indiana and is a recent graduate of Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis. Andrew’s primary focus will be litigation.
November 1, 2010Categories: General Practice News,

The Court of Appeals of Indiana has selected Margret G. Robb to succeed John G. Baker as the next Chief Judge of the Court. Chief Judge-Elect Robb’s three-year term of office will begin on January 1, 2011. Chief Judge-Elect Robb will be the first woman to serve as the leader of the Court of Appeals of Indiana.
Chief Judge-Elect Robb was appointed to the Court of Appeals of Indiana in July 1998. Prior to her appointment to the Court, Chief Judge-Elect Robb was, for 20 years, engaged in the general practice of law in Lafayette, and she served as a Chapter 11, 12 and a standing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy trustee for the Northern District of Indiana. Most recently, Chief Judge-Elect Robb has been selected as one of the 2010 recipients of the Indiana University Alumni Association President’s Award. To see Chief Judge-Elect Robb’s complete biography, visit http://www.in.gov/judiciary/appeals/bios/robb.html.
Chief Judge Baker, who has served as the Court’s Chief Judge since March 1, 2007 and chose not to seek another term, stated that he is “very confident that Chief Judge-Elect Robb will continue the tradition of the Court and will bring new enthusiasm to the position.” Chief Judge Baker will work together with Chief Judge-Elect Robb during the next two months until she takes over the mantle of Chief Judge on January 1.
The Court of Appeals of Indiana is the state’s second-highest court and hears appeals from the state’s trial courts. The 15 judges on the Court of Appeals issue more than 2,500 written opinions each year, sitting in three-judge panels. For more information about the Court of Appeals, visit www.in.gov/judiciary/appeals.

• GA Golfs
October 28, 2010Categories: General Practice News,
Goodin Abernathy recently held its annual retreat and golf outing at the Plum Creek Golf and Country Club in Carmel, IN. For more photos click here.
• Jim Browne featured in La Plaza video
October 18, 2010Categories: General Practice News,
Jim Browne, is featured in this informational video highlighting La Plaza’s involvment in the Central Indiana Latino Community. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8L_CeorH3k
• Indiana Supreme Court Prevents Attorneys From Immediately Contacting Accident Victims
October 18, 2010Categories: Personal Injury Law,
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 15, 2010 Contact: Kathryn Dolan 317.234.4722 INDIANA SUPREME COURT PREVENTS ATTORNEYS FROM IMMEDIATELY CONTACTING ACCIDENT VICTIMS The Indiana Supreme Court amended attorney conduct rules to prevent lawyers from contacting accident victims immediately after an accident, which is an already difficult time for victims and their families. Changes to the Rules of Professional Conduct include a provision prohibiting solicitation in personal injury or wrongful death cases within 30 days of an accident or disaster. Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard signed the order amending the Rules of Professional Conduct October 14th at an Indiana State Bar Association (ISBA) event. The ISBA Special Committee on Lawyer Advertizing Rules made recommendations to the Court regarding potential changes to the Rules of Professional Conduct. At the Court�s request, the Court�s Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure reviewed the proposed amendments, published them for comment and after further deliberations made its report to the Court. The changes to the Rules of Professional Conduct can be read in entirety athttp://courts.in.gov/orders/rule-amendments/2010/prof-conduct-1014.pdfBrief.ly, the changes include an amendment to Rule 7.3(b)(3). This provision prohibits attorneys from making in-person, written or electronic solicitations in cases involving personal injury or wrongful death within 30 days of an accident or disaster. The order states, �This restriction is reasonably required by the sensitized state of the potential clients, who may be either injured or grieving over the loss of a family member, and the abuses that experience has shown exist in this type of solicitation.� The Court also implemented changes to more directly follow the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct. The rules are reorganized to more closely group together provisions associated with attorney communication in general and provisions specifically dealing with attorney advertising efforts. The Court made the final determination on the rule changes which are effective January 1, 2011. The Court hopes that these changes will assist citizens in obtaining information necessary to make informed choices regarding legal services. Chief Justice Shepard explained, �Indiana is fortunate the overwhelming majority of attorneys act in a reasonable and honorable manner. These rule changes are designed to ensure that practice continues.� Attorneys who do not follow the Rules of Professional Conduct can be charged with misconduct. The Indiana Supreme Court has final authority over attorney discipline. To obtain information on an attorney�s status with the Court visit courts.in.gov/citizens. A section titled, �look up an attorney�s status with the bar� allows visitors to learn whether an attorney has been disciplined by the Court.
• 2 overnight crashes send 6 to the hospital
October 14, 2010Categories: Personal Injury Law,


• National Fire Prevention Week
October 7, 2010Categories: Personal Injury Law,
October 3-9 marks National Fire Prevention Week. Take a moment to replace the batteries in your smoke alarms or to replace old alarms with new ones. A house or apartment fire can have devastating consequences. Please do what you can to avoid a catastrophe.