ILNews

Supreme Court takes 3 cases

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The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer to three cases, dismissed one and declined 16 cases for the week ending Oct. 21.

In John R. Berry IV v. State of Indiana, No.49A04-1008-CR-536, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed John Berry’s conviction of Class A felony attempted murder and remanded with instructions to find Berry not guilty by reason of insanity and for further proceedings as required by the Indiana Code. The appellate court looked at whether a person’s mental disease brought on by years of drinking could support an insanity defense. The judges concluded Berry’s psychosis was a mental defect under the law.

In Michael J. Lock v. State of Indiana, No. 35A04-1010-CR-641, Michael Lock appealed his conviction of Class D felony operating a motor vehicle while privileges are suspended. He contended the state failed to prove his 2009 Yamaha Zuma was a motor vehicle, and the appellate court agreed, reversing his conviction. The COA was split in reversing Lock’s conviction, with Judge John Baker dissenting.

The justices also accepted Otha S. Hamilton v. State of Indiana, No. 49S02-1110-CR-621 and released an opinion on the case Oct. 19.

The justices voted 3-2 to dismiss Warren L. Williams, et al. v. David Orentlicher, et al., No. 49A02-1003-PL-249, in which the COA had held that the trial court properly denied Warren Williams’ and David Frankel’s motion to compel arbitration. The appellate court ruled that the two former leaders in the Indiana State Teachers Association – who served as trustees for a legally separate insurance trust – can’t force the trust’s governing board to adhere to arbitration clauses outlined in their ISTA employment contracts. Judge James Kirsch dissented because he believed Williams’ and Frankel’s respective ISTA responsibilities were an integral foundation for what they did as ex officio members for the trust.

Justices Frank Sullivan and Robert Rucker voted to deny petition to transfer, rather than dismiss.
 

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  2. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  3. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  4. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  5. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

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