Opinions Oct. 30, 2012

October 30, 2012
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Indiana Supreme Court
Lisa J. Kane v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class D felony receiving stolen property and remands for retrial. The trial court improperly instructed the jury on the mental state required to convict Kane.

Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of the Estate of Nathaniel Kappel v. William Kappel, Judith Kappel, and Mark Kappel
Estate, supervised. Affirms denial of the estate’s recovery of insurance proceeds, directive that William and Mark Kappel withdraw their claims against the estate, and the denial of the complaint for contribution. Also affirms denial of the request the estate pay William, Judith and Mark Kappel’s attorney fees. The probate court’s judgment is not clearly erroneous based on the evidence.

Boulder Acquisition Corp. (n/k/a Affiliated Computer Services, LLC), et al. v. Unemployment Insurance Appeals of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development
Agency appeal. Reverses liability administrative law judge’s decision to combine BAC’s unemployment experience account with all its subsidiaries’ accounts and in recalculating BAC and the subsidiaries’ contribution rates. BAC is not a successor employer to the subsidiaries under I.C. 22-4-10-6(a) or 22-4-11.5-7. Remands to the Department of Workforce Development to adjust their respective experience accounts accordingly and to refund any overpayment by BAC and/or the subsidiaries.

Mark Carter and John E. Carter, Co-Personal Rep. of the Estate of John O. Carter, M.D., Deceased v. Loretta Robinson, Individually and as Admin. of the Estate of John E. Robinson, Deceased
Civil tort. Affirms $550,000 verdict in favor of Loretta Robinson, individually and as administratix of the estate of John E. Robinson, deceased, following John Robinson’s complaint for medical malpractice. Concludes Dr. James Bryant’s expert opinion is based on a proper use of the differential etiology methodology, that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it excluded Dr. Michael Kaufman as a witness in support of Carter. Denies Robinson’s request for attorney fees.

Indiana Gas Company, Inc. and Southern Indiana Gas and Electric Company, et al. v. Indiana Finance Authority and Indiana Gasification, LLC
Agency appeal. Reverses approval by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission of a substitute natural gas purchase and sale agreement between the Indiana Finance Authority and Indiana Gasification. The utilities and industrial group’s claims are justiciable, the commission did not exceed its jurisdiction when it approved the contract, and the contract’s definition of retail end use customer inappropriately included industrial transportation customers even though the Legislature did not intend for these customers to be subject to the Substitute Natural Gas Act as retail end use customers. Chief Judge Robb concurs in part and dissents in part.

Kevin Reaves v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony burglary and Class D felony theft.

In the Matter of the Revocable Trust of Mary Ruth Moeder (NFP)
Trust. Affirms order modifying the trust agreement.

Thomas R. Clements v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms denial of verified petition for permission to file a belated notice of appeal.

State of Indiana v. Christopher Holloway (NFP)
Criminal. Reverses revision of Holloway’s sentence and remands with instructions to reinstate the original sentence.

Demetriese Gunn v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony neglect of a dependent and Class D felony strangulation.


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.