Opinions Nov. 30, 2012

November 30, 2012
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Indiana Supreme Court
State of Indiana Ex Rel., Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission v. Derek A. Farmer
Attorney discipline. Rejected petition to enjoin unauthorized practice of law, holding that the Disciplinary Commission failed to prove that Farmer had engaged in the unauthorized practice of law, and failed to convince the court that Farmer could not have reasonably expected to be authorized for temporary admission due to a pending disciplinary proceeding.

Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of the Adoption of Minor Children: C.B.M. and C.R.M.: C.A.B. v. J.D.M. and K.L.M.
Adoption. Reverses trial court’s denial of birth mother’s petition to set aside the adoption decree and remands for further proceedings, finding that the state’s consent to the adoption of C.B.M. and C.R.M. was arbitrary and capricious and in derogation of the birth mother’s procedural due process right to a meaningful appeal of the termination order, which was overturned prior to the grant of the adoption decree.

Peabody Energy Corp., Peabody Coal Co., LLC, and Black Beauty Coal Co. v. Richard F. Roark and Beelman Truck Co., and North American Capacity Ins. Co.
Civil Tort. Affirms its opinion in all regards to reverse a trial court’s grant of summary judgment to North American Capacity Insurance Co. In its petition for a rehearing, NAC argued the opinion did not explain if it had a duty to indemnify or only a duty to defend. The COA rejected the argument on the grounds it was not raised on appeal.  

Steven Hook, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony battery with a deadly weapon.

Erich Wilhelmi v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction and sentence for three years in prison with two executed for a conviction of Class D felony failure to return to the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury.

In Re: 2009 Marion County Tax Sale Parcel No. 1019054; Darryl W. Finkton, Sr. v. Auditor of Marion County, Treasurer of Marion County, and Indy-East Asset Development Corp. (NFP)
Miscellaneous/tax sale. Affirms reissuance of tax deed to auditor.

Danny G. Young v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms concurrent sentence of six years for a conviction of Class C felony forgery and two years each for convictions of Class D felony counts of receiving stolen property and fraud.

Jose Carlos Arce v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post-conviction relief. Affirms in part, reverses in part and remands to the trial court for a hearing on Arce’s claim of ineffective assistance of counsel.

Siraj Khaja Ahmed v. Asma Saman Ahmed (NFP)
Domestic relations/divorce. Affirms trial court denial of Siraj’s motion to correct error and its grant of Asma’s motion to dismiss.  
Alberto R. Melendez Cruz v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of murder.


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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.