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Opinions Dec. 18, 2013

December 18, 2013
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Ralph Stockton v. Falls Auctioneers and Realtors and Peggy Buck as Trustee of the Peggy Buck Trust
18A05-1304-CT-160
Civil tort. Reverses summary judgment in favor of Peggy Buck as trustee of the Peggy Buck Trust on Stockon’s negligence suit. There are questions of fact regarding whether Stockton’s fall was caused in part by the length of the grass and whether Buck controlled the length of the grass. It cannot be said as a matter of law that Buck owed no duty to Stockton and Buck was not entitled to summary judgment on this basis. Remands for further proceedings.

Mark S. Weinberger, M.D. v. Estate of Phyllis R. Barnes, Deceased, By Peggy Hood as Personal Representative, Joe Clinkenbeard, P.A., et al.
45A04-1107-CT-369
Civil tort. Dismisses appeal, finding I.C. 34-51-3-6 does not allow the state to intervene in otherwise private litigation, ostensibly to protect its interest in a punitive damage award.

Local 1963 of the United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, UAW v. Madison County, Indiana, Madison County Assessor, and Madison County Recorder
27A05-1301-CC-40
Civil collection. Affirms summary judgment in favor of the Madison County defendants because as a matter of law, the county commissioners and county council had no authority to execute a collective bargaining agreement with UAW interfering with the independence of the assessor and recorder in appointing and discharging their deputies and employees.

George A. Nunley v. State of Indiana
10A04-1212-CR-630
Criminal. Grants petition for rehearing and affirms original opinion in all respects. Judge Riley would deny the petition for rehearing. Dismisses state’s argument that the proper remedy for a late-filed amendment would have been for the court to remand for proceedings on an habitual offender sentence enhancement rather than the reversal that the COA ordered.

Paul J. Coy v. State of Indiana
48A02-1301-CR-65
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony reckless homicide and two counts of Class D felony criminal recklessness. Finds that the trial court properly declined to give a lesser-included instruction, there was not a fatal variation in the charging information, the trial court did not abuse its discretion by considering aggravators and failing to consider or give proper weight to mitigators, and Coy’s sentence is appropriate in light of the nature of the offenses and his character.

In Re the Matter of the Paternity of T.L.T.: State of Indiana, as Child's Next Friend ex rel. (NFP)
71A04-1305-JP-214
Juvenile. Reverses grant of father’s motion to set aside the default judgment of paternity entered against him.

Willie Gates v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1304-CR-359
Criminal. Affirms conviction and sentence for Class D felony attempted obstruction of justice.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: E.B., K.B., T.B., and M.J., (Minor Children) and J.W., (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
10A05-1303-JT-108
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Masoud Azimi on behalf of Amir Mansour Azimi, Deceased v. Clarian Health Partners d/b/a Methodist Hospital, Kyle Yancey, M.D., Steve S. Shin, M.D., David M. Kaehr, M.D., et al (NFP)
49A04-1304-CT-179
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of the health care providers on Azimi’s medical malpractice complaint.

Timothy J. Fugate v. State of Indiana (NFP)
16A01-1306-CR-262
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and orders Fugate serve five years of the originally imposed eight-year suspended sentence.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of : B.M.B. and B.A.B., Minor Children, R.B., Father v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
21A01-1304-JT-188
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Frederick M. Dial v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A05-1301-CR-15
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine and Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance.

Thomas Dillman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
53A01-1303-CR-112
Criminal. Affirms eight-year sentence for Class C felony failure to return to the scene of an accident resulting in death. Reverses order that court costs and a public-defender fee be paid from Dillman’s cash bond.

Lynda Rollins v. Graycor Construction Company, Inc., Graycor Industrial Constructors, Inc., Graycor Industrial Constructors, LLC, Graycor Construction Company, LLC, and Graycor, Inc. (NFP)
64A03-1307-CT-273
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Graycor Construction Co. Inc. in a personal injury negligence action brought by Rollins.

Guy Ivester v. State of Indiana (NFP)
33A04-1209-PC-491
Post conviction. Grants petition for rehearing and affirms original opinion in all respects, which held Ivester was not denied the effective assistance of his trial counsel, that he entered his guilty plea voluntarily, that his claims of prosecutorial misconduct and trial court abuse of discretion are unavailable, and that there was no abuse by the post-conviction court.

Andre Moton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
84A01-1305-CR-220
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class A felony robbery and Class B felony attempted carjacking.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of L.N.C. and L.G.C.; J.T. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
49A02-1305-JT-415
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: P.K. (Minor Child) and D.K. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
28A01-1306-JT-260
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Christopher L. Aders v. State of Indiana (NFP)
62A05-1305-CR-212
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion for dismissal under Ind. Criminal Rule 4(C).

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no decisions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana opinions by IL deadline.
 

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  1. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  2. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  3. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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