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Opinions April 29, 2014

April 29, 2014
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Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of: Karl N. Truman
10S00-1401-DI-55
Attorney discipline. Issues a public reprimand for violation of Indiana Professional Conduct Rule 5.6(a) by making an employment agreement that restricted the rights of a former associate to practice after termination of the employment relationship. The court also accepted the parties’ stipulation that Truman violated Rule 1.4(b), failure to explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit client to make informed decisions regarding representation.

Martin Meehan v. State of Indiana
71S04-1308-CR-535
Criminal. Affirms Martin Meehan’s conviction of Class C felony burglary that was challenged on the sufficiency of evidence underlying the conviction, chiefly a glove found at the scene that contained Meehan’s DNA. The court held the jury had before it substantial evidence of probative value from which it could have reasonably inferred that Meehan was guilty of burglary beyond a reasonable doubt.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Jamal Ahmad Gore v. State of Indiana
45A03-1305-CR-163
Criminal. Affirms finding that Gore was guilty but mentally ill – instead of not guilty by reason of insanity – of murder and Class C felony battery. Gore has not shown that the evidence is without conflict and leads only to the conclusion that he was insane when the crime was committed.

J.K. v. State of Indiana
66A03-1306-JS-220
Juvenile. Reverses adjudication of J.K. as a delinquent based on acts of illegal possession of alcohol, illegal consumption of alcohol, and aiding illegal consumption of alcohol. The officers’ entry onto J.K.’s curtilage, their lengthy knock and talk, and eventual residential entry were unreasonable searches under the Fourth Amendment. Senior Judge Shepard dissents.

Jeremiah D. Wilkes v. State of Indiana
32A01-1303-CR-120
Criminal. Affirms two convictions of Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor. No fundamental error occurred from the admission of hearsay testimony that was merely cumulative of the victim’s own testimony, and the vouching testimony was harmless in light of the weight of the evidence in the record. Even when considering all that evidence cumulatively, no fundamental error occurred.

State of Indiana v. David Lott Hardy
49A02-1309-CR-756
Criminal. Affirms dismissal of four counts of Class D felony official misconduct against Hardy, former chairman of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing charges which the Supreme Court has interpreted to require resting upon criminal behavior related to the performance of official duties.

Tyler J. Veerkamp v. State of Indiana
16A01-1310-CR-439
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress evidence. Holds that a law enforcement officer has probable cause that Indiana Code 9-19-8-5 has been violated when fumes or smoke emanating from the engine or power mechanism of a motor vehicle completely obscure a motorist’s view of a portion of the vehicle being followed.

D.D. v. D.P.
49A02-1311-DR-1004
Domestic relation. Affirms denial of stepfather D.D.’s petition to adopt two minor children from his wife’s first marriage. The trial court did not err by finding that “Mother hampered and thwarted Father’s attempts to communicate with the children.” Father demonstrated justifiable cause for not initiating direct communication with the children, who were both under the age of 2 when their parents divorced.

Damon L. Wallace v. Audra C. Wallace (NFP)
29A05-1308-DR-421
Domestic relation. Affirms order requiring Damon Wallace pay child support and arrearage.

Ronald A. Manley v. State of Indiana (NFP)
29A05-1306-CR-306
Criminal. Dismisses appeal of the denial of the pro se motion for modification of sentence.

In re the Adoption of E.M., a minor, R.G. v. R.M. (NFP)

45A04-1309-AD-438
Adoption. Affirms denial of stepfather’s petition to adopt E.M.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of C.W., minor child, and L.W., Mother, L.W. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
79A04-1310-JT-510
Juvenile. Affirms the termination of parental rights.

Mark D. Webb v. State of Indiana (NFP)
03A01-1308-CR-349
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor domestic battery.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: N.H., A.I-H and P.I-H., Minor Children, A.I-H., Father v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
79A02-1310-JT-901
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Calumet Township Trustee v. Edward R. Hall (NFP)
45A03-1305-CC-197
Civil collection. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Hall on his mandamus action seeking to order the trustee to pay Hall for the work he performed as an attorney for the Calumet Township Advisory Board. Remands for a determination of reasonable attorney fees for Hall in both the prosecution of the mandamus and this appeal.  

William P. Montgomery v. State of Indiana (NFP)
18A02-1309-CR-825
Criminal. Affirms two convictions of Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine and one conviction of Class B felony dealing in meth.

Willie Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1308-CR-726
Criminal. Affirms revocation of placement in community corrections and probation.
 
In re the Marriage of Laura Hyatt v. Charles Hyatt (NFP)
87A04-1309-DR-454
Domestic relation. Affirms denial of Laura Hyatt’s petition for visitation modification and finding her to be in contempt.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: P.C., J.W., and K.W., Minor Children, S.C., Mother v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
42A01-1307-JT-319
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Derrick A. Hicks v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1307-CR-265
Criminal. Affirms 70-year sentence following guilty plea to Class A felony child molesting, Class B felony incest, Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor, and finding he is a habitual offender.

Landon Shaw v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A04-1303-CR-100
Criminal. Dismisses Shaw's appeal of he denial of his motion for jail credit and good-time allowance. 

Cary Lane Lawson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A02-1311-CR-990
Criminal. Affirms order Lawson serve the remainder of his suspended sentence after violating probation.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of L.W., J.W., M.T., L.P., C.L.Q., and C.Q. minor children, and L.W., Mother, L.W. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
79A02-1308-JT-721
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Warren D. Bowen v. State of Indiana (NFP)
16A05-1309-CR-456
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress evidence.

In the Matter of the Termination of Parent-Child Relationship of Mi.S. & M.W. (Minor Children), and M.S. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
49A05-1306-JT-282
Juvenile. Grants mother’s petition for rehearing for the sole purpose of granting her motion to strike Footnote 4 on Page 3 of the DCS’ appellate brief and the DCS’ citation to the “Child Welfare Manual” that was not considered in the resolution of her appeal. Affirms in all other respects.

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