Opinions April 29, 2014

April 29, 2014
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Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of: Karl N. Truman
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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)
Domestic relation. Affirms order requiring Damon Wallace pay child support and arrearage.

Ronald A. Manley v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)

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)
Juvenile. Affirms the termination of parental rights.

Mark D. Webb v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Calumet Township Trustee v. Edward R. Hall (NFP)
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)
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)
Criminal. Affirms revocation of placement in community corrections and probation.
In re the Marriage of Laura Hyatt v. Charles Hyatt (NFP)
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)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Derrick A. Hicks v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
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)
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)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Warren D. Bowen v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
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. 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.