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Opinions May 7, 2014

May 7, 2014
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Indiana Supreme Court
Mayor Gregory Ballard v. Maggie Lewis, John Barth, and Vernon Brown
49S00-1311-PL-716
Civil plenary. Reverses partial summary judgment to Maggie Lewis, holding Mayor Greg Ballard is entitled to summary judgment on redistricting ordinance issue. Justices exercise judicial restraint and leave redistricting in the hands of the two branches of local government responsible for the task. Also reverses any order requiring Ballard to pay part of the cost of a master brought in on the issue.

In the Matter of: Christopher E. Haigh 
98S00-0608-DI-317
Discipline. Haigh engaged in conduct in contempt of the Supreme Court by violating the suspension order. He is disbarred effective immediately and must pay $1,000. Any further contempt will likely result in imprisonment.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Shane Beal and The Bar Plan Mutual Insurance Company v. Edwin Blinn, Jr.
27A03-1306-PL-235
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of Beal’s motion for summary judgment, which concluded that a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether Beal’s representation of Blinn Jr. in a federal criminal case constituted legal malpractice.

John Jacob Venters v. State of Indiana
79A02-1305-CR-481
Criminal. Reverses sentence for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, as a Class D felony, enhanced by the habitual substance offender statute. Remands with instructions to order Venters’ enhanced sentence to run concurrently with his previously enhanced sentences. The trial court erred in ordering the sentence at issue to be served consecutively to his previously entered sentences.

Rahsaan A. Johnson v. State of Indiana
18A02-1304-CR-343
Criminal. Affirms conviction of 14 counts of possession of animals for fighting contests, all as Class D felonies. There is sufficient evidence to support the convictions and they do not violate the double jeopardy clause of the Indiana Constitution.

Johnathon R. Aslinger v. State of Indiana (NFP)
35A02-1303-CR-296
Criminal. Grants rehearing for the limited purpose of ordering a retrial on Aslinger’s conviction for possession of paraphernalia. Affirms original opinion in all respects.

Ricky Allen Cox v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1308-CR-717
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class D felony theft and remands for a determination of the credit time to which Cox is entitled.  

J&W Construction, Inc. v. Duffy Tool & Stamping, LTD, LLC, et al. (NFP)
18A02-1309-CT-809
Civil tort. Affirms orders dismissing J&W’s motion for proceeding supplement and its motion to correct error.

Robert F. Petty v. State of Indiana (NFP)
72A05-1305-CR-237
Criminal. Affirms convictions of voluntary manslaughter, Class D felony removal of body from scene and Class D felony obstruction of justice.

Claude F. Hudson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
84A01-1305-CR-197
Criminal. Reverses denial of credit time and remands with instructions to award Hudson credit time from Oct. 15, 2012, to Dec. 27, 2012, when he was confined at a hospital.

Larry Fulbright v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1309-CR-789
Criminal. Reverses denial of petition to file a belated notice of appeal.

Indiana Tax Court
MedCo Health Solutions, Inc. v. Indiana Department of State Revenue
49T10-1105-TA-35
Tax. Grants the department’s Trial Rule 12(B)(6) motion to dismiss. Medco is not entitled to relief on two claims: that the court should order the department to pay a refund and that advisory letters should be binding in this matter.

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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