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Opinions Aug. 13, 2014

August 13, 2014
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The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
Indiana Supreme Court

Joshua Gomillia v. State of Indiana
49S02-1408-CR-521
Criminal. Affirms total executed sentence of 40 years imposed following a plea agreement to one count of Class A felony criminal deviate conduct and one count of Class B felony robbery. The nature and circumstances of the crime included the trial court’s discussion of the leadership role Gomillia played in the commission of the offenses, as well as the terror the victim suffered. Both are appropriate reasons justifying a sentence greater than the advisory term.

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Peabody Midwest Mining LLC, formerly doing business as Black Beauty Coal Co. v. Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, and Secretary of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration
13-1659
Review of order. Denies Peabody’s petition for review of the administrative law judge’s decision to uphold a citation for not having a protective mound along the outer bank of elevated roadways. Substantial evidence supports the commission’s determination that a bench – a ledged cut into the side of the pit – to and from the dragline constitutes a roadway, even during the dragline move, thus requiring the berms, or protective mounds; and the ALJ’s decision that the company violated regulations by failing to maintain a berm on two-tenths of a mile of the bench.

Wednesday’s opinions
Indiana Supreme Court

Douglas A. Guilmette v. State of Indiana
71S04-1310-CR-705
Criminal. Affirms denial of Guilmette’s motion to suppress DNA evidence found in blood on his shoe. Evidence properly seized by police may be examined and subjected to scientific testing without further warrant.

Indiana Court of Appeals
SCI Propane, LLC; South Central Indiana Rural Electric Membership Corporation; et al v. Courtney Frederick, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Stephen Frederick, deceased
55A04-1211-PL-586
Civil plenary. Affirms award of attorney fees to the estate because, although the General Wrongful Death Statute does not explicitly provide for the recovery of attorney fees, it does specify that damages are not limited to those enumerated in the statute. Finds the trial court abused its discretion in calculating the amount of the fees. Remands with the trial court to revise its award so that it is consistent with the contingency fee agreement between the estate and its counsel. Also finds the trial court did not err when it reduced its award of attorney fees according to fault allocation because its award was compensatory in nature and subject to the state’s Comparative Fault Act.

Joshua Frierson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A05-1312-CR-596
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony carrying a handgun without a license and Class D felony resisting law enforcement.

Maurice Hamler v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1312-CR-609
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement and Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

 

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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