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Court grants 5 transfers, denies 1

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The Indiana Supreme Court has agreed to take five cases, but declined to hear a judicial review case involving a transfer tax.

Justices denied transfer of LHT Capital LLC v. Indiana Horse Racing Commission, et al., No. 49A02-0712-CV-1149. The Indiana Court of Appeals had decided the case in August and denied rehearing later last year, affirming a decision of Marion Superior Judge Gerald Zore's dismissal of the complaint in favor of the state commission on grounds that LHT didn't exhaust all its administrative remedies when it challenged the commission's rules and regulations.

The case stems from an emergency rule that led to a $9 million fee as part of a deal to sell off a minority interest in Indiana Downs horse racing track in Shelbyville. After lawmakers allowed slot machines at the horse racing casinos in 2007, the Indiana Horse Racing Commission, which reviews slot machine licensing, adopted an emergency rule allowing it to impose ownership transfer fees. The commission imposed a $9 million fee on LHT, and the company paid the fee in order to move ahead with the minority ownership transfer before a Nov. 1, 2007, deadline to pay a license fee to add slot machines. But the company objected to the validity of the emergency rule and subsequent fee, which it claimed was a "transfer tax" and wasn't authorized by legislators. The company ultimately sought judicial review, but the judiciary decided the company hadn't exhausted all the administrative options.

The cases that did get transferred included a suit filed by parents against manufacturers of a measuring cup for medicine after their son died from an overdose, and one challenging a trial court's decision to exclude the results of a breathalyzer test because it showed the wrong time of day.

- Jim Kovach v. Caligor Midwest, et al., 49A04-0707-CV-406. Two petitions were granted in this case filed by Jim and Jill Kovach following the death of their 9-year-old son from asphyxia due to an opiate overdose. The Kovachs alleged the nurse using a measuring cup manufactured by the defendants gave their son more than the recommended dosage. The Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment with respect to the parents' action of implied warrant of fitness for a particular purpose under the Uniform Commercial Code and that the trial court didn't abuse its discretion by admitting testimony of an expert witness who is a pharmacist. It reversed the grant of summary judgment to all the defendants with respect to the Kovachs' arguments under the Product Liability Act and the implied warranty of merchantability under the UCC. Chief Judge John Baker dissented, believing the Kovachs failed to show that the nurse's actions were the result of a measuring error.

- State of Indiana v. Jason Cioch, No. 79A05-0804-CR-218. The Court of Appeals affirmed the suppression of evidence of Jason Cioch's breathalyzer test because the printout contained the incorrect time of day due to the switch to Daylight Saving Time. The person who administered the test noticed the discrepancy, and the arresting officer noted it in his incident report, but the appellate court found the state failed to meet its burden of establishing a foundation for admitting the evidence. The statutes and regulations regarding the administration of the breath test and the admissibility of its results don't expressly contemplate the use of outside evidence to supplement the evidence ticket.

- Anita Inlow v. Jason Inlow, No. 29A02-0712-CV-1039. The appellate court upheld the trial court's approval of money received in a wrongful death suit to be used to reimburse the deceased man's estate for funeral and burial expenses. Anita Inlow, the widow who paid for those expenses and received reimbursement from the estate, argued the wrongful death award wasn't itemized to include a portion for funeral expenses so the estate shouldn't be reimbursed. Judge Melissa May dissented, writing the statute specifically addressing wrongful death awards should control.

- R.Y. (mother) v. Marion County Department of Child Services, No. 49A02-0804-JV-394. The Court of Appeals affirmed the termination of R.Y.'s parental rights to her son. It found the Department of Child Services proved by clear and convincing evidence a reasonable probability R.Y. hadn't resolved the condition that resulted in her son's removal and termination of parental rights was in her son's best interest. The Court of Appeals also affirmed she failed to show DCS didn't make reasonable efforts for her son's return and that her son is a CHINS because R.Y. is incarcerated and failed to make arrangements for his care.

- Elizabeth Thomas v. Blackford County Area Board of Zoning Appeals, No. 05A04-0711-CV-731. The appellate court reversed the dismissal of Elizabeth Thomas' petition for writ of certiorari from the Blackford County BZA and remanded to afford the parties an opportunity to complete their presentation of evidence and to render a decision on the merits. The Court of Appeals found the evidence of the case established an issue of fact as to whether Thomas will suffer unpleasant odors and loss of property value if a confined feeding operation goes in a half mile from her property.

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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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