Justices take 4 cases on transfer

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The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to four cases last week, including a case that divided the Indiana Court of Appeals over whether a drunken driving retrial was double jeopardy.

In Jeffrey A. Cleary v. State of Indiana, 45S03-1404-CR-295, a split Court of Appeals panel upheld Jeffrey Cleary’s Class B felony conviction for driving while intoxicated and his 14-year sentence handed down after a second trial. In the first trial, Cleary was convicted of misdemeanor driving while intoxicated charges but the jury deadlocked on the felony OWI causing death count. Cleary moved for a directed verdict, the trial judge ordered a new trial.

On appeal, Cleary argued that the retrial violated his double-jeopardy protections, that a blood draw used to establish his blood-alcohol content was improper and shouldn’t have been admitted, and that his sentence was inappropriate.

The majority held that had judgment been entered on the lesser convictions after Cleary’s first trial, he would be barred from being retried. But judgment wasn’t entered. Judge Terry Crone dissented, writing the court should have entered judgment after the first trial.

In Ruben Rosales v. State of Indiana, 48S02-1404-CR-297, the Court of Appeals was divided on whether jury instruction was a harmless error or gave the jurors another base for finding Ruben Rosales guilty of attempted murder. At trial, the jury was instructed on the requirements for attempted murder as well as accomplice liability.

Crone dissented in this case, arguing the jury instruction was a fundamental error because only the final instructions to the jury mention accomplice liability, giving the jurors two distinct avenues for finding Rosales guilty.

In Old National Bancorp d/b/a Old National Trust Company, as Trustee of the Percy E. Goodrich Trust and the Hanover College Trust v. Hanover College, 68S05-1404-TR-296, the Court of Appeals dismissed Old National Bancorp’s appeal of the termination for two trusts for which it served as representative. The judges held the bank’s representative capacity was terminated once the trusts were terminated.

The justices also took Edward Lee Matthys v. State of Indiana (NFP), in which the appeals court affirmed the termination from a county re-entry court program and Matthys’ placement in the Department of Correction.

The justices declined transfer for 18 cases, including Rick Deeter v. Indiana Farmers Mutual Insurance Co., in which Rick Deeter sought to recover insurance proceeds after his wife intentionally burned down their home.



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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.