Opinions

Opinions July 5, 2012

July 5, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Nipponkoa Insurance Company, Ltd. v. Atlas Van Lines Inc.
3:09-CV-168
Civil plenary/contract. Reverses the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana’s summary judgment for defendant and remands for further proceedings, finding summary judgment inappropriate pending further determination of the relationship between plaintiffs, defendant and ancillary parties involved in a shipping loss.  
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Opinions July 3, 2012

July 3, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
In Re: The Matter of the Paternity of S.C.: K.C. (Appellant), and C.C. (Appellee), and B.H. (Appellee-Intervenor)
30A01-1107-JP-322
Juvenile paternity. Reaffirms original opinion affirming Hancock Circuit Court’s ruling vacating a finding of paternity for C.C. because another paternity action on behalf of B.H. was pending in Fayette Circuit. The decision grants rehearing in Hancock Circuit, finding that mother, S.C., did not inform the Hancock court of B.H’s pending paternity proceeding.
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Opinions July 2, 2012

July 2, 2012
Indiana Supreme Court
Annette (Oliver) Hirsch v. Roger Lee Oliver
29S02-1109-DR-530
Domestic relations/emancipation. Affirms the trial court ruling that father Roger Lee Oliver is not obligated to contribute to his daughter’s post-secondary expenses and remands to the trial court to determine the correct date of the daughter’s emancipation.
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Opinions June 29, 2012

June 29, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Zachary Medlock v. Trustees of Indiana University, et al.
11-3288
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Civil. Dismisses Medlock’s appeal of the denial of his request for a preliminary injunction to prevent the enforcement of a one-year suspension from the school. The appeal is moot because the 7th Circuit cannot grant any effectual relief.

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Opinions June 28, 2012

June 28, 2012
7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
Robert Jones v. C&D Technologies, Inc.
1:10-cv-696
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment for C&D Technologies, Inc. granted by U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, upholding that Jones was not entitled to benefits from the Family and Medical Leave Act because he did not receive treatment during his absence.
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Opinions June 27, 2012

June 27, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
A.B., a child by his next friend, Linda Kehoe v. Housing Authority of South Bend
11-2581
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Chief Judge Philip P. Simon.
Civil. Dismisses appeal of the order denying A.B.’s motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent the housing authority from pursuing the eviction in state court. Since A.B. has already been evicted, the appeal is moot.
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Opinions June 26, 2012

June 26, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Gwen E. Morgal-Henrich v. David Brian Henrich
46A05-1111-DR-645
Domestic relation. Affirms the trial court did not abuse its discretion by applying the equal division presumption in dividing the marital assets. Reverses trial court’s use of $390 per week as David Henrich’s weekly gross income for purposes of calculating child support. Remands for a recalculation and recommends the trial court uses an income averaging calculation due to his fluctuating income.
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Opinions June 25, 2012

June 25, 2012
Indiana Supreme Court
Sharon Gill, on her own behalf and on behalf of the Estate of Gale Gill v. Evansville Sheet Metal Works, Inc.

49S05-1111-CV-672
Civil. Reverses trial court ruling for defendant that Gill did not bring her claim within the time Indiana law requires for a claim arising from the construction of an “improvement to real property.” There is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Evansville Sheet Metal Works’ work constituted an “improvement to real property” as that phrase is commonly understood.
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Opinions June 22, 2012

June 22, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Rafael Bocanegra v. State of Indiana
20A03-1108-CR-361
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony forgery. Holds that potential injury remains a sufficient basis for a finding of criminal intent in a forgery prosecution. Remands for vacation of his identity deception conviction. Senior Judge Sullivan dissents.
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Opinions June 21, 2012

June 21, 2012
Indiana Supreme Court
Indiana Department of Revenue v. United Parcel Service, Inc.
49S10-1107-TA-417
Tax. Reverses Tax Court’s grant of summary judgment to UPS and denial of the department of revenue’s motion as to whether UPS was exempt from the adjusted gross income tax. None of the summary judgment materials presented to the Tax Court and Supreme Court establishes that during the years in question UPINSCO and UPS Re were doing business within the state of Indiana. Because this is a necessary condition in order to be “subject to” the premium tax, UPS failed in its burden of establishing that it is entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law.
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Opinions June 20, 2012

June 20, 2012
Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of: Douglas W. Patterson
82S00-1111-DI-662
Discipline. Disbars Patterson for committing three counts of Class D felony theft of client funds and for engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.
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Opinions June 19, 2012

June 19, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Alan Patrick McEntee v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
75A03-1106-MF-277
Mortgage foreclosure. Reverses summary judgment in favor of Wells Fargo and remands to the trial court, holding that the court erred because Wells Fargo failed to establish there was no material fact that McEntee had defaulted; and that Wells Fargo failed to establish the absence of a genuine issue of material fact as to McEntee’s affirmative defense. 
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Opinions June 18, 2012

June 18, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Joseph Agnew v. NCAA
United States District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson.
11-3066
Civil. Affirms District Court’s dismissal of lawsuit against the NCAA, holding plaintiffs failed to show that the NCAA’s policies limiting athletic scholarships violate the Sherman Act, because the case does not present for discussion the existence of a student athlete labor market.
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Opinions June 15, 2012

June 15, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
David Ashabranner v. Sandy Wilkins, f/k/a Ashabranner
22A01-1109-DR-411
Domestic relations. Affirms in part and remands in part. Affirms the trial court’s denial of emancipation of a child and remands for recalculation of child support payments, adjusting to include payment from the mother as well as the father.
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Opinions June 14, 2012

June 14, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
In Re the Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of: C.V., O.V., and J.V. and G.J. v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
10A01-1111-JT-516
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.
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Opinions June 13, 2012

June 13, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Cristofer Tichenor
11-2433
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker
Criminal. Affirms 300-month sentence following guilty plea to armed robbery and discharging a firearm in connection with robbing a bank. Rejects Tichenor’s argument that the career offender sentencing guideline is unconstitutionally vague, finding that the guidelines are not susceptible to vagueness challenges and the U.S. Sentencing Commission did not exceed its authority by promulgating the “crime of violence” definition.
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Opinions June 12, 2012

June 12, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Svetlana Arizanovska v. Wal-Mart Stores, Incorporated
11-3387
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Chief Judge Richard L. Young.
Civil. Affirms District Court’s finding of summary judgment against Arizanovska on her claims of discrimination, retaliation and other state-law claims against her employer, Wal-Mart. Holds that Wal-Mart’s suggestion that Arizanovska take an unpaid leave of absence was outlined in company policy and was not an adverse, retaliatory response to her filing a discrimination claim.
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Opinions June 11, 2012

June 11, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
IP of A West 86th Street 1, LLC, et al., v. Morgan Stanley Worldwide Capital Holdings, LLC
11-2891
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Affirms District Court’s summary judgment in favor of Morgan Stanley, holding that the company was entitled to structure the sale of a loan as it wished and that the company did not err in allowing a purchaser to use escrow funds to finance the sale.
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Opinions June 8, 2012

June 8, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Kenneth Harper v. C.R. England, Incorporated
11-2975
U. S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Magistrate Judge Paul R. Cherry.
Civil. Affirms District Court’s determination that Harper failed to set forth a prima facie case, under either the direct or indirect method of proof, to support his claim that C.R. England had retaliated against him for reporting what he believed to be unlawful racial discrimination. Holds that his record shows excessive absences were the cause for his termination.
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Opinions June 7, 2012

June 7, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
A.R.M. v. State of Indiana
71A05-1111-JV-613
Juvenile. Affirms juvenile court’s adjudication of A.R.M. as a delinquent child for committing child molesting, as a Class C felony when committed by an adult, and battery, as a Class B misdemeanor when committed by an adult. Holds that the court did not err in admitting the child victim’s videotaped testimony.
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Opinions June 6, 2012

June 6, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Keith D. Jackson v. State of Indiana
20A03-1105-CR-222
Criminal. Reverses sentence for possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and remands for resentencing, holding the trial court erred by imposing a suspended sentence of four years contrary to the accepted plea agreement.
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Opinions June 5, 2012

June 5, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
Kevin C. O'Connell v. State of Indiana
18A02-1109-CR-889
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s decision to refuse O’Connell’s tendered jury instructions that the word “voluntary” be included with each of his charges. Holds that other instructions covered the substance of the tendered instructions.
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Opinions June 4, 2012

June 4, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals
R. Bruce Wallace v. Alliance Environmental, Inc. and Ruth Brown (NFP)

49A04-1111-CC-665
Civil collection. Affirms trial court’s recalculation of damages to Brown for Wallace’s breach of fiduciary duty.
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Opinions June 1, 2012

June 1, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Michael Sheneman
11-3161
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Jon E. DeGuilio.
Criminal. Affirms convictions and sentence for four counts of wire fraud in a two-year mortgage fraud scheme. Holds that Sheneman’s sentence enhancements were justified, due to the sophisticated means used to execute the fraud.
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Opinions May 31, 2012

May 31, 2012
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Aaron M. Davis, Bobby Suggs, et al.
11-1313, 11-1323, et al.
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge James T. Moody.
Criminal. In consolidated appeal, affirms denial of the six defendants’ motion to reduce their sentences pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 3582(c)(2) based on the retroactive crack cocaine amendments to the United States Sentencing Guidelines. The District Court did not have the power to adjudicate Suggs’ motion and lacked subject-matter jurisdiction. There is sufficient evidence for the District Court to conclude the other defendants were responsible for at least 4.5 kilograms of crack cocaine, which would prevent their sentences from being reduced.
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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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