Opinions

Opinions Nov. 29, 2010

November 29, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
American Bank v. City of Menasha, et al.
10-1963
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Civil. Reverses judgment granting a stay requested by Menasha to give American Bank certain records available pursuant to Wisconsin’s Public Records Law. The bank, a plaintiff in a class-action suit charging the city violated federal securities law, requested the documents after the suit was filed. The stay is not a stay of a discovery order and can only be an injunction; only a stay of discovery is authorized by the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998.
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Opinions Nov. 24, 2010

November 24, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Samuel Neal, Delores Neal and Hometown Transmissions, Inc. v. William J. Cure, et al.
49A04-0908-CV-468
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for the Cures on the Neals’ claims of environmental contamination under the Environmental Legal Act, nuisance, trespass, and negligence. The designated evidence does not, in light of the Cures' lack of involvement in or knowledge of Masterwear’s actions, give rise to a genuine issue of material fact regarding the Cures' liability for nuisance, trespass, negligence, or an ELA violation.
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Opinions Nov. 23, 2010

November 23, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Nightingale Home Healthcare, Inc. v. Anodyne Therapy, LLC
10-2327
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker
Civil. Affirms the judgment of the District Court that granted Anodyne’s request for an award of attorneys’ fees in the amount of $72,747. The award was based on 15 U.S.C. § 1117(a), which allows attorneys’ fees to be awarded to prevailing parties in Lanham Act suits, but only in “exceptional cases.” Nightingale contended no award of attorneys’ fees was justified because the case was not “exceptional.” Also grants Anodyne’s motion for fees and costs pursuant to Rule 38 of the appellate rules. Dismisses as moot Anodyne’s motion to strike Nightingale’s brief and appendix.
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Opinions Nov. 22, 2010

November 22, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Levie S. Jackson v. State of Indiana
79A02-0912-CR-1230
Criminal. Affirms convictions of seven counts of Class C felony forgery, six counts of Class D felony theft, and finding Jackson is a habitual offender The trial court did not err in denying Jackson’s motion to sever. Because he did not present any explanation of how he was prejudiced by the timing of the additional charge, the trial court declined to reverse the habitual offender enhancement.
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Opinions Nov. 19, 2010

November 19, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Florence R. Lacy-McKinney v. Taylor Bean and Whitaker Mortgage Corp.
71A03-0912-CV-587
Civil. Reverses summary judgment in favor of Taylor Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. on its action to foreclose on Lacy-McKinney’s mortgage that was insured by the Federal Housing Administration. Views the affirmative defense of noncompliance with HUD regulations as the failure of the mortgagee to satisfy a HUD-imposed condition precedent to foreclosure. To hold otherwise would circumvent the public policy of HUD. Remands for further proceedings.
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Opinions Nov. 18, 2010

November 18, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
David N. Rain and Paramount International Inc. v. Rolls-Royce Corp.
10-1290
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Affirms partial summary judgment in favor of Rolls-Royce on Rain’s claim for breach of contract by breaching a non-disparagement provision in a settlement agreement after Rolls-Royce filed a Texas lawsuit involving Rain and Paramount. Affirms the judgment following a bench trial on breach of contract in favor of Rolls-Royce after Rolls-Royce asked Rain to leave an event.
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Opinions Nov. 17, 2010

November 17, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Rosalio Cruz-Rea and Zoyla Garcia-Rea
09-3591, 10-1355
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division, Chief Judge Richard L. Young.
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentences of Cruz-Rea for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, and convictions of and sentences for Garcia-Rea for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. The government didn’t abuse its discretion in determining that the government laid sufficient foundation for an officer’s voice identification testimony under Fed. Evid. Rule 901(b)(5). Affirms in all other respects.

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Opinions Nov. 16, 2010

November 16, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Kevin L. Hampton v. State of Indiana
84A04-1002-PC-122
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief. There was no error in omitting the requested sentence and appellate counsel did not fail to provide effective assistance.
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Opinions Nov. 15, 2010

November 15, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Lorenzo Tavarez
09-3879
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of distributing 50 grams or more methamphetamine. Tavarez failed to show that the confidential informant was available only to the government. The District Court therefore did not err by refusing the missing witness instruction. Concludes that the jury could reasonably reach its guilty verdict on the circumstantial evidence presented here.
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Opinions Nov. 12, 2010

November 12, 2010
Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of William J. Rawls
49S00-0908-DI-355
Discipline. Disbars Rawls for violating Indiana Professional Conduct Rules 1.2(a), 1.3, 1.4(a), 1.16(d), 8.1(a), 8.1(b), 8.4(b), and 8.4(c). Rawls has demonstrated a pattern of neglect of his clients' cases, resulting in adverse dispositions, suspension of one client's driver's license, a missed opportunity to settle, and undue delay.
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Opinions Nov. 11, 2010

November 11, 2010
The courts are closed today in observance of Veterans Day. 
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Opinions Nov. 10, 2010

November 10, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Scott D. Wells v. Herman Bud Bernitt, et al.
53A01-0910-CV-494
Civil. Affirms summary judgment in favor of the Bernitts on Wells’ claim against them for defamation because there was no admissible evidence before the court to establish actual malice, an element of defamation. Affirms summary judgment in favor of J.D. Maxwell and Travis Coryea as to Wells’ claim for negligent and intentional torts finding the evidence establishes the officers didn’t use excessive force. Affirms summary judgment for Wells on the Bernitts’ cross appeal alleging abuse of process.
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Opinions Nov. 9, 2010

November 9, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Anthony A. Parish v. State of Indiana
02A03-1002-CR-74
Criminal. Affirms Parish’s convictions of murder, Class B felony robbery, and Class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license, and his sentence to an aggregate term of 86 years of incarceration. On appeal, Parish claimed a protective search of a locked glove box during a traffic stop was constitutionally improper, and therefore evidence found during the search should have been suppressed. COA concluded the protective search was permissible under the Fourth Amendment.
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Opinions Nov. 8, 2010

November 8, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Timothy Cranston v. State of Indiana
29A02-1003-CR-374
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated with an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or greater. The admission of the Datamaster machine printed ticket stating his BAC without live testimony from the equipment technician didn’t violate Cranston’s Sixth Amendment right to confrontation.
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Opinions Nov. 5, 2010

November 5, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
S.A. v. Review Board
93A02-1004-EX-568
Civil. Affirms the Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development’s ruling that S.A.’s acceptance of an early retirement package made her ineligible to continue receiving unemployment benefits. S.A. left employment without good cause in connection with the work.
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Opinions Nov. 4, 2010

November 4, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
DBL Axel LLC v. Lasalle Bank National Association
15A01-1003-PL-205
Civil plenary. Affirms order directing immediate turnover of funds in favor of LaSalle Bank. The checks paid by the city of Lawrenceburg to DBL concerned the property in question and were within the scope of and subject to the receivership order, and DBL’s failure to include that money paid or otherwise notify the receiver of the settlement agreement was a violation of that order. Remands for the trial court to amend its order directing immediate turnover of funds and enter an order directing turnover in the amount of $1,365,500.
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Opinions Nov. 3, 2010

November 3, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
James K. Oberst v. State of Indiana
14A05-1003-PC-157
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief. Because Oberst gave his statement that he had sex with the victim to police in counsel’s presence before adversary criminal proceedings had been initiated, he had no Sixth Amendment right to counsel and therefore no right to the effective assistance of counsel.
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Opinions Nov. 2, 2010

November 2, 2010
The Indiana Supreme Court, Indiana Court of Appeals, and Indiana Tax Court were closed in observance of Election Day.
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Opinions Nov. 1, 2010

November 1, 2010

Indiana Court of Appeals
Michael J. Shepard v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A05-1002-CR-94
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony resisting law enforcement and Class C misdemeanor operating a vehicle with an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more

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Opinions Oct. 29, 2010

October 29, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
John Taele and Sarah Taele v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.
06A01-1004-CT-259
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of State Farm. The Taeles aren’t entitled to recover uninsured motorist benefits under their State Farm policy because they themselves were neither directly impacted nor directly physically injured by the accident that killed their daughter. Judge Crone dissents.
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Opinions Oct. 28, 2010

October 28, 2010

Indiana Court of Appeals
Robert D. Davis v. State of Indiana
32A01-1003-CR-144
Criminal. Affirms denial of Davis’ motion for leave to amend his motion to correct erroneous sentence. The information before the appellate court doesn’t allow it to decide whether he was erroneously sentenced. 
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Opinions Oct. 27, 2010

October 27, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
James L. Parkey v. Jason E. Sample
09-3966
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge William C. Lee
Civil. Affirms District Court’s grant of Indiana State Trooper Jason Sample’s motion for summary judgment, which found James Parkey, who sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, had not brought forth any evidence to demonstrate a lack of probable cause. Parkey claimed Sample had violated his rights under the Fourth Amendment by searching his home and seizing his property without probable cause. Suspecting Parkey had a marijuana grow operation, Sample did two trash pulls near Parkey’s residence where Sample found marijuana cigarettes and stems from marijuana plants, evidence he presented to a Lake County Superior magistrate, who issued a search warrant for Parkey’s home.
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Opinions Oct. 26, 2010

October 26, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Allstate Insurance Company v. Timothy Clancy, et al.
45A03-0910-CV-498
Civil. Reverses trial court’s order granting a motion to compel the production of documents. In its interlocutory appeal, Allstate Insurance Company raised the following issue: whether the trial court abused its discretion by compelling production of documents subject to the attorney-client privilege on the ground that Allstate has implicitly raised an advice of counsel defense, thereby waiving the attorney-client privilege.
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Opinions Oct. 25, 2010

October 25, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Alesa Pack v. Indiana Family and Social Services Administration
89A05-1004-PL-240
Civil plenary. Reverses denial of Medicaid benefits. The administrative law judge’s decision is defective for failing to consider the totality of the evidence provided and in its presentation of and engagement with the findings of basic fact when applying the law to reach a finding of ultimate fact that Pack’s health conditions didn’t substantially impair her ability to work. Remands to the ALJ for further proceedings.
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Opinions Oct. 22, 2010

October 22, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Belle City Amusements, Inc. v. Doorway Promotions, Inc.
35A05-0912-CV-711
Civil. Reverses award of damages for lost profits for the years 2010 through 2013 in the amount of $17,500 for each year to Doorway after Belle City cancelled its agreement with the company to provide rides and concessions for a festival. The damages were not a foreseeable consequence of the breach of the agreement between Belle City and Doorway and Indiana doesn’t allow for recovery for perceived loss of reputation or goodwill in an action for breach of contract. Affirms $24,000 award to Doorway for the 2009 rent of the Coliseum to house the festival. Remands for further proceedings.
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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