Opinions

Opinions Sept. 7, 2010

September 7, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
David Hatter, et al. v. Pierce Manufacturing, Inc.
49A02-0907-CV-659
Civil. Affirms jury trial and verdict in favor of Pierce Manufacturing in the Hatters’ product liability action. Hatter failed to exhaust one of his peremptory challenges and has not shown both of his challenges for cause were improperly denied. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in the giving of jury instructions or in excluding evidence and did not err by denying Hatter’s partial motion for judgment on the evidence.
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Opinions Sept. 3, 2010

September 3, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Trent L. Chapin v. Fort-Rohr Motors Inc.
09-1347
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Civil. Reverses denial of Fort-Rohr’s motion for judgment as a matter of law after a jury found in Chapin’s favor in his retaliation suit. Fort-Rohr was entitled to judgment as a matter of law because Chapin did not produce sufficient evidence to support an actual or constructive discharge.

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Opinions Sept. 2, 2010

September 2, 2010

Indiana Court of Appeals
Conwell Construction v. Abbey Road Development, LLC, et al. (NFP)
49A05-0912-CV-741
Civil. Affirms trial court grant of permission to amend its counterclaim to assert a claim for actual damages.

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Opinions Aug. 31, 2010

August 31, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Hayes Lemmerz International, Inc. v. ACE American Insurance Co.
10-1073
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Chief Judge Philip P. Simon.
Civil. Affirms dismissal of diversity suit against insurer. ACE had no duty to provide Hayes Lemmerz International’s lawyers with legal advice and didn’t breach its duty to defend by failing to advise HLI that its law firm wasn’t defending the suit properly.
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Opinions Aug. 30, 2010

August 30, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Jennifer K. Howard
09-3840
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Criminal. Affirms convictions of wire fraud and mail fraud. Holds that even if an indictment names particular victims, the government need not prove intent to harm those named victims. The government proved that Howard intended to defraud the scheme’s victims, and such intent was established by examining the circumstances of the scheme, not by who was specifically named in the indictment.
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Opinions Aug. 27, 2010

August 27, 2010

Indiana Court of Appeals
Brian S. Adcock v. State of Indiana
47A01-0912-CR-591
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class A felony child molesting, two counts of Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor, and finding that Adcock is a repeat sexual offender. The trial court didn’t err in permitting the prosecutor to analogize the standard of proof to a jigsaw puzzle during voir dire or in allowing the state to amend the repeat sexual offender notice.

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Opinions Aug. 26, 2010

August 26, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
John M. Stephenson v. Bill Wilson, Superintendent of Indiana State Prison
09-2924
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Civil. Stephenson failed to carry his burden of proving prejudice, even on the premise that his counsel should have objected to the stun belt. The question of prejudice from Stephenson being required to wear the stun belt at the penalty hearing will require further consideration of the District Court on remand.
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Opinions Aug. 25, 2010

August 25, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Jorge Quintero, a/k/a Samuel Munoz, and Claudia Andrade Martinez
09-2715, 09-2788
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judges Rudy Lozano and James T. Moody.
Criminal. Dismisses Quintero’s appeal of his sentence after pleading guilty to charges related to a bank robbery and unlawful entering on waiver grounds. Affirms Martinez’s conviction and sentence for bank robbery and unlawfully remaining in the U.S. The jury instructions given at Martinez’s trial regarding aiding and abetting were correct statements of the law.
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Opinions Aug. 24, 2010

August 24, 2010

Indiana Court of Appeals
Monty Rader v. State of Indiana
49A02-0907-CR-691
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress. The IP address used to log in to the monty20064 account was, on the dates in question, assigned to Rader’s home in Greencastle. Rejects Rader’s request that the court follow the precedent of the New Jersey Supreme Court and ignore the holding of the Indiana Supreme Court with regard to the issuance of investigatory subpoenas to third parties.

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Opinions Aug. 23, 2010

August 23, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Arthur Balls v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1001-CR-12
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class C felony battery and finding Balls is a habitual offender.
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Opinions Aug. 20, 2010

August 20, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Torrey Bauer, David Certo, and Indiana Right to Life, Inc. v. Randall T. Shepard, et al.
09-2963
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division. Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Civil. Affirms District court’s ruling that the state’s judicial canons are constitutional regarding whether judges can make public statements regarding controversial issues. The opinion recognizes a split among Circuits throughout the country on the issue. Also finds that a portion of the challenge involving the pre-2009 conduct code is unripe, rather than moot as the District court had found.

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Opinions Aug. 19, 2010

August 19, 2010

Indiana Court of Appeals
Kari Heyser, et al. v. Noble Roman's, Inc., et al.
29A04-1002-PL-71
Civil plenary. Affirms partial summary judgment for Noble Roman’s Inc. and other defendants on Heyser and other franchisees’ claim for constructive fraud. The admission by the franchisees’ attorney that their fraud claims against the banks were based solely on allegedly fraudulent representations by Noble Roman’s, with whom the banks allegedly acted in conspiracy; and the franchisees were alleging actual fraud, not constructive fraud.

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Opinions Aug. 18, 2010

August 18, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Anna LaFaive, also known as Phyllis Click
09-2344
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for two counts of bank fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft. 18 U.S.C. Section1028A criminalizes the use of both a living or deceased person’s identification. The District Court did not plainly err in calculating or imposing her sentence.

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Opinions Aug. 17, 2010

August 17, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Cullen Davis Walker v. State of Indiana
71A03-1003-CR-115
Criminal. Affirms Walker’s convictions of burglary, robbery, criminal confinement – all as Class B felonies, and possession of cocaine as a Class C felony. Also affirms his sentence of 56 years. Walker argued his burglary and criminal confinement convictions should be vacated pursuant to the continuing crime doctrine because his offenses of were all part of the same continuing crime since they occurred in a short period of time and facilitated his sole purpose of taking things from people at one house. The court ruled each offense was a distinct chargeable crime. Remands with instructions to correct clerical errors in the amended judgment and chronological case summary.
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Opinions Aug. 16, 2010

August 16, 2010

Indiana Court of Appeals
Gail M. Flatow and Flatow Comer, LLP v. Dwane Ingalls
49A02-0910-CV-994
Civil. Reverses denial of Flatow and Flatow Comer’s motion for summary judgment in Ingalls’ suit for legal malpractice. There is no designated evidence in the malpractice litigation to show the result of Ingalls’ partial motion for summary judgment would have been any different had a reply been filed. As a matter of law, the Flatow defendants had no duty to provide the services Ingalls claims they were negligent in failing to provide.

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Opinions Aug. 13, 2010

August 13, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Barbara J. Castile v. Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
09-3917
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge David Hamilton.
Civil. Affirms denial of Castile’s numerous claims for obtaining disability insurance and disability widow’s benefits. There was substantial evidence to support the administrative law judge’s conclusion that Castile’s chronic fatigue syndrome didn’t render her disabled. The ALJ thoroughly examined the evidence and articulated his findings and the District Court didn’t err in upholding the ALJ’s credibility determinations.

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Opinions Aug. 12, 2010

August 12, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Frank McAllister v. Jerry L. Price, in his individual capacity
10-1213
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Joseph S. Van Bokkelen.
Civil. Affirms denial of summary judgment for police officer Price, who claimed qualified immunity. There are genuine issues of material fact about whether Price violated McAllister’s clearly established constitutional rights. McAllister alleges that Price violated his Fourth Amendment rights by using excessive force to remove McAllister from his car after suffering a diabetic episode that resulted in the crash.

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Opinions Aug. 11, 2010

August 11, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Eddie Lamar Carlisle
10-1173

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge William C. Lee.
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress. Carlisle didn’t have a privacy interest in the bag he was carrying, which contained drugs and paraphernalia, when police came to the house during a drug sweep. The officers had reasonable suspicion to believe that criminal activity was occurring and that Carlisle was armed and dangerous, thereby making the initial stop proper.
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Opinions Aug. 10, 2010

August 10, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Jermarcus Robinson
09-3955
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Criminal. Affirms conviction of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine. The District Court correctly refused to suppress the cocaine police officers pulled from Robinson’s buttocks after a traffic stop. The officer wasn’t satisfied with his initial effort to pat down Robinson and was justified to return to finish the job within the bounds outlined in Terry.

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Opinions Aug. 9, 2010

August 9, 2010

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association Inc., et al. v. Mayflower Transit, LLC
08-1673
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Affirms judgment with respect to a chargeback for the cost of insurance not being a sale of insurance. Rules the period of limitations for suits under Section 14704(a)(2) is four years, not two. Remands for further proceedings that may be required by the ruling on the limitations issue.

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Opinions Aug. 6, 2010

August 6, 2010

Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana v. Jeffrey Brunner
57A04-1003-CR-121
Criminal. Reverses and remands with instructions trial court’s October 2009 order modifying Brunner’s August 2000 conviction from a Class D felony to a Class A misdemeanor. The parties raised two issues for review.

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Opinions Aug. 5, 2010

August 5, 2010
7th Circuit Court of Appeals

United States of America v. Adam Williams
09-3174
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge James T. Moody.
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for illegal possession of a firearm as a felon and various drug distribution offenses. Williams couldn’t satisfy his burden under either prong of the Strickland standard, so the District Court’s refusal to investigate further his perceived problems with his attorney is a harmless abuse of discretion. Because Williams was convicted of a violent felony, his claim that Section 922(g)(1) unconstitutionally infringes on his right to possess a firearm is without merit.

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Opinions Aug. 4, 2010

August 4, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
Wells Fargo Insurance v. Bruce A. Land

48A02-0911-CV-1099
Civil. Affirms Land is entitled to commission on all of his 2005 crop-year policies. By Feb. 2, 2006, the date of Land’s resignation, the sales had been consummated, and his right to the 2005 crop-year commissions had fully accrued, subject only to receipt of the premium payments.
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Opinions Aug. 3, 2010

August 3, 2010
Indiana Court of Appeals
F.B. Boushehry v. City of Indianapolis, et al.
49A05-1002-PL-55
Civil. Affirms trial court’s grant of summary judgment in the city’s favor because Boushehry’s claim did not meet the Indiana Tort Claims Act notice requirement.
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Opinions Aug. 2, 2010

August 2, 2010

Indiana Court of Appeals
David Hopper v. State of Indiana (NFP)
31A01-1003-PC-89
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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