Opinions May 23, 2016

May 23, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Douglas Costella and Profit Search Inc. v. Gersh Zavodnik
Civil plenary. Reverses and remands summary judgment for Gersh Zavodnik for $30,044.07 after Court of Appeals ruled Zavodnik abused Trial Court Rule 36(B) which governs the withdrawal of admissions, using it for his own gain. Remands for trial court to determine whether case should be dismissed because of Trial Rule 41(E) which provides for dismissal when a plaintiff does not diligently prosecute a case or comply with court rules.

Opinions — May 20, 2016

May 20, 2016
Indiana Tax Court Miller Pipeline Corporation v. Indiana Department of State Revenue
49T10-1012-TA-00064. Tax. Remands six out of 11 issues Miller pipeline claimed after Miller appealed the Department of Revenue’s denial of Miller’s claim for refund of sales and use taxes remitted for the 2006 and 2007 tax years.

Opinions — May 18, 2016

May 19, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
In the matter of: Elton D. Johnson
Discipline. Disbars Johnson after he committed attorney misconduct by providing incompetent representation, converting client funds and failing to cooperate with the disciplinary process. Johnson violated 13 different Indiana Professional Conduct Rules as well as three Indiana Admission and Discipline Rules.

Opinions — May 18, 2016

May 18, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Joshua Schaaf v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Joshua Schaff’s convictions but reduces his sentence for two counts of dealing heroin. Finds sufficient evidence for his convictions even though he didn’t participate in one of the transactions and didn’t know he was near a park in the second. Reduces Schaff’s sentence from 15 years for the first count and 40 for the second count to 10 for the first count and 30 for the second, finding the sentence was too harsh. Judge Paul Mathias dissents in opposition to the sentence reduction in one-paragraph opinion.

Opinions — May 17, 2016

May 17, 2016
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Samaron Corp. D/B/A Troyer Products v. United of Omaha Life Insurance Company
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Judge Rudy Lozano.
Civil. Affirms United of Omaha does not have to pay Troyer Products after it mistakenly paid the wrong party a death benefit. Rules Troyer knew the money was going to the wrong party and let it happen anyway.

Opinions May 16, 2016

May 16, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals

BSA Construction LLC v Jimmie E. Johnson
Civil Tort. Affirms summary judgment for Jimmie Johnson after the Court of Appeals found Johnson did not owe BSA a duty of care after he appraised a property for less than the agreed-upon purchase price. Johnson cannot serve both the bank that hired him and BSA because of conflicting interests.


Opinions May 13, 2016

May 13, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
David Simons v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms David Simons’ 29-year aggregate sentence after court ruled even though trial court did notify Simons of his earliest and maximum possible release dates the error was harmless.

Opinions May 12, 2016

May 12, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Brandon T. Black v. State of Indiana
Post conviction. Denies Brandon Black’s petition for post-conviction relief as the COA found the failure of Black’s attorney to tell him about sentence maximums did not affect his decision to plead guilty to Class A felony neglect of a dependent.

Opinions May 11, 2016

May 11, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Korie M. Leslie v. Jeremy D. Farmer
Juvenile. Affirms father can have child’s last name changed to his paternal name. He was up-to-date on child support, has spent time with the child and been active in the child’s life. The name will serve as a reminder that the child has two parents who care.

Opinions May 10, 2016

May 10, 2016

Indiana Court of Appeals
Michael Pugh v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Michael Pugh’s convictions of two counts of rape, one count of attempted criminal deviate conduct, one count of robbery and one count of burglary as Class A felonies; one count of robbery and three counts of carjacking as Class B felonies; and one count of robbery as a Class C felony. Finds Pugh’s three convictions of robbery do not violate the single larceny rule and his two convictions of rape do not violate the continuing crime doctrine.


Opinions May 9, 2016

May 9, 2016
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Polycon Industries Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board
15-3675, 15-3859
NLRB. Enforces National Labor Relations Board order that Polycon Industries must sign a collective bargaining agreement with Teamsters Union Local 142. Polycon negotiated the agreement with the Teamsters, but then refused to sign it.


Opinions May 6, 2016

May 6, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Barbara Hill, individually and as guardian of Charles Hill, incapacitated, and as next friend of Alexandra Hill, a minor, et al. v. Erich E. Gephart, City of Indianapolis, et al.
Civil tort. Reverses summary judgment in favor of city of Indianapolis defendants on the Hills’ claim of negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress arising from Erich Gephart driving a jail transport vehicle that struck and injured Charles Hill. Remands for proceedings.

Opinions May 5, 2016

May 5, 2016
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. David A. Resnick
United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. James T. Moody, judge.
Criminal. Affirms David Resnick’s convictions of aggravated sexual abuse of a minor, interstate transportation of child pornography, brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Finds admission of Resnick’s refusal to take a polygraph test into evidence does not violate his Fifth Amendment rights, and the evidence was sufficient to uphold his firearm conviction. Judge Baurer dissents.

Opinions May 4, 2016

May 4, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Scott Schuck v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses decision and remands to trial court to determine amount of investigatory expenses law firm representing Schuck should get after COA found investigation was necessary even though Schuck pleaded guilty after trial began.

Opinions May 3, 2016

May 3, 2016
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Knauf Insulation, Inc. v Southern Brands, Inc. and Albert and Rosemary Dowd
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Affirms Southern Brands needs to pay more than $3.5 million to Knauf Insulation after SBI filed a counterclaim in a price-gouging suit too late to be considered.


Opinions May 2, 2016

May 2, 2016
Indiana Tax Court
The following opinion was issued after IL deadline Friday.
Hamilton Southeastern Utilities v Indiana State Department of Revenue

Tax. Grants summary judgment to Hamilton Southeastern on challenge that the company’s connection fees are not subject to utility rate tax. The company separated its fees from its taxable receipts on its return.


Opinions April 29, 2016

April 29, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
P & P Home Services, LLC v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development and Cynthia Hutcherson
Agency action. Reverses Department of Workforce Development Review Board determination that a former employee of P&P Home Services is eligible for unemployment benefits. Remands to the board for a determination of whether the worker’s employment relationship was voluntarily severed by the employee.

Opinions April 28, 2016

April 28, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
Kathy L. Siner, Personal Representative of the Estate of Geraldine A. Siner, Deceased, et al. v. Kindred Hospital Limited Partnership, d/b/a Kindred Hospital of Indianapolis, et al.
Civil tort. Reverses find of summary judgment for Kindred Hospital and Mohammed Majid after the Supreme Court found genuine issues of material fact in the case.

Opinions April 27, 2016

April 27, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
Ronald Sanford Jr. v. State of Indiana
Post conviction. Reverses trial court and Court of Appeals decisions and finds Ronald Sanford can file a belated notice of appeal of his sentence after he pleaded guilty to two counts of murder, among other charges, because of “unique circumstances.”

Opinions April 26, 2016

April 26, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
William Bowman v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony dealing in a narcotic drug within 1,000 feet of a school property and being a habitual substance offender. The evidence was sufficient to sustain William Bowman’s conviction despite a second baggie of evidence not being tested to prove it was heroin after a first bag of heroin was tested.

Opinions April 25, 2016

April 25, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Kelly E. Culver v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of Kelly Culver’s petition for post-conviction relief.

Opinions April 22, 2016

April 22, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Kennedy Tank & Mfg. Co., Inc.; and Hemlock Semiconductor Corp., and Hemlock Semiconductor, LLC v. Emmert Industrial Corporation, d/b/a Emmert International
Civil tort. Reverses denial of Kennedy Tank Manufacturing’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought against it by Emmert International. The Indiana statute of limitation the trial court relied on is preempted by a federal statute with a shorter limitations period, and Emmert did not bring the lawsuit within that period.

Opinions April 21, 2016

April 21, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
Adam Horton v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses Adam Horton’s conviction of Class D felony domestic battery after the court found Horton did not waive his right to jury trial on the charge. Remands for a new trial. The failure to confirm his person waiver before proceeding to a bench trial was fundamental error.

Opinions April 20, 2016

April 20, 2016
Indiana Court of Appeals
Eddie G. Love v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Remands Eddie Love’s petition for habeas corpus to Elkhart Circuit Court with instructions to dismiss because Love improperly field his petition without permission from the court.

Opinions April 19, 2016

April 19, 2016
Indiana Supreme Court
Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana, Energy Policy Institute, and Common Cause of Indiana v. Eric Koch, and Indiana House Republican Caucus
Civil plenary. Affirms dismissal of lawsuit seeking copies of Koch’s, and his staff’s, correspondence with various business organizations in relation to specific legislation. Holds whether the work product exception within the Indiana Access to Public Records Act applies to the Indiana General Assembly presents a non-justiciable question. Justice Rucker dissents in part with separate opinion.
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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.