Opinions April 14, 2011

April 14, 2011
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Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Diane Werner v. Gregory Werner

Domestic relation. Affirms order finding it would be in the children’s best interest for their father to be their primary physical custodian and awarding mother parenting time. Diane Werner waived her argument that the court used the wrong standard in determining whether to modify custody because she didn’t object at the custody hearing. The trial court’s findings are sufficient to support its judgment under the “best interests” standard. Judge Kirsch dissents.

Larry T. Bass v. State of Indiana

Criminal. Affirms convictions of and aggregate sentence of seven years with two years suspended for Class C felony child molesting and Class C felony attempted child molesting. Touching a child’s breasts or genitals isn’t required to sustain a child molesting conviction under I.C. Section 35-42-4-3(b). The trial court didn’t err by denying Bass’ motion for a directed verdict and he waived his claim of prosecutorial misconduct. There is no fundamental error on that issue.

Gloria Benefield v. State of Indiana
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief. Her trial counsel’s decision not to object to the testimony regarding Benefield’s knowledge as to whether she was a certified qualified medication aide or to Jury Instruction 6 on the definition of “defraud” wasn't ineffective assistance of trial counsel. Benefield fails to carry her burden to establish that her attorney’s failure to object to the jury instruction created prejudice sufficient to that required for a finding of ineffective assistance of trial counsel.

Warren Parks v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying Parks’ request to withdraw his guilty plea after he was sentenced for Class A misdemeanor check deception.

Judith Silverman and Morris Silverman v. Arden Johnson, et al. (NFP)

Civil plenary. Affirms judgment in favor of Johnson, Southern Companies Inc. and Southern Pediatrics LLC on the Silvermans’ complaint alleging, among other things, fraud, securities violations, theft, conspiracy, and breach of fiduciary duty.

Leonard J. Laraway v. Cathy A. (Laraway) Fisher (NFP)
Domestic relation. Vacates trial court order that found Leonard Laraway in arrears for child support and college expenses pursuant to a dissolution settlement agreement and in contempt for failure to make such payments. Remands with instructions to provide more specific findings on this issue or base the determination regarding Laraway’s salary and child support obligation on a signed and verified child support obligation worksheet.

Dennis Meadows v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Criminal. Affirms conviction of two counts of Class B felony burglary and one count of Class C felony burglary.

Paternity of T.B.; C.B. v. C.K. (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms order which increased father C.K.’s parenting time with T.B. on a set schedule without imposing any restrictions on that parenting time.

Otis Chandler v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post conviction relief.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.


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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.