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Opinions April 16, 2013

April 16, 2013
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The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decisions were handed down after IL deadline Monday:

United States of America v. Ronald Zitt and Joshua Wampler
12-1277, 12-2865
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Rudy Lozano.
Criminal. In a consolidated appeal, affirms denial of Zitt’s motion for a mistrial. The District Court properly exercised its discretion in denying the motion. Dismisses Wampler’s appeal. Wampler pleaded guilty to two drug charges. Wampler waived his right to appeal as a condition of his agreement. Grants his counsel’s motion to withdraw and denies Wampler’s motion for substitute counsel.

Torray Stitts v. Bill Wilson, superintendent, Indiana State Prison
12-2255
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Larry J. McKinney.
Civil. Reverses denial of petition for writ of habeas corpus. Remands to the District Court to resolve the actual extent of trial counsel’s alibi investigation. If the District Court finds that the trial counsel performed no further investigation, then it should grant Stitts’ habeas petition. If the court finds that trial counsel did more, then it must determine de novo whether that investigation was reasonable under Strickland.

Tuesday’s opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Renee S. Majors v. General Electric Co.
12-2893
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Larry J. McKinney.
Civil. Affirms grant of summary judgment on Majors’ claims that GE violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when it denied her positions and that GE retaliated against her for filing EEOC charges of discrimination.

Robert Leimkuehler, as trustee of and on behalf of the Leimkuehler Inc. Profit Sharing Plan, and on behalf of all others similarly situated v. American United Life Insurance Co.
12-1081, 12-1213, & 12-2536
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson.
Civil. Affirms ruling that American United Life Insurance Co. was not a fiduciary of the Leimkuehler Inc. Profit Sharing Plan with respect to AUL’s revenue-sharing practices. Although very little about the mutual fund industry or the management of 401(k) plans can plausibly be described as transparent, agrees that AUL is not acting as a fiduciary for purposes of 29 U.S.C. § 1002(21)(A) when it makes decisions about, or engages in, revenue sharing. Finds it unnecessary to express any view on the question whether revenue sharing yields net benefits to individual 401(k) investors.

Indiana Court of Appeals
David Arnett v. Julia Arnett (NFP)
http://media.ibj.com/Lawyer/websites/opinions/index.php?pdf=2013/april/04161301par.pdf  
32A01-1208-DR-383
Domestic relation. Affirms dissolution of marriage.

Enrique Perez v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1208-CR-419
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony robbery.

Herman P. Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1207-PC-606
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

David Delong v. Kim Delong (NFP)
43A03-1206-DR-299
Domestic relation. Affirms custody order, reverses order on support and regarding a parenting coordinator and remands for further proceedings.

Harold M. Bacchus, Jr. v. Fazia Deen-Bacchus (NFP)
02A03-1203-DR-119
Domestic relation. Affirms in part and reverses in part order finding the net worth of the marital property to be $1,405,763, and giving wife 55 percent and husband 45 percent. Remands with instructions.  

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no decisions by IL deadline.
 

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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