Opinions April 18, 2013

April 18, 2013
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Johnnie C. Collins
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress evidence in drug case in which Collins entered a conditional plea of guilty to possession of crack with intent to distribute and possession of powder cocaine with intent to distribute.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Casey Walker v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony manufacturing methamphetamine and 30-year sentence. Walker has failed to establish that his mother was incompetent to give consent to search the residence. Moreover, there was undisputed testimony at trial that Walker’s wife gave verbal consent to search the residence, and Walker points to no evidence that he explicitly told the police that they could not enter his residence. Finds the police had consent to search the residence, and the trial court did not err by admitting the evidence.

TPUSA, Inc. v. Unemployment Insurance Appeals of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development
Agency action. Reverses the liability administrative law judge’s determination that TPUSA owes $125,666.33 to the Department of Workforce Development in unemployment insurance contributions, interest and penalties for 2010 when TPUSA had no employees in Indiana and paid no wages here. Holds that where an employer has ceased business operations in Indiana, no longer pays wages or has any employees in the state, and files accurate reports with the Department indicating such, this may be considered “reasonable cause,” as required by Indiana Code 22-4-11-4(b), so as to allow for an adjustment (i.e., reduction) in the amount of the estimated contribution. Remands for a $200 fine to be imposed.

William Wressell v. R.L. Turner Corporation
Civil plenary. Reverses summary judgment in favor of R.L. Turner Corp. on Wressell’s lawsuit claiming he was significantly underpaid for his work on two public works projects. RLTC is not entitled to attorney fees. The trial court abused its discretion in striking paragraphs 12-18 of Morrhead’s affidavit regarding fringe benefits. The designated evidence generates a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether some of Wressell’s work for RLTC was as a skilled carpenter or skilled laborer and on the question of payment of fringe benefits.

J.S. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication of Class D felony resisting law enforcement if committed by an adult.

Tory Simmers v. United Farm Family Mutual Insurance Company (NFP)
Civil tort. Affirms insurer is entitled to $5,000 set off and summary judgment.

Scott Miller v. State of Indiana (NFP)

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

Tyronne J. Noel v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor reckless driving for passing a stopped school bus.

Maximilian Spiegel v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony child molesting.

Mark Vickery v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor domestic battery.

Timothy J. Taylor v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Jane M. Burkart v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation for failure to pay restitution.

Maura Leonard v. David Leonard (NFP)
Domestic relation. Affirms property distribution order in dissolution of marriage. The trial court erred in awarding the vehicle to the parties’ adult child and $4,000 in cash should have been included in the marital estate, but those errors were harmless. Declines to set aside dissolution decree.

Jevante Lancaster v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and placement in Marion County Criminal Corrections.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no decisions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana opinions by IL deadline.


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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues