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Opinions April 21, 2011

April 21, 2011
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Indiana Supreme Court
Tom George, et al. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association
94S00-1010-CQ-544
Certified question. The NCAA’s ticket-allocation process for championship sporting events – only refunding the face value and not a handling fee to unsuccessful applicants – is not an illegal lottery under Indiana law because no prize was awarded to those applicants who received the opportunity to purchase tickets. Where an event coordinator creates the primary market for event tickets, the fair-market value of the tickets is equal to their face value and there is no “prize.”  

Bradley J. Love v. Robert Rehfus, et al.
30S01-1004-CV-162
Civil. Reverses in whole the order granting summary judgment for the defendants and remands for proceedings consistent with the opinion. The email that firefighter Love sent was constitutionally protected speech under the test set forth in Pickering and its progeny, and there are genuine issues of material fact that must be resolved in order to determine whether the township is liable for the fire chief’s actions. Fire Chief Rehfus fired Love because he believed the private email – which supported a political candidate – contained false statements of fact.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Rebecca D. Kays v. State of Indiana
42A05-1007-CR-504
Criminal. Reverses order Kays pay restitution as part of her probation for Class B misdemeanor battery. The trial court didn’t adequately inquire into her ability to pay or the manner in which she was to pay. On remand, the trial court should revisit the documentation, if it exists, submitted as to the victim’s damages and determine whether the amount of restitution ordered reflects the amount actually paid by the victim.

Michael L. Alexander v. State of Indiana
71A04-1006-CR-372
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony operating a motor vehicle after a lifetime suspension of driving privileges. Police inspection of BMV records doesn’t implicate the Fourth Amendment, so the police stop of Alexander based on the information in his driver’s record was permissible.

Charles R. Bilyeu v. Frani Bilyeu (NFP)
06A05-1006-DR-356
Domestic relation. Reverses order that Charles Bilyeu pay the attorney fees of his wife upon the dissolution of their marriage. Remands with instructions.

Scott F. Carbary v. Shawn Miller d/b/a SignificantCars.com (NFP)
49A02-1005-PL-582
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Shawn Miller on Miller’s suit to collect a commission. Awards Miller appellate attorney fees and remands for determination of the appellate attorney fees award.

A.C., et al., Alleged to be C.H.I.N.S.; D.B. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
49A05-1002-JC-154
Juvenile. Grants rehearing to clarify why In Re M.R. is distinguishable, directs the juvenile court to amend the participation degree, and affirms original opinion in all other respects.

Stephen C. Wood v. State of Indiana (NFP)
28A01-1009-CR-515
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class B felony conspiracy to commit dealing in methamphetamine.

S.T.S. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
47A05-1009-JV-558
Juvenile. Affirms finding S.T.S. is a juvenile delinquent for committing what would be Class C felony burglary if committed by an adult.

Travis S. Chandler v. State of Indiana (NFP)
28A04-1009-CR-574
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class D felony battery on a law enforcement officer resulting in bodily injury and one count of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement.

Eric A. Simmons v. State of Indiana (NFP)
65A01-1008-CR-389
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. The child support award is many times what the custodial parent earns, and exceeds the actual costs of providing for the children's needs. My fiance and I have agreed that if we divorce, that the children will be provided for using a shared checking account like this one(http://www.mediate.com/articles/if_they_can_do_parenting_plans.cfm) to avoid the hidden alimony in Indiana's child support guidelines.

  2. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  3. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  4. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

  5. Agreed on 4th Amendment call - that was just bad policing that resulted in dismissal for repeat offender. What kind of parent names their boy "Kriston"?

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