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Opinions April 4, 2011

April 4, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Billy L. Hicks
09-3608
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Criminal. Vacates conviction of knowingly distributing more than 50 grams of crack cocaine. The District Court improperly allowed evidence of Hicks' prior drug convictions in violation of Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b). Remands for a new trial.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Meridian Title Corporation v. Gainer Group, LLC
46A03-1006-PL-312
Civil plenary. Reverses denial of Meridian Title Corp.’s motion for summary judgment in Gainer Group's suit based upon Meridian’s alleged failure to properly handle Gainer Group's claim, seeking to recover the litigation expenses and attorney fees it incurred prior to Lawyers Title’s acceptance of its claim. Meridian had an extended duty to advise Gainer Group regarding coverage, and it fulfilled that duty.

Robert Arnold v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1008-CR-510
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class A felony child molesting.

Michael L. Spencer v. State of Indiana (NFP)
35A04-1009-CR-601
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class A felony dealing in a schedule I, II, or III controlled substance.

Edwin Blinn, Jr. v. Robert Hammerle and Hammerle & Cleary (NFP)
49A02-1006-CT-634
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Hammerle on Blinn’s claims of malpractice and unjust enrichment. Judge May dissents.

Athena Jackson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1006-CR-767
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of B.F., et al.; E.C.F. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)

71A03-1008-JT-608
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Elkhart General Hospital v. Doris Williams (NFP)
20A05-1007-CT-467
Civil tort. Affirms order denying Elkhart General Hospital’s motion to correct error after a jury trial resulted in a verdict in favor of Williams, individually and as the administratrix of the estate of Ben Williams Sr.

Larry E. Webb Construction, et al. v. Theresa Burns (NFP)
45A04-1011-PL-685
Civil plenary. Reverses summary judgment in favor of Burns’ claim under the Indiana Wage Payment Act and awarding her nearly $7,000 in damages. Remands with instructions to enter an order granting summary judgment in favor of Eclipse and proceed to trial regarding the claims against Webb Construction and, following trial, recalculate the amount of attorney fees, if any, to which Burns is entitled.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

The Indiana Supreme Court granted one transfer and denied 16 for the week ending April 1.
 

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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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