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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. Hmmmmm ..... How does the good doctor's spells work on tyrants and unelected bureacrats with nearly unchecked power employing in closed hearings employing ad hoc procedures? Just askin'. ... Happy independence day to any and all out there who are "free" ... Unlike me.

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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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