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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. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  2. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  3. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  4. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  5. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

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