Opinions April 4, 2011

April 4, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Billy L. Hicks
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
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)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class A felony child molesting.

Michael L. Spencer v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
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)
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)

Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Elkhart General Hospital v. Doris Williams (NFP)
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)
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. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.