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Opinions Aug. 17, 2012

August 17, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Amerisure Insurance Co. v. National Surety Corp. v. Scottsdale Insurance Co.
11-2762, 11-2771
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Affirms breakdown that Amerisure, Scottsdale, and National are liable for $1 million, $1 million and $900,000, respectively, of the $2.9 million settlement a steel worker won after injuring himself on the job. Declines to apply the ‘mend-the-hold’ doctrine in this case, and Amerisure and National were not prejudiced by Scottsdale’s litigation conduct.

Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals

Bryan J. Fields v. State of Indiana
20A04-1202-CR-57
Criminal. Affirms trial court denial of Fields’ request to reduce his Class D felony conviction of operating a vehicle while intoxicated to a Class A misdemeanor. In light of Brunner v. State and the plain language used by the Legislature, I.C. 35-38-1-17 does not grant the trial court the authority to reduce a felony conviction to a misdemeanor.  

John Willis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1112-CR-654
Criminal. Affirms trial court decision to not inform jury about Willis’ mental health issues to explain his behavior during voir dire.
 
Ronald Williams v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1110-CR-616
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to correct erroneous sentence.

Darrell Hall v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1201-CR-5
Criminal. Remands for correction of the abstract of judgment to reflect that Hall was convicted of Class B misdemeanor battery.

Steven C. Lane v. Brandy D. Rosenquist and Hermann Ventures, LLC d/b/a Seasons Homecare (NFP)
43A03-1111-CT-534
Civil tort. Affirms denial of motion to correct error and exclusion of evidence regarding health insurance.

Mark Van Eaton and Cynthia Van Eaton Vallimont v. German American Bancorp (NFP)
42A01-1111-MF-535
Mortgage foreclosure. Reverses order granting German American Bancorp’s motion to sell real estate. Remands for further proceedings.
 

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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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