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Opinions Aug. 7, 2012

August 7, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana opinions at IL deadline.

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

Indiana Court of Appeals

Warrick County, Indiana, A Political Subdivision, by and through its County Commissioners, Nova Conner, Don Williams, and Phillip Baxter, and Cincinnati Insurance Co. v. William Hill and Stacy Hill
87A01-1201-PL-8
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of summary judgment for Warrick County in an action brought against it and Cincinnati Insurance Co. by William and Stacy Hill. Agrees with trial court conclusion that the Hills filed their notice under the Indiana Tort Claims Act within 180 days and that the Hills did not discover the source of the damage to their home until 2007, so the claims are within the six-year statute of limitations on actions for injury to property other than personal property.

Matthew Manuel v. State of Indiana
49A02-1112-CR-1135
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony domestic battery following a bench trial. The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it did not allow Manuel to cross-examine his live-in girlfriend about a 2005 domestic battery charge or when it allowed the state to ask D.S. whether she had testified truthfully. The state produced sufficient evidence to support the conviction.

Dean V. Kruse Foundation, Inc., Dean Kruse and Kruse International v. Jerry W. Gates
59A05-1201-CT-37
Civil tort. Reverses judgment that the forfeiture provision in the purchase agreement between Kruse and Gates constituted a liquid damages clause. Finds the provision in this agreement indicates an intent to penalize the purchaser for a breach rather and an intent to compensate the seller in the event of a breach, which support interpreting it as a penalty rather than one providing for liquidated damages. Remands with instructions for the trial court to calculate the measure of damages as a result of Gates’ breach of contract.

James E. Corry and Gayle Corry v. Steve Jahn, Woodland Homes of Ft. Wayne, LLC, Scott R. Malcolm, Oakmont Development Co. LLC, and Mike Thomas Associates/F.C. Tucker, Inc.
02A03-1107-PL-323
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment to Oakmont and Mike Thomas Associates/F.C. Tucker on the Corrys’ suit for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of warranty, negligence, and fraud; affirms denial of the Corrys’ motion to correct error and the entry of judgment upon the partial summary judgment order. Oakmont and MTA were not parties to the contract litigation at issue in this litigation and the trial court property declined to impose an implied warrant of habitability on Oakmont and MTA where the builder was the entity best positioned to prevent the harm.

Naveed Gulzar v. State of Indiana
20A03-1202-PC-88
Post conviction. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief. Gulzar claimed that his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to advise him that automatic deportation was a consequence of his pleading guilty to theft. He failed to demonstrate prejudice as a result of his attorney’s lack of advisement.

Darrell Lawrence v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1110-CR-938
Criminal. Dismisses state’s cross-appeal of dismissal of Class B felony possession of cocaine, reverses one conviction of resisting law enforcement by force and remands to the trial court.

Raymon Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony battery on a law enforcement officer resulting in bodily injury in one case and the revocation of probation in another case because of the commission of this crime.

In re the Marriage of: Dennis Coffman v. Jennifer Coffman (NFP)
31A01-1110-DR-488
Domestic relation. Finds the trial court abused its discretion in excluding the debts resulting from the loans from Dennis Coffman’s parents from the marital estate, and when the court failed to take into account his post-separation payments of an insurance settlement to Jennifer Coffman. Affirms distribution of the parties’ personal property. Remands with instructions.

Kevin K. Cotton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
64A05-1111-CR-641
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

Dustin L. Bess v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A04-1112-CR-701
Criminal. Affirms 45-year sentence for Class A felony burglary.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of X.B. and L.B. (Minor Children) and J.B. (Father) v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
71A03-1201-JT-26
Juvenile termination. Affirms termination of parental rights.
 

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  1. IF the Right to Vote is indeed a Right, then it is a RIGHT. That is the same for ALL eligible and properly registered voters. And this is, being able to cast one's vote - until the minute before the polls close in one's assigned precinct. NOT days before by absentee ballot, and NOT 9 miles from one's house (where it might be a burden to get to in time). I personally wait until the last minute to get in line. Because you never know what happens. THAT is my right, and that is Mr. Valenti's. If it is truly so horrible to let him on school grounds (exactly how many children are harmed by those required to register, on school grounds, on election day - seriously!), then move the polling place to a different location. For ALL voters in that precinct. Problem solved.

  2. "associates are becoming more mercenary. The path to partnership has become longer and more difficult so they are chasing short-term gains like high compensation." GOOD FOR THEM! HELL THERE OUGHT TO BE A UNION!

  3. Let's be honest. A glut of lawyers out there, because law schools have overproduced them. Law schools dont care, and big law loves it. So the firms can afford to underpay them. Typical capitalist situation. Wages have grown slowly for entry level lawyers the past 25 years it seems. Just like the rest of our economy. Might as well become a welder. Oh and the big money is mostly reserved for those who can log huge hours and will cut corners to get things handled. More capitalist joy. So the answer coming from the experts is to "capitalize" more competition from nonlawyers, and robots. ie "expert systems." One even hears talk of "offshoring" some legal work. thus undercutting the workers even more. And they wonder why people have been pulling for Bernie and Trump. Hello fools, it's not just the "working class" it's the overly educated suffering too.

  4. And with a whimpering hissy fit the charade came to an end ... http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2016/07/27/all-charges-dropped-against-all-remaining-officers-in-freddie-gray-case/ WHISTLEBLOWERS are needed more than ever in a time such as this ... when politics trump justice and emotions trump reason. Blue Lives Matter.

  5. "pedigree"? I never knew that in order to become a successful or, for that matter, a talented attorney, one needs to have come from good stock. What should raise eyebrows even more than the starting associates' pay at this firm (and ones like it) is the belief systems they subscribe to re who is and isn't "fit" to practice law with them. Incredible the arrogance that exists throughout the practice of law in this country, especially at firms like this one.

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