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Opinions Aug. 10, 2011

August 10, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Gregory K. Weatherbee v. Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
10-3736
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Civil. Affirms denial of application for Social Security disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income payments after plaintiff suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle crash. The decision to deny his application was supported by substantial evidence.

Indiana Supreme Court
Howard Regional Health System, et al. v. Jacob Gordon, b/n/f Lisa Gordon
34S02-1009-CV-476
Civil. Reverses partial summary judgment for the Gordons, who sought a finding of liability against the hospital for the count alleging third-party spoliation, separate from their Medical Malpractice claim. The Supreme Court declines to recognize that count as representing a separate cause of action, so the hospital is entitled to summary judgment on that count. Justice Dickson concurs in result.
 

Indiana Court of Appeals
Raymond Flores v. Juan P. Rocha Gutierrez
45A04-1101-CT-28
Civil tort. Affirms denial of motion to correct error; the admission of certain evidence, including a photograph of property damage and Flores’ claim for workers’ compensation benefits relating to a subsequent fall; and the exclusion of certain medical records of Flores. The jury’s determination that Flores was entitled to zero damages arising out of his accident with Gutierrez is not outside the bounds of evidence.

Thomas Kornelik v. Mittal Steel USA, Inc., et al.
45A03-1011-CT-583
Civil tort. Reverses the trial court’s decision to not reduce Kornelik’s lien arising under the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act by attorney fees and pro rata costs, but affirms the refusal to reduce the lien in the same proportion that Kornelik’s full recovery was reduced. Based on the circumstances of the case, Lafarge, Kornelik’s employer, was not fully protected, so the trial court did not err in failing to reduce the lien in the same proportion that his full recovery was reduced. Remands with instructions for the trial court to reduce the lien by attorney fees and a pro rata share of the costs.

Thomas R. Crowel v. Marshall County Drainage Board
50A03-1011-MI-606
Miscellaneous. Reverses the denial of Crowel’s petition for judicial review. The trial court erred in concluding that the drainage board’s decision was not arbitrary, capricious, unlawful, or unsupported by substantial evidence. The additional drainage of surface water naturally flowing off of Crowel’s land and burdening the lower-lying parcels does not constitute a benefit to Crowel’s land supporting the drainage board’s assessment. Remands with instructions. Judge Vaidik dissents.

Jose Lozano v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1010-CR-1129
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress pretrial identification evidence drawn from an allegedly impermissibly suggestive photo array and the trial court ruling that a hearsay statement concerning an unnamed third party’s purported confession to the crimes with which Lozano has been charged was inadmissible.

Freddie McKnight v. Curtis T. Hill, Jr., et al. (NFP)
20A03-1005-CT-277
Civil tort. Affirms that Hill and Wargo are entitled to absolute immunity for McKnight’s negligence claim and McKnight’s federal constitutional claims are barred by the doctrine of res judicata.

R.J.C. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
28A01-1102-JV-69
Juvenile. Affirms dispositional order placing R.J.C. with the Indiana Department of Correction.

Christopher Richmond v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A04-1101-CR-9
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class D felony theft.

Yasmin Wilson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1012-CR-761
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license.

Javier Soto v. Monaco Coach Corp. (NFP)
93A02-1102-EX-204
Agency appeal. Reverses in part the denial of Soto’s application for adjustment of claim. Remands to the Full Worker’s Compensation Board of Indiana to vacate paragraph 27 of the hearing member’s decision, as adopted by the board, and any other portions of the decision related to the issue of Soto’s permanent and total disability. Permits the parties to present evidence and argument on this issue at a further hearing.

Tradell Marzette v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A04-1004-CR-346
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentences for Class B felony conspiracy to commit robbery and four counts of Class B felony criminal confinement. Remands with instructions to vacate his conviction and sentence for Class B felony attempted robbery.

D.R., Alleged to be C.H.I.N.S.; J.R. v. I.D.C.S. & Child Advocates (NFP)
49A02-1012-JC-1450
Juvenile. Affirms determination that D.R. is a child in need of services.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.





 
 

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  1. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  2. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  3. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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