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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. People have heard of Magna Carta, and not the Provisions of Oxford & Westminster. Not that anybody really cares. Today, it might be considered ethnic or racial bias to talk about the "Anglo Saxon common law." I don't even see the word English in the blurb above. Anyhow speaking of Edward I-- he was famously intolerant of diversity himself viz the Edict of Expulsion 1290. So all he did too like making parliament a permanent institution-- that all must be discredited. 100 years from now such commemorations will be in the dustbin of history.

  2. Oops, I meant discipline, not disciple. Interesting that those words share such a close relationship. We attorneys are to be disciples of the law, being disciplined to serve the law and its source, the constitutions. Do that, and the goals of Magna Carta are advanced. Do that not and Magna Carta is usurped. Do that not and you should be disciplined. Do that and you should be counted a good disciple. My experiences, once again, do not reveal a process that is adhering to the due process ideals of Magna Carta. Just the opposite, in fact. Braveheart's dying rebel (for a great cause) yell comes to mind.

  3. It is not a sign of the times that many Ind licensed attorneys (I am not) would fear writing what I wrote below, even if they had experiences to back it up. Let's take a minute to thank God for the brave Baron's who risked death by torture to tell the government that it was in the wrong. Today is a career ruination that whistleblowers risk. That is often brought on by denial of licenses or disciple for those who dare speak truth to power. Magna Carta says truth rules power, power too often claims that truth matters not, only Power. Fight such power for the good of our constitutional republics. If we lose them we have only bureaucratic tyranny to pass onto our children. Government attorneys, of all lawyers, should best realize this and work to see our patrimony preserved. I am now a government attorney (once again) in Kansas, and respecting the rule of law is my passion, first and foremost.

  4. I have dealt with more than a few I-465 moat-protected government attorneys and even judges who just cannot seem to wrap their heads around the core of this 800 year old document. I guess monarchial privileges and powers corrupt still ..... from an academic website on this fantastic "treaty" between the King and the people ... "Enduring Principles of Liberty Magna Carta was written by a group of 13th-century barons to protect their rights and property against a tyrannical king. There are two principles expressed in Magna Carta that resonate to this day: "No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land." "To no one will We sell, to no one will We deny or delay, right or justice." Inspiration for Americans During the American Revolution, Magna Carta served to inspire and justify action in liberty’s defense. The colonists believed they were entitled to the same rights as Englishmen, rights guaranteed in Magna Carta. They embedded those rights into the laws of their states and later into the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution ("no person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.") is a direct descendent of Magna Carta's guarantee of proceedings according to the "law of the land." http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/magna_carta/

  5. I'm not sure what's more depressing: the fact that people would pay $35,000 per year to attend an unaccredited law school, or the fact that the same people "are hanging in there and willing to follow the dean’s lead in going forward" after the same school fails to gain accreditation, rendering their $70,000 and counting education worthless. Maybe it's a good thing these people can't sit for the bar.

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