Opinions Aug. 13, 2014

August 13, 2014
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The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
Indiana Supreme Court

Joshua Gomillia v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms total executed sentence of 40 years imposed following a plea agreement to one count of Class A felony criminal deviate conduct and one count of Class B felony robbery. The nature and circumstances of the crime included the trial court’s discussion of the leadership role Gomillia played in the commission of the offenses, as well as the terror the victim suffered. Both are appropriate reasons justifying a sentence greater than the advisory term.

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Peabody Midwest Mining LLC, formerly doing business as Black Beauty Coal Co. v. Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, and Secretary of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration
Review of order. Denies Peabody’s petition for review of the administrative law judge’s decision to uphold a citation for not having a protective mound along the outer bank of elevated roadways. Substantial evidence supports the commission’s determination that a bench – a ledged cut into the side of the pit – to and from the dragline constitutes a roadway, even during the dragline move, thus requiring the berms, or protective mounds; and the ALJ’s decision that the company violated regulations by failing to maintain a berm on two-tenths of a mile of the bench.

Wednesday’s opinions
Indiana Supreme Court

Douglas A. Guilmette v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms denial of Guilmette’s motion to suppress DNA evidence found in blood on his shoe. Evidence properly seized by police may be examined and subjected to scientific testing without further warrant.

Indiana Court of Appeals
SCI Propane, LLC; South Central Indiana Rural Electric Membership Corporation; et al v. Courtney Frederick, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Stephen Frederick, deceased
Civil plenary. Affirms award of attorney fees to the estate because, although the General Wrongful Death Statute does not explicitly provide for the recovery of attorney fees, it does specify that damages are not limited to those enumerated in the statute. Finds the trial court abused its discretion in calculating the amount of the fees. Remands with the trial court to revise its award so that it is consistent with the contingency fee agreement between the estate and its counsel. Also finds the trial court did not err when it reduced its award of attorney fees according to fault allocation because its award was compensatory in nature and subject to the state’s Comparative Fault Act.

Joshua Frierson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony carrying a handgun without a license and Class D felony resisting law enforcement.

Maurice Hamler v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement and Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct.



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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.