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Opinions Aug. 17, 2011

August 17, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Lisa Hicks v. Avery Drei, LLC and Chance Felling
10-2744
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson.
Civil. Affirms grant of Avery Drei and Felling’s motion for judgment as a matter of law on Hicks’ vacation pay claim and a portion of their similar motion on her overtime pay claim. Evidence shows that Hicks and Felling had an agreement that Hicks would not earn vacation pay until after being employed for one year; her employment ended before she reached her one-year anniversary. The District Court did not abuse its discretion in denying Hicks’ motion in limine. Affirms in all other respects.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Amy Gulbranson v. State of Indiana
71A05-1103-CR-120
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony assisting a criminal. Gulbranson’s reliance on authority interpreting prior versions of Ind. Code 35-44-3-2 is misplaced.

C.S. v. State of Indiana
67A01-1101-JS-19
Juvenile. Reverses adjudication as a delinquent child for violating the compulsory school attendance law, a status offense. There was insufficient evidence that C.S. is in need of care, treatment, or rehabilitation, which is a required element in order to be adjudicated.

Randall Thomas Ford v. Debra Ann Ford
07A01-1012-DR-601
Domestic relation. Affirms the trial court’s conclusion that Randall Ford’s employer-funded health benefit account constitutes a marital asset subject to division, but reverses the judgment regarding valuation of the account. Although there are possibilities that might impact the valuation of the account, they do not alter the fact that that Randall does have an immediately existing right to present enjoyment of the account. Remands with instructions to conduct a hearing at which the value of the account as a divisible marital asset may be determined.

Outboard Boating Club of Evansville, Inc., et al. v. Indiana State Dept. of Health
82A01-1102-PL-52
Civil plenary. Affirms grant of the health department’s motion to dismiss the boating clubs’ action for declaratory judgment that the health department had no jurisdiction to regulate the clubs’ facilities. The trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction due to the clubs’ failure to exhaust administrative remedies.

Joshua Farmer v. State of Indiana (NFP)
89A01-1012-CR-656
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony possession of a narcotic drug.

Tat-Yik Jarvis Ka and Amanda Beth Ka v. City of Indianapolis (NFP)

49A02-1103-CT-188
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for the City of Indianapolis on the Kas’ suit for negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress, trespass and nuisance after sewage from a city pipe backed up into their home.

Thomas Hopkins v. State of Indiana (NFP)

48A04-1101-CR-13
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

David G. Carmichael v. Candace (Carmichael) Ballard (NFP)
52A05-1012-DR-770
Domestic relation. Affirms denial of Carmichael’s motion for relief from judgment.

Kevin R. Franklin v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1012-CR-651
Criminal. Affirms convictions of murder, Class C felony carrying a handgun without a license, and Class D felony criminal recklessness.

N.D. v. T.D. (NFP)
71A03-1011-DR-648
Domestic relation. Affirms trial court’s ruling regarding custody, provisional child support, tax exemption, attorney fees, and bias. Remands for further consideration regarding the father’s pension.

Base Alston-Butler v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1101-CR-55
Criminal. Affirms convictions of four counts of Class B felony robbery.

Beverly Jinkins v. Jet Credit Union (NFP)
49A02-1006-PL-666
Civil plenary. Affirms partial summary judgment for Jet Credit Union on Jinkins’ counterclaims alleging breach of contract and various tort claims. Affirms grant of Jet’s motion to strike Jinkins’ untimely response.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of: S.C., et al.; D.C. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
79A02-1102-JT-203
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Frontier Insurance Co. and Midwest Bonding, Inc. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A04-1102-CR-89
Criminal. Reverses denial of motion to correct error challenging an order for forfeiture of a bond and the imposition of late surrender fees.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

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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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