Opinions Aug. 26, 2010

August 26, 2010
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
John M. Stephenson v. Bill Wilson, Superintendent of Indiana State Prison
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Civil. Stephenson failed to carry his burden of proving prejudice, even on the premise that his counsel should have objected to the stun belt. The question of prejudice from Stephenson being required to wear the stun belt at the penalty hearing will require further consideration of the District Court on remand.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of C.G.; Z.G. v. Marion County DCS and Child Advocates Inc.  
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights. Mother’s due process rights weren’t violated, the trial court didn’t commit reversible error in the exclusion of evidence, and DCS presented clear and convincing evidence to support the trial court’s judgment.

Dean V. Kruse Foundation, Inc., et al. v. Jerry W. Gates
Civil tort. Reverses summary judgment for Gates on the breach-of-contract claims and the denial of the Kruse parties’ cross-motion for summary judgment on Gates’ fraud and conversion claims. Gates failed to complete the sale within a reasonable time due to no fault of the seller so his earnest money deposit is forfeited. Remands for further proceedings to determine the damage award in favor of the Kruse parties and grant summary judgment in favor of them on the issues of breach of contract, fraud, and conversion.

Tony O. Girdler v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony auto theft. The state proved all the elements of auto theft against Girdler, even though he was not the original thief of the van.

Anthony E. Frink v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Antonio Moore v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation ordered following Moore’s guilty plea to Class B felony dealing in cocaine.

Pierre E. Taylor v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and 175-year aggregate sentence for murder and four counts of Class A felony attempted murder.

Jeremy James Barden v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C misdemeanor leaving the scene of an accident but remands for correction of sentence.

Michael Pugh v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony burglary.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.


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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.