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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
09-2924
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.  
49A04-1002-JT-75
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
59A01-1001-CT-125
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
73A01-1001-CR-14
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)
79A04-1002-PC-150
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Antonio Moore v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A05-1002-CR-132
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)
45A05-0912-CR-730
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)
57A03-1002-CR-64
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)
52A05-1002-CR-90
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. Bill Satterlee is, indeed, a true jazz aficionado. Part of my legal career was spent as an associate attorney with Hoeppner, Wagner & Evans in Valparaiso. Bill was instrumental (no pun intended) in introducing me to jazz music, thereby fostering my love for this genre. We would, occasionally, travel to Chicago on weekends and sit in on some outstanding jazz sessions at Andy's on Hubbard Street. Had it not been for Bill's love of jazz music, I never would have had the good fortune of hearing it played live at Andy's. And, most likely, I might never have begun listening to it as much as I do. Thanks, Bill.

  2. The child support award is many times what the custodial parent earns, and exceeds the actual costs of providing for the children's needs. My fiance and I have agreed that if we divorce, that the children will be provided for using a shared checking account like this one(http://www.mediate.com/articles/if_they_can_do_parenting_plans.cfm) to avoid the hidden alimony in Indiana's child support guidelines.

  3. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  4. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  5. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

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