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Opinions Aug. 30, 2010

August 30, 2010
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The following opinion was posted after IL deadline Friday.
Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of: Anonymous
18S00-0902-DI-73
Discipline. Privately reprimands attorney for engaging in misconduct by improperly revealing information relating to the representation of a former client, a violation of Professional Conduct Rule 1.9(c)(2).

Today’s opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Jennifer K. Howard
09-3840
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Criminal. Affirms convictions of wire fraud and mail fraud. Holds that even if an indictment names particular victims, the government need not prove intent to harm those named victims. The government proved that Howard intended to defraud the scheme’s victims, and such intent was established by examining the circumstances of the scheme, not by who was specifically named in the indictment.

Timothy L. Runyon v. Applied Extrusion Technologies Inc.
09-3015
U.S. District Court, Southern District Court of Indiana, Terre Haute Division, Judge Larry J. McKinney
Civil. Affirms judgment as a matter of law in Applied Extrusion’s favor in Runyon’s action under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. There’s no evidence the company’s decision to fire Runyon was motivated by his age.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Terry Gene Lay v. State of Indiana
10A01-1001-CR-17
Criminal. Affirms convictions of neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury as a Class B felony, neglect of a dependent resulting in death as a Class A felony, reckless homicide as a Class C felony. Lay waived the issue of marital privilege because he didn’t object during his wife’s testimony at trial concerning violation of the marital privilege. Evidence supports his wife voluntarily waived the privilege. There is also no violation of the prohibition against double jeopardy in the case.

Alphonzo Fisher v. State of Indiana
10A01-1001-CR-21
Criminal. Reverses denial of motion to discharge. The state has an affirmative duty to pursue prosecution of Fisher and the duty derives from a defendant’s right to a speedy trial. The balance of the Barker factors under the facts of the case show Fisher’s constitutional right to a speedy trial was violated. Remands with instructions to dismiss the underlying action against Fisher.

James B. Perigo v. State of Indiana (NFP)
87A04-0911-PC-636
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Lake Hellene, Inc., v. The Charter Oak Fire Insurance Company, et al. (NFP)
49A04-0910-CV-557
Civil. Reverses partial summary judgment foreclosing the litigation of the “common enemy” defense for claims against Lake Hellene. Affirms refusal to grant partial summary judgment to Lake Hellene as to the applicability of a municipal drainage ordinance. Remands for further proceedings.

Dan Fry, et al. v. Wilma Sutherlin Hadley (NFP)
67A01-1002-PL-35
Civil plenary. Affirms order in favor of Hadley in her action for ejectment and against the Frys on their counterclaims for breach of contract, promissory estoppel, slander, and interference with a contractual relationship.

Ernest Lansford, III v. Allstate Insurance Company, et al. (NFP)
71A03-1003-PL-142
Civil plenary. Affirms judgment for Allstate in a negligence action for property damages resulting from a vehicle collision.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of J.A.; H.P. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
45A03-1001-JT-80
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Carl Lee Gary v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1004-CR-176
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to three counts of forgery as Class C felonies, dealing in a sawed-off shotgun as a Class D felony, and domestic battery as a Class A misdemeanor.

Richard L. Cripe v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A05-1002-CR-159
Criminal. Affirms denial of petition for permission to file a belated appeal.

Reymond Barnett v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-0912-CR-738
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for Class B felonies robbery and criminal confinement.


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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