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Opinions Aug. 5, 2010

August 5, 2010
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals

United States of America v. Adam Williams
09-3174
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge James T. Moody.
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for illegal possession of a firearm as a felon and various drug distribution offenses. Williams couldn’t satisfy his burden under either prong of the Strickland standard, so the District Court’s refusal to investigate further his perceived problems with his attorney is a harmless abuse of discretion. Because Williams was convicted of a violent felony, his claim that Section 922(g)(1) unconstitutionally infringes on his right to possess a firearm is without merit.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Alva Curtis v. State of Indiana
49A02-0911-CR-1106
Criminal. Reverses denial of Curtis’ motion to dismiss and discharge criminal proceedings. It is undisputed that he is mentally ill and disabled to an extent that he will never recover and become competent to stand trial. It was a violation of his due process rights to deny his motion.

State of Indiana v. Genaro Luna
09A02-0907-CR-694
Criminal. Affirms acquittal on eight counts of child molesting. Waives state’s question of law about whether the trial court should not have admitted evidence of the victim’s previous allegations of molesting against someone who was not charged. Also, because factual determinations are not appropriate on appeal as a reserved question of law, declines to review the trial court’s decision to admit the evidence.

Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles v. Seth McNeil
02A03-1001-MI-90
Miscellaneous. Reverses order reinstating McNeil’s driving privileges, which had been suspended for 10 years after he was found to be a habitual traffic violator. The two-year statute of limitations under Indiana Code Section 34-11-2-4 does not apply.

Stephanie Deel v. Conrad Deel (NFP)
73A01-0912-CV-606
Civil. Reverses calculation of Conrad Deel’s arrearage. Affirms in all other respects. Remands for further proceedings.

Jerimiah Morris v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A05-1001-CR-16
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony possession of marijuana.

Ellington Jeffrey, et al. v. Kirsh and Kirsh, et al. (NFP)
45A03-1001-CT-31
Civil tort. Affirms trial court properly dismissed the New York law firm for lack of personal jurisdiction in adoption case.

Agnes Jones v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-0912-CR-1283
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor criminal recklessness.

Edward Broadus, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1003-CR-158
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony forgery, and resisting law enforcement, a Class D felony upon which judgment was entered as a Class A misdemeanor.

Warren Rodrick Bullock v. State of Indiana (NFP)
32A01-0908-CR-401
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony criminal confinement and reverses conviction of Class D felony domestic battery. Remands for trial court to enter a conviction for the lesser included offense of Class A misdemeanor domestic battery and sentence Bullock accordingly.

Billy D. Taylor v. State of Indiana (NFP)
52A05-1002-CR-84
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class C felony sexual misconduct with a minor.

Myron Rickman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
27A04-1002-CR-80
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to eight counts of Class A felony child molesting, one count of Class C felony child molesting, and one count of Class C felony criminal confinement.

R.J. v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development, et al. (NFP)
93A02-1002-EX-243
Civil. Affirms decision that R.J. left work without good cause.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of N.B. and V.B.; S.E.S. v. IDCS (NFP)
18A02-1001-JT-9
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

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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