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Opinions Aug. 8, 2011

August 8, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Wanda Joshua, et al.
10-2140, 10-2181, 10-2182
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Philip Simon.
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of mail fraud. Although the evidence of the mailing element of mail fraud was thin, it was enough to send the case to the jury. Finds the defendants arguments that Skilling v. United States requires the court to set aside their convictions, and that the District Court improperly instructed the jury regarding their advice-of-counsel defense have no merit.

United States of America v. Anthony Rutledge
10-2734
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Larry J. McKinney.
Criminal. Because the 7th Circuit couldn’t find the necessary credibility finding in the trial record, the judges were unable to make an informed decision about the District Court’s decision to deny the Batson challenge. Remands to the District Court for further proceedings as outlined in the opinion.

United States of America v. Wynell Gray
10-3936
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge James T. Moody.
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Medicaid fraud and conspiracy to defraud the government and a sentence of 33 months in prison and $846,115 in restitution to Indiana Medicaid. Even if the timestamp evidence were Brady material that the prosecution had concealed from the defense, that concealment wouldn’t have been a reversible error because the evidence would not have changed the outcome of the trial assuming the jury was reasonable. The judge’s declining to tell the jury that a witness had refused treatment at the courthouse for an illness before testifying was proper. A person will often refuse treatment because he is feeling better, not just because he is trying to not testify.

Indiana Supreme Court posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Karamchand Paul, et al. v. Home Bank SB
55A01-1012-MF-635
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms summary judgment for Home Bank SB and the denial of summary judgment for Drs. Paul, Singh, and Ansari regarding guaranties for a subordinate loan. The superior loan and the subordinate loan were two entirely separate contractual transactions, and the integration clause in the superior guaranty integrated only those agreements that were part of the negotiations directly leading to the superior loan. The doctors can’t now complain that the bank failed to advise them as to the meaning of the superior guaranty because they failed to read the guaranty or seek the advice of legal counsel before signing.

Brad Curtis and Rhonda Curtis v. The National Insurance Group and Celina Insurance Group (NFP)
01A05-1011-CT-718
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for The National Mutual Insurance Co. and Celina Insurance Group on the Curtises’ complaint for damages for breach of contract, violation of Indiana insurance law, and bad faith.

Paul Davis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1012-CR-1445
Criminal. Affirms order that Davis serve the entirety of his previously suspended sentence following a probation violation.

Robert Fiedler v. Indiana Office of Environmental Adjudication, et al. (NFP)
49A02-1011-MI-1263
Miscellaneous. Affirms dismissal of Fiedler’s petition for judicial review of an administrative permit.

Leroy H. Hall v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1101-PC-65
Post conviction. Reverses denial of petition for post-conviction relief and remands for a hearing and decision consistent with the Indiana Rules of Post-Conviction Relief.

Phillip D. Fairholm v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1101-CR-84
Criminal. Affirms order that Fairholm serve the entire five years of his suspended sentence following the revocation of probation.

Joseph Lundy v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1012-CR-765
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress evidence.

B.G. v. J.B. (NFP)
52A02-1101-DR-11
Domestic relation. Dismisses B.G.’s appeal of the order modifying custody of his children, parenting time, and child support.

Alex Callison v. State of Indiana (NFP)
28A01-1103-CR-133
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class A felony burglary, Class B felony rape, Class B felony criminal deviate conduct, and Class D felony intimidation.

Jerome Williams v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1008-PC-547
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions at IL deadline.

The Indiana Supreme Court denied transfer to 16 cases for the week ending Aug. 5.
 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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