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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. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  2. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  3. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  4. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

  5. And so the therapeutic state is weaonized. How soon until those with ideologies opposing the elite are disarmed in the name of mental health? If it can start anywhere it can start in the hoosiers' slavishly politically correct capital city.

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