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
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
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
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)
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)
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)
Miscellaneous. Affirms dismissal of Fiedler’s petition for judicial review of an administrative permit.

Leroy H. Hall v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
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)
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress evidence.

B.G. v. J.B. (NFP)
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)
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)
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. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.