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Opinions Dec. 15, 2011

December 15, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Adrianna Brown, et al. v. Columbia Sussex Corp., et al.
10-3849
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Chief Judge Philip P. Simon.
Civil. Affirms dismissal of 53 of the 224 plaintiffs who had their civil rights and breach of contract claims dismissed because they continually missed both formal and informal deadlines. Holds that, in the context of a multi-party or multi-claim suit, a premature notice of appeal from the dismissal of a party or claim will ripen upon the entry of a belated Rule 54(b) judgment under Rule 4(a)(2) and FirsTier. The District Court was within its discretion to find that the appellants acted willfully, in bad faith, or with fault.

Indiana Supreme Court
David R. Snyder v. J. Bradley King and Trent Deckard, in their Official Capacities as Co-Directors of the Indiana Election Division; and Linda Silcott and Pam Brunette
94S00-1101-CQ-50
Certified question. Holds that the Indiana Constitution was not violated when, upon being convicted of Class A misdemeanor battery and sentenced to an executed term of incarceration, Snyder was disenfranchised, but only for the duration of his incarceration. Also holds that the General Assembly has separate constitutional authority to cancel the registration of any person incarcerated following conviction, for the duration of incarceration.

Indiana Court of Appeals
P.J. v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development, and Indianapolis Public Schools (NFP)
93A02-1102-EX-64
Agency appeal. Affirms determination that P.J. voluntarily left his employment without good cause and was ineligible for unemployment compensation.

Donald S. Forker v. State of Indiana (NFP)
28A04-1106-CR-364
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony dealing in a controlled substance.

Robert D. Spangler v. State of Indiana (NFP)
26A01-1106-CR-284
Criminal. Affirms sentence imposed after Spangler pleaded guilty but mentally ill to murder.

Brad A. Morcombe v. Kim D. Morcombe (NFP)
50A03-1104-DR-172
Domestic relation. Affirms division of assets.

Clara Combs v. State of Indiana (NFP)
72A05-1104-CR-148
Criminal. Affirms sentence for dealing in a schedule II controlled substance as a Class B felony.

Good Host, LLC v. Advanced Interventional Pain Center, LLC (NFP)
49A05-1105-PL-217
Civil plenary. Affirms finding that Good Host failed to state a claim for breach of contract under the theory of an assignment of the lease. Reverses dismissal of Good Host’s equitable assignment claim and remands for further proceedings.

P. Bryan Lilly, D.O. v. Tammy Meserve, as Natural Guardian of Samantha Jo Aders, Darien Aders, and Mason James Aders, minors (NFP)
19A04-1104-CT-193
Civil tort. Affirms in part and reverses in part judgment in favor of Meserve on her complaint alleging Dr. Lilly’s negligence resulted in Chad Aders’ death. Any error in the admission of Exhibit 4 or the expert testimony relating the content of the autopsy report did not affect Lilly’s substantial rights and was harmless. The trial court improperly denied Meserve’s request for attorney fees. Remands for the calculation of such.

In Re: (Supervised) Estate of Robert E. Bradley, Decedent; Phyllis C. Bradley v. Martha T. Starkey (NFP)
49A02-1103-EU-245
Estate, unsupervised. Affirms probate court’s order on the emergency petition to recover estate assets filed by Starkey.

Joshua Hudson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
87A05-1105-PC-280
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Najee Sabree Q. Blackman v. Samantha Maddox, et al. (NFP)
34A05-1106-CT-379
Civil tort. Affirms dismissal of Blackman’s complaint for damages.

R.D. v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development, et al. (NFP)

93A02-1103-EX-210
Agency appeal. Reverses denial of unemployment benefits.

Theresa L. Trensey and Louis L. Roth, Sr. v. Garland D. Anderson, M.D., Parkview Medical Group, and Unnamed Hospital, Inc. d/b/a Unnamed Hospital (NFP)
02A05-1104-CT-222
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Dr. Anderson, Parkview Medical Group and the unnamed hospital on the parents’ complaint for damages alleging medical malpractice.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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