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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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  1. Bill Satterlee is, indeed, a true jazz aficionado. Part of my legal career was spent as an associate attorney with Hoeppner, Wagner & Evans in Valparaiso. Bill was instrumental (no pun intended) in introducing me to jazz music, thereby fostering my love for this genre. We would, occasionally, travel to Chicago on weekends and sit in on some outstanding jazz sessions at Andy's on Hubbard Street. Had it not been for Bill's love of jazz music, I never would have had the good fortune of hearing it played live at Andy's. And, most likely, I might never have begun listening to it as much as I do. Thanks, Bill.

  2. The child support award is many times what the custodial parent earns, and exceeds the actual costs of providing for the children's needs. My fiance and I have agreed that if we divorce, that the children will be provided for using a shared checking account like this one(http://www.mediate.com/articles/if_they_can_do_parenting_plans.cfm) to avoid the hidden alimony in Indiana's child support guidelines.

  3. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  4. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  5. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

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