Opinions Dec. 17, 2013

December 17, 2013
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Indiana Supreme Court
Indiana Gas Company, Inc. and Southern Indiana Gas and Electric Company, et al v. Indiana Finance Authority and Indiana Gasification, LLC
Agency action. Affirms the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s approval of a contract between Indiana Finance Authority and Indiana Gasification, LLC that obligates the state to purchase synthetic natural gas that would be produced at a coal-gasification plant in Rockport. A divided panel of the Court of Appeals had invalidated the contract, but justices agreed that the IURC’s decision should be affirmed because the parties modified the disputed portion of the contract.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Indiana High School Athletic Association, Inc. v. Gregory S. Schafer and Shane Schafer b/n/f Gregory S. Schafer
Civil plenary. Affirms award of more than $86,000 in fees to the Schafers for IHSAA’s unreasonable conduct in pursuing litigation after courts repeatedly called rules it sought to enforce to declare Schafer ineligible arbitrary and capricious. The trial court was within its discretion to hold IHSAA’s conduct unreasonable and consider multiple rulings against IHSAA in reaching the decision to impose fees.

Jason Young v. Hood's Gardens, Inc.
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Hood’s that it was not secondarily liable for payment of workers’ compensation benefits to Young. Judge James Kirsch dissents, arguing Hood’s did not establish that the value of services provided by Young’s boss did not exceed $1,000.

Indiana Restorative Dentistry, P.C. v. The Laven Insurance Agency, Inc., and Proassurance Indemnity Company, Inc. f/k/a The Medical Assurance Company, Inc.
Civil plenary. Reverses grant of summary judgment in favor of Laven and Proassurance, holding that Laven had a special duty to procure full coverage based on its past dealings with IRD. Remands to the trial court to enter summary judgment to IRD with respect to Laven’s duty to advise and procure, and remands for proceedings regarding Proassurance’s vicarious liability.

Christopher D. Bunch v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms Bunch’s 80-year executed sentence for pleading guilty to five counts of child molesting, each as a Class A felony.

In the Matter of the Commitment of T.G. (NFP)
Mental health. Affirms regular mental health commitment order.

Kelly S. Craig v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of Craig’s petition for post-conviction relief.

Carl E. Ascherman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms Ascherman’s 20-year executed sentence following a conviction for one count of attempted child molesting, a Class B felony, and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, Class A misdemeanors.

Ayanna Earls v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction for battery, a Class A misdemeanor.

Christopher Turner v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of Turner’s petition for post-conviction relief.

Donald L. Deputy v. Connie S. Deputy (NFP)
Domestic relation. Affirms order that father pay for son’s college room and board. Reverses order that father maintain health insurance and health care costs on children and remands for the order to be amended that the duty to maintain health care coverage is contingent upon his children remaining enrolled in a post-secondary educational institution. Judge Elaine Brown concurs in part and dissents in part.  

Adam S. Fiers v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms revocation of Fiers’ probation and sentencing him to serve six months on work release for failing to meet the financial obligations of his probation.

The Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana opinions by IL deadline.



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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues