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Opinions Dec. 27, 2013

December 27, 2013
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Dawn Marie Adams v. James Gregory Adams
13-1636
Civil. Reverses District Court denial of creditor Dawn Marie Adams’ bankruptcy court claim against her former husband and business partner, James Gregory Adams. The bankruptcy court claims were previously adjudicated in state courts and the doctrine of issue preclusion prevented the bankruptcy court from rehearing those issues. Remanded for proceedings.

Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of M.S. (A Child Alleged in Need of Services), and K.S., (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services
67A04-1305-JC-212
Juvenile. Affirms placement of M.S. with father who lives out-of-state and approval of the Department of Child Services’ petition to dismiss CHINS proceedings. The best interest of the child were served by placement with father and DCS’s efforts at reunifying the family were reasonable, Chief Judge Margret Robb wrote in an opinion joined by Judge Michael Barnes. Judge Elaine Brown concurred in a separate opinion that said M.S.’s interests would have been best served had DCS continued monitoring father’s compliance with court terms for a period of time.

State of Indiana v. Frank Greene
49A02-1303-PC-228
Post conviction. Affirms grant of post-conviction relief from a conviction of Class B felony criminal confinement and remands to the trial court with instructions to resentence Greene on the conviction as a Class D felony.  

In Re the Matter of R.K.: A Child Alleged to be a Child in Need of Services, A.K. v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
31A01-1307-JC-310
Juvenile. Reverses juvenile court order awarding child custody to father, R.K. Sr., holding that the court abused its discretion by modifying custody without a formal evidentiary hearing. Vacates the modification order and remands for an evidentiary hearing on the modification petition.

DeWayne Nalls v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1306-CR-281
Criminal. Affirms concurrent sentences of 35 years for conviction of Class A felony attempted murder and 10 years for unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, but vacates as illegal a separate five-year enhancement for the firearm charge.  

Cleverly Lockhart v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A02-1304-CR-384
Criminal. Reverses trial court’s denial of a petition to file a belated notice of appeal of four counts of child molesting and remands for proceedings.

Clarian Health Partners, Inc., d/b/a Methodist Hospital v. Jessica Sprunger, as next best friend of James Daniel Sprunger, Minor (NFP)
49A02-1211-CT-943
Civil tort/medical malpractice. Finds the trial court erred in denying Clarian’s motion to correct error after a jury award of $500,000 in favor of James Sprunger. The court also abused its discretion in instructing the jury. Remanded for proceedings.

Virginia Davis v. Indiana State Board of Nursing (NFP)
49A05-1304-PL-187
Civil plenary. Affirms Indiana State Board of Nursing’s license revocation.

In Re the Estate of Ruby Shuler Blankenbaker Botkins, Deceased, Mark Allen Shuler and David Lee Shuler v. Estate of George Botkins by Larry Botkins (NFP)
22A01-1307-ES-337
Estate. Affirms probate court’s entry of final accounting.

Jamar Perkins v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1306-CR-551
Criminal. Affirms conviction of felony murder.

John D. May v. State of Indiana (NFP)
28A05-1307-PC-320
Post conviction. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief from a conviction of Class C felony possession of methamphetamine while in possession of a firearm.

Darrell McNary v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A05-1211-PC-607
Post conviction. Affirms denial of relief from a conviction of Class B felony dealing cocaine.

Brandon White v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1304-CR-188
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony criminal recklessness.

Bonnie Shipley v. Anonymous Doctor A and Anonymous Hospital C (NFP)
40A04-1304-PL-184
Civil plenary/malpractice. Affirms grant of summary judgment in favor of Anonymous Doctor A and Anonymous Hospital C.

James E. Britt, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1304-CR-152
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felony possession of marijuana and Class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license.

Ron Rose v. State of Indiana (NFP)
15A01-1306-PC-272
Post conviction. Reverses denial of a petition for relief from a conviction of Class B felony criminal deviate conduct, holding that the court clearly erred in imposing a lifelong requirement that Ron Rose register as a sexually violent predator rather than as a sex offender. Rose proved by a preponderance of the evidence that he didn’t understand that aspect of his guilty plea, and he had specifically rejected that provision when discussing the plea agreement with his attorney beforehand. Remanded for proceedings.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court issued no opinions prior to IL deadline.
 

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  1. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  2. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  3. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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