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Opinions Dec. 29, 2010

December 29, 2010
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
USA v. James K. Taylor
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Robert L. Miller Jr.
10-2947
Criminal. Affirms sentenced for 64 months’ imprisonment following a guilty plea to possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). The sentence was based in part on the District Court’s conclusion that his prior Indiana conviction for Class C felony battery qualified as a “crime of violence” under § 4B1.2(a) of the federal sentencing guidelines, enhancing his recommended base offense level. Taylor argued his battery conviction was not a crime of violence for the purposes of the federal sentencing guidelines.

USA v. Dewayne Cartwright
10-1879
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge William T. Lawrence
Criminal. Affirms District Court’s denial of Cartwright’s motion to suppress evidence of a firearm in his car. Cartwright was charged with possessing a firearm as a felon under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). After he entered a conditional guilty plea, he was sentenced to 84 months in prison. Cartwright argued the District Court erred in applying the inevitable discovery doctrine after the District Court determined the firearm would have been inevitably discovered pursuant to an inventory search of the car.

Indiana Supreme Court
National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, et al. v. Standard Fusee Corporation
49S04-1006-CV-318
Civil. Reverses trial court and remands the case for application of Maryland law to be applied to the entire dispute regarding whether the insurance company had a duty to defend Standard Fusee Corporation following discovery of perchlorate contamination at factories that made flares. Concludes that Maryland is the state with the most intimate contacts to the facts and that its law should therefore be applied in this case.

Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana v. Richard J. Laker, Jr.
24A04-0912-CR-736
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s dismissal of the charge that Laker operated a farm tractor while his driver’s license was suspended. Reverses and remands three other charges that relate to Laker’s operation of the farm tractor while intoxicated after a breath test determined his blood alcohol concentration was 0.10. An officer observed Laker hitching the tractor to a car that was in a ditch when Laker told him he planned to use the tractor to tow the car for a friend.

Anthony Mark Sewell v. State of Indiana
73A01-1005-CR-194
Criminal. Dismisses appeal of Sewell’s conviction of Class A misdemeanor battery and Class B misdemeanor criminal mischief. Finds that a handwritten letter from Sewell, received within 30 days of his conviction, was not sufficient because it did not comply with the content requirements for a notice of appeal.

Paternity of P.R. and A.R.; H.B. v. J.R.
36A01-1005-JP-255
Juvenile. Concludes the trial court properly took judicial notice of a protective order that H.B. (mother) obtained against an ex-boyfriend and then considered it in the custody modification proceedings with J.R. (father). H.B. did not request an opportunity to be heard pursuant to Rule 201(e) after the trial court took judicial notice of “records of a court in this state,” which is allowed pursuant to a 2010 amendment to Indiana Evidence Rule 201(b).

State of Indiana v. Robert J. Seidl
19A01-1006-CR-309
Criminal. Reverses and remands trial court’s order granting Seidl’s motion to suppress the state’s evidence against him. In his motion to suppress, Seidl argued that his consent for officers to search his barn was involuntary.

Jeffrey L. Gavin v. Calcars AB, Inc., and Astra Financial, Inc.
49A05-1007-PL-501
Civil. Affirms trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Calcars AB Inc. and Astra Financial Services Inc. on Gavin’s complaint seeking damages under the Wage Payment Statute. The parties dispute whether the Wage Payment Statute or the Wage Claims Statute applied to this wage dispute. Gavin presented a single dispositive issue: whether the trial court erred when it concluded that Gavin’s claims were governed by the Wage Claims Statute and were barred as a matter of law because he did not first file his claims with the Indiana Department of Labor.

Brian J. Woods v. State of Indiana
79A02-1004-CR-418
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s determination that Woods is a habitual offender.

J.B. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1005-JV-323
Juvenile. Affirms J.B.’s adjudication as a delinquent child for committing aggravated battery, a Class B felony when committed by an adult.


E-Z Construction Company, Inc. v. Sellersburg Stone Co., Inc. (NFP)
10A01-1002-PL-110
Civil. Affirms award of service charges to the plaintiff in a contract dispute between a plaintiff supplier and defendant prime contractor.

In the Matter of M.M.; S.H. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
85A02-1006-JC-776
Juvenile. Affirms trial court’s determination that M.M. is a child in need of services.

Leslie J. Edwards v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A02-1006-CR-758
Criminal. Vacates Edwards’ convictions of felony possession of marijuana and paraphernalia and remands with instructions that the court retry him on those two counts.

Diven Williams v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A01-1006-CR-286
Criminal. Affirms sentence imposed following convictions of burglary, a Class C felony, and theft, a Class D felony.

William Roberts v. State of Indiana (NFP)
22A05-1002-CR-119
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s denial of Roberts’ motion to set aside his guilty plea.

Kendall Bradbury v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1004-CR-212
Criminal. Affirms Bradbury’s conviction of invasion of privacy following his arrest for violating a protective order his wife had filed in June 2007 when the couple lived in Kentucky.

Vilma (Struss) Papa v. Nicholas Struss (NFP)
64A03-1008-DR-428
Civil. Reverses and remands trial court’s denial of notice of intent to relocate.

Edward Weaver v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1004-CR-460
Criminal. Affirms revocation of home detention and probation. Remands for court to clarify its sentencing order due to a conflict between written and oral statements.

Joseph R. Fabre v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A04-1005-CR-378
Criminal. Affirms aggregate sentence of 11 years following convictions of possession of cocaine, a Class C felony; two counts of possession of cocaine, Class D felonies; and one count of possession of marijuana, a Class A misdemeanor.

Termination of Parent-Child Relationship of N.B.; N.B. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
32A01-1007-JT-321
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights. .

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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