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Opinions Dec. 6, 2010

December 6, 2010
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Brian D. Grigsby v. Ray LaHood, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Chief Judge Richard L. Young.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for the Department of Transportation in his suit claiming he wasn’t hired because of his Native American heritage. Grigsby was not qualified for any of the positions he applied for.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Rex E. Breeden Revocable Trust v. Rebecca Jane Hoffmeister-Repp
03A04-1003-CT-185
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for Hoffmeister-Repp on the trust’s complaint for rescission and/or damages of an agreement to purchase Hoffmeister-Repp’s residence. Concludes that exception nine - transfers to a living trust - enacted in I.C. § 32-21-5-1(9) only applies when the transfer occurs between a seller and the seller’s own living trust. Therefore, Hoffmeister-Repp was required to comply with the statute and to complete a disclosure form. Finds the trust’s fraud claim fails and there is insufficient designated evidence to support a finding of mutual mistake.

Charles E. Green v. State of Indiana
49A05-1001-CR-37
Criminal. Affirms felony murder conviction. Based on the evidence, a trier of fact could reasonably infer that Green murdered the victim, or at the very least, he aided, induced or caused James Townsend to murder her. Also, Jury Instruction 21(F) as a whole was not misleading.

Peggy J. Rider and James R. Rider v. Larry L. McCamment, et al.
16A01-1004-CT-180
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for McCamment as landowner because Peggy Rider’s negligence claim against him fails as a matter of law. Reverses summary judgment for independent contractor Lee. Although Lee exercised control over the premises, the facts designated aren’t sufficient to conclude whether Rider was rightfully on the premises and whether she was a foreseeable visitor. Judge Kirsch concurs in part and dissents in part.

Northeast Civic Association, Inc. et al. v. Gloria J. Beard, et al. (NFP)
49A02-1003-PL-470
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of defendants Gloria J. Beard and others in Northeast Civil Association’s verified compliant to quiet title and for damages.

Guillermo Toledo v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1006-CR-360
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death as a Class B felony, and to being a habitual controlled substance offender.

Quantita L. Jackson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1005-CR-581
Criminal. Reverses order Jackson serve an executed sentence following her guilty plea to Class C felony fraud on a financial institution. Remands with instructions.

Ira James Washington, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1003-CR-151
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony attempted aggravated battery and Class D felony battery.

Patrick T. Tolbert v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1005-CR-545
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felonies robbery and criminal confinement.

Stephen Ray Jones, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A04-1003-CR-161
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

Barry Wanner v. Jill Hutchcroft (NFP)
79A02-1004-DR-467
Domestic relation. Affirms order Wanner pay Hutchcroft more than $37,000 to compensate her for a tax liability assumed when she liquidated part of his TIAA-CREF retirement account.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

The Indiana Supreme Court denied seven transfers for the week ending Dec. 3.
 

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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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