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Opinions Dec. 7, 2012

December 7, 2012
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Terry L. Brown v. Tammy S. Brown
77A01-1204-PL-180
Civil plenary. Reverses civil judgment in favor of Terry Brown’s ex-wife. The trial court abused its discretion when it admitted evidence regarding criminal offenses he committed more than 20 years ago. Remands for further proceedings.

Robert Geller and Judy Geller v. Kurt P. Kinney, Holly Kinney, and A.M. Rentals, Inc.
29A02-1111-PL-1202
Civil plenary. Affirms judgment in favor of A.M. Rentals Inc. and the trial court’s calculation of damages for the Gellers against the Kinneys. Holds that the exculpatory clause of the lease and management agreement exempts A.M. from liability for its failure to perform its duties to the Gellers under I.C. 25-34.1-10-10(a)(3)(C). Holds that applying the exculpatory clause on these facts is not contrary to public policy. Holds that the trial court’s conclusion that the Gellers’ sale of their home mitigated the Kinneys’ damages to the Gellers is not clearly erroneous. Judge Kirsch dissents.

Verdyer Clark v. State of Indiana
49A04-1202-CR-66
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class D felony battery. The state did not prove its case because the only evidence it offered to prove Clark was over 18 at the time of the crime was inadmissible hearsay. Remands so that the state may decide whether to retry Clark.

Phillip T. Billingsley v. State of Indiana
02A05-1204-CR-216
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony possession of marijuana. Holds that based on the totality of the facts and circumstances available to the responding officer at the time he detained Billingsley, the officer initiated an investigatory stop of Billingsley based on a reasonable and articulable suspicion that he was engaged in criminal activity. Accordingly, the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it admitted into evidence marijuana seized following the officer’s detention of Billingsley. Judge Kirsch dissents.
 
Brenda Varo v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1203-CR-144
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony conspiracy to commit battery and Class D felony criminal gang activity.

In Re the Marriage of Lisa L. Shisler and Ned L. Shisler; Ned L. Shisler v. Lisa L. Shisler (NFP)
57A03-1109-DR-450
Domestic relation. Reverses distribution of marital estate and remands for further proceedings.

Vickie Jessie v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1205-CR-413
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony criminal deviate conduct and order that Jessie pay $2,090 in restitution to her victim.

Michael R. Krohn v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1203-CR-131
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class D felony operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury.

Quinn Nelson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1203-CR-145
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony attempted murder and adjudication as a habitual offender.

Anthony White v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1204-CR-321
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felony attempted theft and Class A misdemeanor criminal trespass.

Deandre L. Mathews v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1205-CR-416
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony burglary.

Andrea Averitte v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1203-CR-251
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony forgery.

Michael McClellan v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1204-CR-180
Criminal. Affirms sentence following conviction of two counts of Class C felony stalking.
 

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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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