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Opinions Feb. 11, 2011

February 11, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Mouhamadou M. Sow v. Fortville Police Department, et al.
10-2188
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Chief Judge Richard L. Young
Civil. Affirms District Court’s grant of summary judgment to the Fortville Police Department, Officer Michael Fuller of the Fortville Police Department, and the McCordsville Police Department. Sow’s action was brought under 42 U.S.C. sections 1983, 1985, and 1986 after he was arrest for forgery but the charges were later dropped. Sow also alleged numerous state law claims, asserting that the District Court had supplemental jurisdiction over those claims.

The Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of Patrick K. Rocchio
98S00-0911-DI-533
Discipline. Suspends Rocchio from the practice of law for at least 180 days without automatic reinstatement. He was charged with violating Indiana Professional Conduct Rules 7.2(c)(3) and 5.5(b)(2), but found to also have violated 7.2(d)(2), 7.3(c). His conduct during the disciplinary process demonstrates his inability to recognize his clear violations of this state's disciplinary rules, his contempt for those rules and this disciplinary process, and his lack of appreciation for the role of the court's hearing officer and Disciplinary Commission members and staff led to his suspension without automatic reinstatement. Justice Rucker dissents to length of suspension.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Amir H. Sanjari v. State of Indiana
20A03-1007-CR-384
Criminal. Vacates Sanjari’s conviction and five-year sentence on his second count of Class C felony nonsupport of a dependent due to double jeopardy constraints. Affirms his conviction of and five-year sentence for the first count of Class C felony nonsupport of a dependent, with fines, costs, and restitution.

Alexander R. Pala v. Annare L. Pala Loubser
91A05-1004-DR-271
Civil. Affirms trial court’s grant of Loubser’s motion to terminate maintenance award. Based upon review of the record, the appellate court can’t say that the evidence leaves them with the firm conviction that a mistake was made or that the trial court’s decision is clearly against the logic and effect of the facts and circumstances before it.

T.L. v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development
93A02-1007-EX-773
Civil. Reverses and remands denial of T.L.’s motion to reinstate his appeal from an adverse determination of his claim for unemployment benefits. The following issue was presented for review: whether the board abused its discretion by adopting the findings and conclusions of the director, thereby affirming the denial of the request to reinstate T.L.’s appeal.

P.K.E. v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development and D.Z.
93A02-1007-EX-799
Civil. Affirms administrative law judge’s decision that P.K.E. had not discharged D.Z. for just cause and D.Z. was therefore entitled to unemployment benefits. The review board affirmed the ALJ’s decision and P.K.E. appealed.

David Martinez Zarate v. State of Indiana (NFP)
54A01-1007-CR-356
Criminal. Affirms sentence for conviction of dealing in cocaine, a Class B felony.

Juan Salazar-Arvisu v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-0908-PC-379
Post-conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Anthony A. Coffey v. State of Indiana (NFP)
27A02-1006-CR-753
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

William T. Sexton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A05-1005-CR-352
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B misdemeanor false informing and Class D felony attempting to acquire a legend drug by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, or subterfuge.

Robert W. Gard v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1004-CR-249
Criminal. Reverses trial court’s grant of the state’s motion for relief from order, which set aside its previous order granting Gard’s motion to suppress.

Michael J. Huffman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1003-PC-421
Post-conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Paternity of C.F.; Rita K. Manns v. Richard A. Faler (NFP)
37A04-1009-JP-573
Juvenile. Reverses and remands order of the trial court emancipating Manns’ son and terminating the support obligation of Faler.

William E. Cathey v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A01-1006-CR-314
Criminal. Affirms sentence following convictions of two counts of Class D felony theft.

Candace Brewer v. State of Indiana (NFP)
29A02-1008-CR-1024
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony possession of a controlled substance.

Donald R. Tweedy v. State of Indiana (NFP)
55A01-1007-CR-327
Criminal. Affirms convictions of maintaining a common nuisance as a Class D felony, and driving while suspended as a Class A misdemeanor.

David Alan Davis Sr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1005-CR-648
Criminal. Reverses termination from the Madison County Drug Court Program and remands with instructions.

Michael Todd Hughes v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A02-1008-CR-891
Criminal. Affirms denial of Hughes’ motion to withdraw his guilty plea.

James E. McGee v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A04-1007-CR-413
Criminal. Affirms conviction of two counts of child molesting as Class A felonies.

Kenneth L. Duckworth Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
35A04-1009-CR-543
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s finding Duckworth is a habitual offender following his three convictions for dealing in a controlled substance, one as a Class A felony and the other two as Class B felonies.

The Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions before 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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