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Opinions Feb. 13, 2014

February 13, 2014
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Indiana Supreme Court
Brian Yost v. Wabash College, Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity- Indiana Gamma Chapter at Wabash College, Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, Inc., and Nathan Cravens
54S01-1303-CT-161
Civil tort. Reverses grant of summary judgment for the campus fraternity but affirms summary judgment for the college and national fraternity organization in the personal injury action brought by a fraternity pledge seeking damages for injuries sustained in an incident at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house. Holds that the designated evidence shows that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that Wabash College and the national fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, Inc., are each entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law, but that as to the local fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity – Indiana Gamma Chapter at Wabash College, there remain genuine issues of material fact that preclude summary judgment. Justice Rucker concurs in part and dissents in part. Remands for further proceedings.

Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana, acting on behalf of the Indiana Family & Social Services Administration v. International Business Machines Corporation
49A02-1211-PL-875
Civil plenary. Reverses finding that there was no material breach by IBM, but affirms award of $40 million in assignment fees and $9,510,795 in equipment fees to IBM. Affirms the trial court’s denial of deferred fees to IBM, reverses the trial court’s award of $2,570,621 in early termination close out payments and $10,632,333 in prejudgment interest to IBM, and remands the case to the trial court to determine the amount of fees IBM is entitled to for Change Orders 119 and 133. Remands the case to the trial court to determine the state’s damages for IBM’s material breach of the contract and to offset any damages awarded to IBM. Judge Friedlander concurs in part and dissents in part.

Wendy Thompson v. State of Indiana
61A01-1305-CR-207
Criminal. Affirms convictions and seven-year consecutive sentence for four counts of Class D felony operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration of at least 0.08 causing serious bodily injury. This Class D felony is a “crime of violence” within the meaning of I.C. 35-5-1-2(a), so her sentence does not exceed the maximum allowable under the consecutive-sentencing statute. Finds her sentence appropriate in light of the nature of the offenses and her character.

Rodregus Morgan v. State of Indiana
49A02-1304-CR-386
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication. Holds the challenged portion of Indiana’s public intoxication statute is unconstitutionally vague as it neither requires that a defendant specifically intended to annoy another, nor does it employ an objective standard to assess whether a defendant’s conduct would be annoying to a reasonable person. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

Larry Edward Flick v. Jewell Reuter
47A01-1303-PL-135
Civil plenary. Reverses summary judgment for Reuter on claims of adverse possession, prescriptive easement and trespass. Reuter is unable to prove she paid taxes on the land since 1988. Affirms awarding her nearly $30,000 in damages caused by Flick in his attempts to evict her from the land he purchased in a foreclosure sale.

Detrick L. Brown v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A05-1309-CR-455
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony carrying a handgun without a license.

Duane Fry v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1306-CR-544
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony burglary and Class A misdemeanor criminal mischief.

Elgin Lamont Hoyle v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A04-1307-CR-363
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony dealing in a narcotic drug.

Andrew T. Stout v. State of Indiana (NFP)
62A01-1305-CR-222
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to withdraw guilty pleas for Class B felony burglary and Class D felony theft.

Wabash County Hospital Foundation, Inc. d/b/a Wabash County Hospital and Carole Riley v. Hai Lee (NFP)
85A04-1306-CT-291
Civil tort. Affirms denial of appellants’ motion to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.

Charles Poling v. Property Owners Insurance Company (NFP)
27A02-1307-PL-585
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of Poling’s request to amend his complaint for a second time and dismissal of the Poling’s lawsuit.

The Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana decisions by 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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