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Opinions Feb. 14, 2013

February 14, 2013
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
In the matter of: Castleton Plaza LP; Appeal of: El-SNPR Notes Holdings LLC
12-2639
U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Basil H. Lorch III.
Bankruptcy. Holds an equity investor cannot evade the competitive process by arranging for the new value to be contributed by (and the new equity to go to) an “insider” as 11 U.S.C. Section 101(31) defines that term. Competition is essential whenever a plan of reorganization leaves an objecting creditor unpaid yet distributes an equity interest to an insider.

Indiana Court of Appeals
James Roberson v. State of Indiana
18A02-1204-PC-306
Post conviction. Reverses denial of petition for post-conviction relief, which challenged his murder conviction. Roberson received ineffective assistance of trial counsel with respect to failing to ensure that the jury was properly instructed regarding the elements of murder, voluntary manslaughter, and the state’s burden of proof regarding sudden heat. Remands for further proceedings.

American Acceptance Co., LLC., as Assignee of Washington Mutual Finance v. Melissa Willis

42A04-1208-CC-466
Civil collection. Affirms denial of American Acceptance Co.’s motion for a garnishment order against Willis. Given Willis’ financial circumstances, the trial court didn’t abuse its discretion.

Daquan Whitener v. State of Indiana

20A04-1205-CR-254
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony burglary and the determination that Whitener register as a sex offender as a condition of probation. The state presented evidence of a probative nature from which a reasonable trier of fact could have found beyond a reasonable doubt that Whitener’s entry of K.A.’s home was unauthorized and that he was guilty of burglary as a Class A felony. Dismisses the state’s cross-appeal of whether the court properly declined to enter a judgment of conviction for rape as a Class B felony based on double jeopardy principles.

Omar G. Burton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
03A01-1206-CR-263
Criminal. Affirms sentence imposed following revocation of probation.

James N. Arnold v. State of Indiana (NFP)
16A01-1206-CR-252
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony being a habitual traffic violator and the Class C infraction of disregarding a traffic control device.

David Garden and Star Homes, Inc. d/b/a Garden Homes Realty v. Lucas International, LLC and Wade Lucas (NFP)
49A02-1206-CC-523
Civil collection. Affirms denial of David Garden’s and Garden Homes Realty’s motion to set aside default judgment.

Kevin Pendleton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A05-1207-CR-383
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class B felony conspiracy to commit dealing in cocaine.

Charles L. Myers v. Glen L. Williams (NFP)
77A01-1204-CT-142
Civil tort. Affirms jury verdict awarding Williams $130,000 in damages following an automobile accident.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court issued no opinions prior to IL deadline.
 

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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