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
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
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

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

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)
Criminal. Affirms sentence imposed following revocation of probation.

James N. Arnold v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
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)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class B felony conspiracy to commit dealing in cocaine.

Charles L. Myers v. Glen L. Williams (NFP)
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. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.