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Opinions Feb. 22, 2011

February 22, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Roger D. Slone
09-4089
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Rudy Lozano.
Criminal. Affirms conviction of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and sentence of 120 months in prison. The search incident to his arrest was reasonable and the vehicle evidence was properly admitted against him.

United States of America v. James Guyton

09-3866
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Rudy Lozano.
Criminal. Affirms denial of Guyton’s motion for a sentence reduction. He was sentenced for a crack-cocaine offense before the U.S. Supreme Court held that the sentencing guidelines were advisory, and his applicable guideline range was established on the basis of his career-offender status before he received a substantial assistance departure. Thus, Amendment 706, which left the career-offender guideline unchanged, did not affect his applicable guideline range and he didn’t qualify for a sentence reduction under 18 U.S.C. Section 3582(c)(2).


Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Allstate Insurance Company v. Gary R. Love
32A01-1005-CT-239
Civil tort. Affirms the trial court properly denied Allstate’s request to set aside default judgment entered in favor of Love. Love’s counsel did not commit misconduct when he failed to notify Dietrick before seeking default judgment against Allstate because he didn’t know Dietrick represented Allstate on this claim. The trial court’s award of $255,000 to Love was interlocutory and therefore Allstate may still appear and be heard as to the amount of damages resulting from the judgment. Remands for a hearing on the damages award.

Craig Dennis v. Board of Public Safety of Fort Wayne, Indiana
02A03-1007-PL-379
Civil plenary. Reverses order of dismissal of Fort Wayne police officer Dennis’ complaint for judicial review after the Board of Public Safety denied his request for back pay. His indefinite unpaid leave pending the outcome of the criminal charge was a suspension of greater than five days, thus subject to judicial review. The board’s decision became final when it denied Dennis’ request for back pay, such that his complaint for judicial review was timely filed. Remands for further proceedings.

James C. Taylor v. State of Indiana
02A03-1003-CR-194
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for Class A felony burglary; Class B felony criminal deviate conduct; Class B felony attempted rape; jury verdict he is guilty but mentally ill of a second charge of criminal deviate conduct and of Class D felony sexual battery; and jury determination that he is a habitual offender. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to give the tendered instruction on residential entry. The state established a foundation for the admission of a letter Taylor wrote to an Allen County judge pursuant to Indiana Rule of Evidence 901 and the court did not abuse its discretion by admitting it.

Keith Hoglund v. State of Indiana
90A02-1005-CR-591
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class A felony child molesting. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting testimony that indirectly vouched for A.H.’s credibility and he was properly sentenced. Judge Darden concurs in result.

State of Indiana v. Andy J. Velasquez, II
53A05-1003-CR-194
Criminal. Affirms there was no abuse of discretion in the giving of a preliminary instruction pursuant to Evidence Rules 105 and 404(b). The trial court erred in excluding the testimony of witnesses under Evidence Rules 802 and 704(b). Double jeopardy principles bar a second trial as Velasquez was acquitted of Class A felony child molesting and Class C felony child molesting.

Paul J. Kocielko v. State of Indiana
20A03-1002-CR-218
Criminal. Grants rehearing and affirms the decision of the trial court in all respects, except the 30-year habitual offender enhancement imposed upon the Class C felony conviction of sexual misconduct with a minor. Instructs the trial court to vacate this enhancement because Kocielko’s Class B felony sentence was so enhanced.

Jamie Escobedo v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A04-1004-CR-300
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor criminal trespass.

Robert D. Neal, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
60A05-1009-CR-596
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony receiving stolen property and Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement.

Naugle Gibson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1007-CR-404
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor domestic battery.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of L.S.; A.S. v. IDCS (NFP)
02A03-1007-JT-385
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parent-child relationship.

Gregory Preyer v. State of Indiana (NFP)

49A05-1007-CR-397
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor criminal trespass.

Larry Burdette (deceased) v. Perlman-Rocque Company (NFP)
93A02-1007-EX-770
Civil. Affirms denial of application for adjustment of claim.

Elizabeth S. Mathias v. State of Indiana (NFP)
35A02-1009-CR-1079
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

Leo Machine & Tool, Inc., et al. v. Gary M. Gerardot (NFP)

02A03-1006-PL-365
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment that Geradot had no notice of a defect in the electrical wiring of the premises he owned, and thus did not owe Leo Machine and other appellants a duty to maintain and repair the premises’ electrical system. Affirms denial of the appellants’ motions for sanctions for spoliation of evidence against Geradot.

Anthony McCoy v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1007-CR-746
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony robbery, Class A misdemeanor criminal recklessness and Class A misdemeanor intimidation.

In the Matter of T.R., Alleged to be CHINS; S.S. & R.R. v. IDCS (NFP)
52A05-1008-JC-544
Juvenile. Affirms determination T.R. is a child in need of services. Remands with instructions for the court to issue an amended dispositional order which includes written reasons and findings for the disposition based upon the evidence presented at the fact-finding and dispositional hearings in accordance with Indiana Code Section 31-34-19-10.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at 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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