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Opinions Feb. 22, 2012

February 22, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals had posted no Indiana opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Supreme Court

Jerrme Cartwright v. State of Indiana
82S01-1109-CR-564
Criminal. Affirms convictions of attempted battery and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. Finds no evidence of pretext in the state’s strike of venireperson Bard, the only African-American.

Joey Addison v. State of Indiana
49S05-1105-CR-267
Criminal. Uses the fundamental error doctrine to examine Addison’s Batson claim on appeal. The state’s mischaracterization of Turner’s voir dire testimony, its failure to engage Turner in any meaningful voir dire examination to explore his alleged undue reliance on the testimony of professionals, and the comparative juror analysis, when taken collectively, leave the firm impression that the state’s proffered explanation for striking venireperson Turner was a mere pretext based on race, making a fair trial impossible. Remands for a new trial.

Antwon Abbott v. State of Indiana
34S02-1202-CR-110
Criminal. Remands to the trial court to revise Abbott’s sentence from the maximum 20 years to 12 years for possession of cocaine as a Class B felony. But for the police officer’s choice of location in stopping the car in which Abbott was a passenger, he would have received no more than the maximum three-year sentence for possessing less than three grams of cocaine. Justices David and Dickson dissent.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Ernesto Gutierrez v. State of Indiana
44A03-1106-CR-257
Criminal. Reverses convictions of two counts of Class A felony child molesting. The trial court erred in admitting improper vouching testimony that invaded the province of the jury and prejudiced Gutierrez’s substantial rights. Remands for a new trial.

In the Matter of the Adoption of M.S.T.; R.P.M.T. v. C.K. and J.P. (NFP)
02A03-1106-AD-258
Adoption. Affirms grant of petition for C.K. and J.P. to adopt M.S.T.

Carol Showalter v. Donald Showalter (NFP)
20A03-1107-DR-332
Domestic relation. Remands for the trial court to explain its calculation of the parenting time credit and, if necessary, to recalculate the parenting time credit and father’s child support obligation. The trial court should also address the issue of whether son Brandt’s participation in ROTC should be credited toward his share of post-secondary education expenses.

Brent Goodman v. GMH Snyder Farms, Inc. (NFP)
53A05-1110-CT-531
Civil tort. Affirms order granting a motion to transfer venue from Monroe County to Montgomery County filed by GMH Snyder Farms.

Chuck W. Adams v. Mauro Chavez, M.D., Prison Health Services, Gil Kaufman, Craig Underwood, Dean Reiger (NFP)
49A05-1104-CT-218
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Chavez and other defendants on a complaint for medical malpractice.

LaDawn D. Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A04-1106-CR-271
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class A felony battery.

Scott W. Bishop v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1108-CR-797, 48A05-1108-CR-441
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

James Ingram v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1106-CR-578
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony voluntary manslaughter.

Philip Gregory Yeary v. State of Indiana (NFP)
78A01-1108-CR-388
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to correct erroneous sentence.

Jeremy L. Hopkins v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1104-CR-342
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class A felony dealing in cocaine.

Michael Dunfee v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A03-1106-CR-279
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class C felony operating a motor vehicle while driving privileges are forfeited for life, Class A misdemeanor operating while intoxicated in a manner that endangers a person, and being a habitual substance offender. Reverses order that Dunfee pay restitution.

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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