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Opinions Feb. 24, 2014

February 24, 2014
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
University of Notre Dame v. Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, et. al. and Jane Doe 1, et al.
13-3853
Civil. Affirms on interlocutory appeal denial of an injunction blocking enforcement of the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, holding that the requirement that the university submit a form opting out of paying for contraception services for women did not trigger provision of those services which insurers are required to provide under the law. Circuit Judge Joel Flaum dissented, holding that Notre Dame has shown a likelihood of success on the merits and he would therefore reverse the order denying the injunction.

Nora Chaib v. State of Indiana
13-1680
http://media.ibj.com/Lawyer/websites/opinions/index.php?pdf=2014/february/rssExec.pl-4.pdf
Civil. Affirms summary judgment granted to the Indiana Department of Correction on all of Chaib’s claims regarding discrimination and retaliation. Finds Chaib failed to provide evidence that her employer treated her differently because of her gender and national origin.

Patrick Hayden and Melissa Hayden, on behalf of their minor child, A.H. v. Greensbrug Community School Corp., et al.
13-1757
Civil. Affirms judgment in favor of the school district on due process claim. Reverses judgment in favor of the school on the equal protection and Title IX claims. Finds the Haydens have established that the hair-length policy as applied only to boys playing basketball discriminates based on sex. Remands to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, to determine appropriate relief on these claims.

Indiana Court of Appeals
David J. Harman v. State of Indiana
45A05-1304-CR-153
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony attempted murder and 45-year sentence, holding that evidence of the victim’s prior criminal history was properly excluded and that the sentence was not inappropriate due to the brutality of the offense and in light of Harman’s character.

In Re: Paternity of J.M.; C.M. v. T.S.
18A02-1308-JP-684
Juvenile paternity. Reverses denial of an incarcerated father’s motion for a hearing to determine the amount of his child support arrearage and the propriety of the garnishment of his inmate trust fund account. Remands with instructions for the trial court to conduct an evidentiary hearing to determine the arrearage, the father’s ability to pay, a reasonable payment schedule, and the entry of an income withholding order.

Shawn Blount v. State of Indiana
49A02-1304-CR-365
Criminal. Reverses and remands Blount’s conviction of Class B felony possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. Finds the trial court erroneously admitted hearsay evidence when it allowed a detective to tell the jury that a mother and her son gave him the nickname of the shooter that was later identified as Blount.

Richard Wilkins v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1306-CR-309
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony dealing in a narcotic drug. Reverses and remands with instructions to vacate conviction for Class B felony conspiracy to commit dealing in a narcotic drug. Concludes Wilkins’ convictions violated double jeopardy.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: K.R. (minor child); S.R. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
02A05-1308-JT-400
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of S.R.’s (mother) parental rights to her child, K.R.
 
In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: C.M. & J.H. (Minor Children) and C.M. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
45A04-1309-JT-456
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of C.M.’s (mother) parental rights to minor children C.M. and J.H.  

The Indiana Supreme Court and the Indiana Tax Court did not post any opinions 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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