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Opinions Feb. 29, 2012

February 29, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Supreme Court and Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Joseph A. Davis v. Herbert Simon and Bui Simon
49A04-1101-CT-5
Civil tort. Reverses denial of Davis’ motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction a complaint filed by the Simons alleging defamation and false light publicity. Davis’ act of responding to the questions of a reporter who initiated the contact with Davis regarding a California lawsuit, in which he is serving as a plaintiff’s attorney, was not done with the purpose of expressly targeting a resident of the forum state. Judge Kirsch dissents.

Engineered Steel Concepts, Inc., ESC Group Limited, and Tom Anderson v. General Drivers, Warehousemen, and Helpers Union Local 142, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and Steven Parks
45A04-1106-CT-287
Civil tort. Affirms dismissal of Engineered Steel Concepts and Tom Anderson’s complaint against the union and Steven Parks for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The trial court properly determined that it had been divested of its subject matter jurisdiction over the state law claims.

State of Indiana ex rel. Family and Social Services Administration v. Estate of Phillip Roy
33A04-1105-ES-246
Estate, supervised. Reverses in part the order that denied the FSSA’s claim against the estate of Phillip Roy for Medicaid expenses incurred by Roy during his lifetime. The FSSA’s claim was not time barred and it has a preferred claim under Indiana Code 12-15-9-1. Remands with instructions. Judge Barnes concurs in part and dissents in part.

Kevin B. Perry v. State of Indiana
30A01-1107-CR-327
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class D felony sexual battery. While Perry’s actions are reprehensible, they don’t qualify for sexual battery as defined by Indiana statute. Remands with instructions for the conviction to be entered as Class B misdemeanor battery and Perry be sentenced to 180 days incarceration with 90 days suspended.

Monte Hanna and Kim Hanna v. Indiana Farmers Mutual Insurance Company
18A04-1106-PL-305
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in Indiana Farmer’s favor that it was not obligated to pay the Hannas under their underinsured motorist provision of their policy. The Child Wrongful Death Act, the Indiana Supreme Court’s interpretation of the CWDA, and the Hannas’ insurance policy do not entitle the parents to bring more than a single joint claim for their son’s death. Also, the parents have already received amounts from the other drivers’ insurers that exceeded the maximum to which they would have been entitled under the UIM provisions of the Indiana Farmers policy.

Charles A. Jones v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A04-1107-CR-376
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class B felony attempted criminal confinement.

Mark Yoder and Barbara Yoder v. Capital One Bank, (USA), N.A. (NFP)
43A05-1103-CC-128
Civil collection. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Capital One Bank on a suit for a credit card balance.

Daniel Robert Mola v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1105-CR-206
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony voluntary manslaughter.

Thomas Pine, Individually and as Admin. for the Estate of Helen Pine, Deceased v. Stirling Clinic, Inc., Albert C. Lee, M.D., and Indiana Neurology Specialty Care (NFP)
49A02-1105-CT-382
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for defendants Stirling Clinic and others on a medical malpractice claim.

Anthony Taylor v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1108-PC-752
Post conviction. Reverses denial of petition for post-conviction relief and remands with instructions to grant the relief and vacate Taylor’s conviction of and sentence for unlawful use of body armor.

D.P.J. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A04-1109-JV-498
Juvenile. Affirms committing D.P.J. to the Indiana Department of Correction for assignment to the Boys’ School.

Calvin J. Spaulding v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1107-CR-346
Criminal. Affirms sentence for three counts of Class A felony child molesting and being a habitual offender.

Felix R. St. Pierre v. Jeannette St. Pierre (NFP)
79A02-1102-DR-137
Domestic relation. Reverses some of the findings in support of the maintenance award, either because the evidence in the record does not support them or because they do not support such an award under Indiana Code Section 31-15-7-2(3). However, the remaining findings support an award of rehabilitative maintenance and the trial court did not enter findings to support the amount of the award. Remands with instructions.

Douglas J. Smith v. Gail Lynnette Smith (NFP)
27A02-1107-DR-642
Domestic relation. Affirms in part and reverses in part the modification of father’s child support obligation. Remands with instructions to calculate his weekly support obligation as set forth in the opinion.

Edwin D. Calligan v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1108-CR-400
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to correct erroneous sentence.

Charles Neal v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1106-CR-262
Criminal. Affirms classification as a sexually violent predator.

Logan B. Lake v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1106-CR-256
Criminal. Affirms murder conviction.

Antonio Rush v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1106-CR-537
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony dealing in cocaine and Class A misdemeanor driving while suspended.

Adam Schafer v. State of Indiana (NFP)
55A01-1108-CR-386
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class B felony causing death when operating a motor vehicle with a schedule I or II controlled substance in the blood.

Stacey L. Certain v. State of Indiana (NFP)
57A03-1105-CR-264
Criminal. Affirms second probation revocation.

Harley J. Wise, II v. State of Indiana (NFP)
37A03-1108-CC-347
Civil collection. Affirms grant of Discover Bank’s motion for summary judgment for a credit card balance.

Nick Bigsby v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1106-CR-528
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony rape, Class D felony strangulation, and Class A misdemeanor battery.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of J.C.; J.P. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
82A01-1107-JT-325
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.


 

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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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