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
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
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
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
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
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)
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class B felony attempted criminal confinement.

Mark Yoder and Barbara Yoder v. Capital One Bank, (USA), N.A. (NFP)
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)
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)
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for defendants Stirling Clinic and others on a medical malpractice claim.

Anthony Taylor v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to correct erroneous sentence.

Charles Neal v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms classification as a sexually violent predator.

Logan B. Lake v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms murder conviction.

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

Adam Schafer v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
Criminal. Affirms second probation revocation.

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

Nick Bigsby v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.



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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues