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Opinions Feb. 8, 2013

February 8, 2013
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Billy Russell v. State of Indiana
49A04-1203-CR-148
Criminal. Affirms conviction and sentence on charges of murder and Class B felony possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. The panel found that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to completely bifurcate the trial of the SVF charge from the murder charge or in refusing to tender Russell’s self-defense jury instruction. The court also determined the 85-year sentence was not inappropriate.

Hiawathia Hunt v. State of Indiana

49A04-1207-CR-371
Criminal. Affirms 545-day sentence, 270 executed, on a conviction of Class D felony theft following a bench trial, holding that a sentence in which the judge offered possible leniency in time served in exchange for restitution to the victim was not error because the sentence was not conditioned upon restitution but rather offered possible modification if restitution was paid.

Estate of Ruby L. Rowland: James A. Rowland, Jr. v. Michael B. Rowland (NFP)

48A02-1203-ES-223
Estate, supervised. Affirms the trial court’s denial of the Estate’s petition to recover assets. Ruled the trial court properly found that the presumption of undue influence does not apply and properly found the Estate failed to prove that the statutory presumption for survivorship rights was overcome.

Louis Townsend v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A04-1207-PC-389
Post conviction. Affirms trial court’s denial of Townsend’s petition for relief. Found the post-conviction court did not err when it concluded that Townsend did not receive ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel and when it concluded Townsend was not entitled to post-conviction relief on the basis of newly-discovered evidence.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana decisions prior to IL deadline. The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court issued no opinions prior to 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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