Opinions Feb. 9, 2011

February 9, 2011
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The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Tuesday.
Indiana Supreme Court
Nicholas Green v. Ford Motor Company
Certified question. Concludes in a crashworthiness case alleging enhanced injuries under the Indiana Product Liability Act, it is the function of the fact-finder to consider and evaluate the conduct of all relevant actors who are alleged to have caused or contributed to cause the harm for which the plaintiff seeks damages. The fact-finder shall apportion fault to the injured person only if the fact-finder concludes that the fault of the injured person is a proximate cause of the injuries for which damages are sought.

Indiana Tax Court
Indiana Dept. of State Revenue, Inheritance Tax Division v. In the Matter of the Estate of Deloras J. Biddle
Tax. Reverses probate court decision that the estate was not required to file an inheritance tax return because the checks issued by MetLife to Biddle’s brother were life insurance proceeds and not annuity contract payments. The probate court provided no reasoning, nor cited any other evidence which would support its conclusion that the MetLife payments to Biddle’s brother were life insurance proceeds. Remands to order the estate to provide a copy of the MetLife contracts so that it may be determined whether the estate was indeed required to file an Indiana inheritance tax return and remit inheritance tax on the transfers to Biddle’s brother.

Today’s opinions
Indiana Supreme Court
Indiana Dept. of State Revenue v. Belterra Resort Indiana, LLC
Tax. Grants rehearing to address the question of whether Belterra is subject to a tax penalty. Remands to the Indiana Tax Court to determine the timeliness of Belterra’s argument and, if timely, whether Belterra is subject to the penalty and, if so, whether the penalty should be waived. Affirms original opinion in all other respects. Justice Dickson concurs in result, believing the rehearing should also be granted to revisit the previous decision on the “step transaction” issue.

Noe Romo v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms the trial court did not err in admitting the translation transcripts of conversations recorded in Spanish between Romo and a police informant. The written English translations of foreign language recordings may be admitted as substantive evidence, and the recordings themselves generally should be admitted and played as well, but under the circumstances in the instant case, the failure to play the Spanish recordings is not a reversible error. Summarily affirms the Indiana Court of Appeals on all other issues.

Indiana Court of Appeals had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.


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  1. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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