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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
94S00-1007-CQ-348
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
49T10-1007-TA-35
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
49S10-1010-TA-519
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
49S04-1009-CR-499
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. File under the Sociology of Hoosier Discipline ... “We will be answering the complaint in due course and defending against the commission’s allegations,” said Indianapolis attorney Don Lundberg, who’s representing Hudson in her disciplinary case. FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW ... Lundberg ran the statist attorney disciplinary machinery in Indy for decades, and is now the "go to guy" for those who can afford him .... the ultimate insider for the well-to-do and/or connected who find themselves in the crosshairs. It would appear that this former prosecutor knows how the game is played in Circle City ... and is sacrificing accordingly. See more on that here ... http://www.theindianalawyer.com/supreme-court-reprimands-attorney-for-falsifying-hours-worked/PARAMS/article/43757 Legal sociologists could have a field day here ... I wonder why such things are never studied? Is a sacrifice to the well connected former regulators a de facto bribe? Such questions, if probed, could bring about a more just world, a more equal playing field, less Stalinist governance. All of the things that our preambles tell us to value could be advanced if only sunshine reached into such dark worlds. As a great jurist once wrote: "Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman." Other People's Money—and How Bankers Use It (1914). Ah, but I am certifiable, according to the Indiana authorities, according to the ISC it can be read, for believing such trite things and for advancing such unwanted thoughts. As a great albeit fictional and broken resistance leaders once wrote: "I am the dead." Winston Smith Let us all be dead to the idea of maintaining a patently unjust legal order.

  2. The Department of Education still has over $100 million of ITT Education Services money in the form of $100+ million Letters of Credit. That money was supposed to be used by The DOE to help students. The DOE did nothing to help students. The DOE essentially stole the money from ITT Tech and still has the money. The trustee should be going after the DOE to get the money back for people who are owed that money, including shareholders.

  3. Do you know who the sponsor of the last-minute amendment was?

  4. Law firms of over 50 don't deliver good value, thats what this survey really tells you. Anybody that has seen what they bill for compared to what they deliver knows that already, however.

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