Opinions Jan. 11, 2012

January 11, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals had posted no Indiana opinions at IL deadline.

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

Indiana Court of Appeals
Daniel E. Serban v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Declines to revise Serban’s 11-year sentence following guilty plea to Class C felony corrupt business influence and Class D felony theft. Serban failed to demonstrate his sentence is inappropriate, and his stealing from his clients injured not only them, but also the legal profession.

Nicholas Williams v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses trial court’s grant of the Indiana Board of Pharmacy’s motion to quash Williams’ subpoena for a certified copy of “any and all” of Williams’ prescription records. The confidentiality provisions of the applicable statute were enacted to protect Williams’ physician-patient privilege and pharmacist-patient privilege and he waived those privileges by requesting his prescription records in the exercise of his constitutional right to present a complete defense to the charged crimes. Williams’ request is sufficiently particular, the requested information is material to his defense, not all the information requested would be available from his doctors and the board has failed to show a paramount interest in not disclosing the information.

Dave's Excavating, Inc. and Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. v. City of New Castle, Indiana
Civil plenary. Affirms two orders entered granting summary judgment to New Castle in its suit against Dave’s Excavating on breach of a construction contract and against Liberty Mutual under a performance bond. Dave’s refusal to resume work on the project constituted a breach of construction contract, and Liberty Mutual did not show that it asserted its rights to elect how to mitigate damages “promptly.”

Anthony J. Rehl, Sr. and Bessie A. Rehl v. Robert V. Billetz and Joy A. Billetz
Civil plenary. Affirms judgment in favor of the Billetzes regarding an access easement. The trial court did not err in making its findings of facts related to the relative use or increased use of the easement area and interference with the use of the Rehl property.

Clark County Drainage Board and Clark County Board of Commissioners v. Robert Isgrigg
Civil plenary. Affirms in part and reverses in part summary judgment for Isgrigg. Isgrigg, in his official capacity as county surveyor, had standing to seek declaratory relief from the Clark County Drainage Board’s actions. The drainage board’s subdivision project didn’t establish a regulated drain under Indiana Code, and therefore, the board wasn’t required to utilize the county surveyor. The board’s removal of an obstruction from a natural watercourse without the county surveyor’s participation did violate Indiana Code.

Charles Lawrence, Sr. v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms murder conviction. The state presented sufficient substantive evidence to establish that Lawrence was in his sister’s apartment around the time of the shooting and had the opportunity to commit murder.

Shandaleigha M. Tharp v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Vacates Tharp’s aggregate 27-year sentence following a guilty plea for various offenses, including forgery, burglary, and theft and imposes an aggregate sentence of 19.5 years, with 14.5 executed and five years suspended.

Diyon Evans v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony rape and Class B felony criminal deviate conduct.

Arnold W. Cook v. Consolidated Roofing, Inc. (NFP)
Civil collection. Affirms judgment substantially in favor of Consolidated Roofing on Cook’s complaint for injunctive and declaratory relief and damages.

Vincent Barrett and Sarah Barrett v. City of Logansport, Indiana; Michael Nicoll, in his capacity as Sexton of Mount Hope Cemetery; and James McDonald (NFP)
Civil plenary. Affirms judgment in favor of Logansport, Nicoll and McDonald on the Barretts’ claims for negligence, breach of contract, fraud and injunctive relief.

R.W. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.