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Opinions Jan. 12, 2011

January 12, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Amorita N. Thomas, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated v. H&R Block Eastern Enterprises Inc.
10-1482
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge David Hamilton.
Affirms summary judgment in favor of H&R Block in Thomas’ suit under Indiana’s Wage Payment Statute for paying its end-of-season compensation more than 10 days after it was earned. Concludes that the end-of-season compensation is not a wage under the statute because it was depending on other factors than her efforts and it would be highly difficult for the company to calculate it within 10 days. Declines to send a certified question on the issue to the Indiana Supreme Court.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Beck's Superior Hybrids, Inc. v. Monsanto Company, et al.
29A05-1008-MI-489
Miscellaneous. Reverses order that Beck’s comply with the arbitration panel’s subpoena. Section 7 of the Federal Arbitration Act preempts Indiana Trial Rule 28(E) and Monsanto’s lack of federal subject matter jurisdiction to enforce its subpoena doesn’t justify ignoring the plain text of Section 7. Remands with instructions that the court dismiss Monsanto’s petition to assist. Judge Baker dissents.

Brian Reese v. State of Indiana
64A03-1001-CR-18
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony attempted murder, Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, and carrying a handgun without a license, elevated to a Class C felony due to a prior offense. The trial court did not abuse its discretion by admitting evidence of uncharged bad acts, there is sufficient evidence to support his conviction of attempted murder, and he was properly sentenced. The use of “attack” in jury instruction Final Instruction 26 is at most a harmless error in light of the testimony that Reese deliberately fired multiple shots at the police officer.

Alesa Pack v. Indiana Family and Social Services Administration

89A05-1004-PL-240
Civil plenary. Grants rehearing for the sole purpose of clarifying the correct application of Administrative Orders and Procedures Act to Medicaid determinations regarding recipients and applications. Clarifies that while the AOPA applies to judicial review of Medicaid determinations, separate rules apply to the review of such decisions by an administrative law judge as they pertain to recipients of and applications for Medicaid benefits. Affirms original decision in all respects. Judge Riley voted to deny petition for rehearing without opinion.

Glenn L. Carpenter v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1005-CR-521
Criminal. Affirms conviction of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon as a Class B felony, adjudication as a habitual offender, and sentence imposed.

Lucas T. Scholl v. State of Indiana (NFP)
07A01-1004-CR-166
Criminal. Affirms conviction of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, endangering a person as a Class A misdemeanor.

Camiell Chest v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1005-CR-544
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony domestic battery.

Wesley D. Willis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A04-1005-CR-304
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony voluntary manslaughter, Class A felony attempted murder, and two counts of Class C felony criminal recklessness.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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