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Opinions Jan. 13, 2012

January 13, 2012
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The Indiana Supreme Court posted the following opinions Thursday after IL deadline:
In the Matter of Augustus J. Mendenhall
32S00-1005-DI-230
Disciplinary. Permanently disbarrs Mendall, the attorney who attacked State Rep. Ed DeLaney in 2009 and was convicted as guilty but mentally ill on five felonies and sentenced to 40 years imprisonment. Concludes that Mendenhall violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rule 8.4(b) by committing criminal acts, including attempted murder, that reflect adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer.
 
In the Matter of Nancy J. Flatt-Moore
30S00-0911-DI-535
Disciplinary. Issues a public reprimand to a deputy prosecutor that the Supreme Court found surrendered her prosecutorial discretion in plea negotiations entirely to the pecuniary demands of the victim of the crime. The court found she violated Rule 8.4(d) that prohibits attorneys from engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.

Friday’s opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Kevin Harris v. Warrick County Sheriff’s Department
10-3706
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division, Chief Judge Richard Young.
Civil. Affirms District Court’s entry of summary judgment for the sheriff’s department in a case where a deputy sheriff’s probationary employment was terminated based on violations of standard operating procedures, failure to follow orders and insufficient commitment to the job. Harris’s circumstantial evidence of discrimination falls far short of supporting an inference that he was terminated because of his race.

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

Indiana Court of Appeals
Utility Center, Inc., d/b/a Aqua Indiana, Inc. v. City of Fort Wayne, Indiana
90A04-1101-PL-15
Civil. Affirms trial court judgment relating to a public utility’s property condemnation that was before the Fort Wayne Board of Public Works. Finds the trial court can and should decline to hold a jury trial and limit its review. Holds that judicial review of administrative determination of just compensation should be limited to the consideration of the agency record and other evidence on abuse of discretion.

In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of J.H. & Ja.H.; and M.H. v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
48A05-1105-JT-225
Juvenile. Affirms trial court’s judgment terminating a mother’s parental rights to her two children.

In Re: The Commitment of A.M. v. Community North Hospital / Gallahue Mental Health Services (NFP)
49A02-1109-MH-887
Mental Health. Affirms that sufficient evidence was presented to support an involuntary commitment and finds the appeal is moot because the commitment expired Dec. 21, 2011.
 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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