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Opinions Jan. 14, 2011

January 14, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
John M. Stephenson v. Bill Wilson, Superintendent of Indiana State Prison
09-2924
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Order. Petition for rehearing en banc is denied. Panel previously reversed District Court’s finding that Stephenson received ineffective assistance of counsel because the attorney didn’t object to Stephenson’s wearing a stun belt in court. Judges Rovner, Williams, and Hamilton dissent.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Indiana Spine Group, P.C. v. International Entertainment Consultants
93A02-1007-EX-764
Civil. Reverses dismissal of Indiana Spine Group’s application for adjustment of claim with the Worker’s Compensation Board. Indiana Code Section 22-3-3-3 doesn’t apply to Indiana Spine’s claim. Remands for further proceedings.

Orlando Quezare v. Byrider Finance, Inc.
29A02-1008-PL-944
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment for Byrider Finance on Quezare’s suit that his bonus payments were “wages” under the Wage Payment Statute and Byrider violated the statute by not paying him his bonuses within 10 days of the date they were earned. The bonuses were not wages for the purposes of the statute because they were not directly related to the amount of time Quezare worked, were not necessarily paid regularly, and the bonus program was discretionary.

Alexander Orta v. State of Indiana
71A05-1004-CR-210
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for felony murder, Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle with a controlled substance in the blood, and Class C felony failure to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in death of another person. The trial court acted within its discretion with regard to each of Orta’s alleged errors, the trial court properly applied the Indiana Supreme Court’s opinion in Sanchez, and Orta’s sentence is appropriate.

Christopher Brian Neal v. State of Indiana (NFP)
07A01-1007-CR-331
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and aggregate 65-year sentence for felony murder and Class B felony robbery.

Nanci Lacy v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1005-OV-528
Local ordinance violation. Affirms permanent injunction order impounding any animal Lacy owned and prohibiting her from owning or keeping an animal in Marion County.

Gregory Withers, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A04-1006-CR-419
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony nonsupport of a child.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of N.J.; J.J. and A.D. v. I.D.C.S., St. Joseph County office (NFP)
71A04-1004-JT-209
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Douglas P. Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
92A03-1004-CR-222
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to sever child molesting charges from sexual misconduct with a minor charges.

Jay F. Vermillion v. Indiana State Prison Disciplinary Body and Westville Control Unit (NFP)
46A03-1008-SC-409
Small claims. Affirms grant of motion to dismiss Vermillion’s complaint alleging his disciplinary sanction and the confiscation of his television were in violation of Department of Correction policy.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. Bill Satterlee is, indeed, a true jazz aficionado. Part of my legal career was spent as an associate attorney with Hoeppner, Wagner & Evans in Valparaiso. Bill was instrumental (no pun intended) in introducing me to jazz music, thereby fostering my love for this genre. We would, occasionally, travel to Chicago on weekends and sit in on some outstanding jazz sessions at Andy's on Hubbard Street. Had it not been for Bill's love of jazz music, I never would have had the good fortune of hearing it played live at Andy's. And, most likely, I might never have begun listening to it as much as I do. Thanks, Bill.

  2. The child support award is many times what the custodial parent earns, and exceeds the actual costs of providing for the children's needs. My fiance and I have agreed that if we divorce, that the children will be provided for using a shared checking account like this one(http://www.mediate.com/articles/if_they_can_do_parenting_plans.cfm) to avoid the hidden alimony in Indiana's child support guidelines.

  3. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  4. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  5. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

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