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
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
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.
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
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)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and aggregate 65-year sentence for felony murder and Class B felony robbery.

Nanci Lacy v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
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)
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Douglas P. Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues