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Opinions Jan. 26, 2011

January 26, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Ty Brock
10-2385
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Chief Judge Philip P. Simon.
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to suppress items found in Brock’s car during a checkpoint stop. Because the checkpoint was neither objectively nor subjectively intrusive in any way that would outweigh the government’s interest in operating it, the checkpoint stop didn’t violate his Fourth Amendment rights.

Maurice Gipson v. United States of America
09-2756
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division, Judge Larry J. McKinney.
Civil. Reverses summary judgment for the government in Gipson’s suit under the Federal Tort Claims Act complaining about complications of neck surgery because the prison’s medical staff didn’t tell him that he needed to stop taking blood thinners at least five days before the surgery. The medical staff should have told Gipson to stop taking the aspirin, and there is conflicting evidence as to whether he ran out of aspirin more than five days before his operation as the government argues. Remands for further proceedings.

Indiana Supreme Court
Fredrick Michael Baer v. State of Indiana
48S00-0709-PD-362
Death penalty. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief following previous affirmation of Baer’s death sentence for two counts of murder. He did not receive ineffective assistance of trial or appellate counsel, his death sentence doesn’t violate the Eighth Amendment, and the trial judge didn’t error in rejecting his guilty but mentally ill plea.

Indiana Court of Appeals
S.S. v. Review Board
93A02-1006-EX-738
Civil. Affirms dismissal of S.S.’s appeal following the denial of unemployment benefits and the denial of her request for reinstatement of her appeal. S.S. was afforded due process and a reasonable opportunity for a hearing, and there was no error in the review board’s consideration of evidence or in its denial of her request to reinstate her appeal. Judge Brown dissents.

Dan Cristiani Excavating Co. Inc. v. Jeremy Money and Kerri Money
10A05-1002-CT-114
Civil tort. Affirms verdict in favor of the Moneys for injuries sustained by Jeremy in a bulldozer accident. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying bifurcation of the trial or in declining to allow the jury to view actual or photographic evidence of the bulldozer involved. Cristiani waived the issue of whether Jeremy’s life-care planner was qualified to testify as an expert and that the weight to be given to her testimony was properly conceded by the jury. Cristiani failed to establish actual personal bias by the trial judge.

A.H. v. State of Indiana
10A05-1003-CR-256
Criminal. Reverses one count of Class B felony incest. The evidence, which included A.H.’s stipulated polygraph, was insufficient to prove this conviction beyond a reasonable doubt. Remands for the trial court to vacate this conviction and accompanying sentence and for further proceedings.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of T.T., et al.; A.T. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
29A05-1008-JT-475
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parent-child relationship.

Gene Hooks v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A01-1005-CR-220
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class C felony child molesting.

Jonathan R. Dye v. State of Indiana (NFP)
21A01-1004-CR-168
Criminal. Revises sentence following guilty plea to two counts of dealing in a controlled substance, one as a Class B and one as a Class C felony, and remands for a sentence of 10 years with two years suspended.

Christopher West v. State of Indiana (NFP)
21A04-1004-CR-303
Criminal. Affirms West’s convictions of two counts of dealing in cocaine as class B felonies and one count of possession of cocaine as a Class D felony. Reverses the trial court’s imposition of consecutive sentences as to the two dealing convictions. Remands for further proceedings.

Melissa A. (Scales) Crupper v. Charles D. Scales, Jr. (NFP)
87A05-1008-DR-500
Domestic relation. Affirms judgment granting father physical custody of the children.

Tevin Reaves v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A04-1005-CR-332
Criminal. Affirms conviction of murder but sua sponte vacates the conviction of conspiracy to commit murder and sentence on double jeopardy grounds.

Paternity of T.A.; J.M. v. A.A. (NFP)
28A01-1007-JP-387
Juvenile. Affirms order that J.M.’s minor child should assume the surname of A.A., the child’s mother.

Arthur E. Lott, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A04-1006-CR-383
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony burglary.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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