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Opinions July 1, 2010

July 1, 2010
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The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Wednesday
Indiana Supreme Court

The Kroger Co. v. Lu Ann B. Plonski
49S02-0907-CV-347
Civil. Affirms denial of Kroger’s motion for summary judgment on Plonski’s complaint for damages for negligence after she was attacked in the store’s parking lot. The trial court erred in granting her motion to strike Kroger affidavits on criminal activity within the past 2 years and by allowing her to introduce the police reports for the ostensible purpose of supporting her motion. The burden is on Kroger to demonstrate that the assault was not foreseeable, which they did not do.

Curtis F. Sample v. State of Indiana
45S03-1006-CR-338
Criminal. Affirms Sample’s convictions and sentence for attempted murder and criminal confinement. Vacates habitual finding adjudication and remands for new habitual offender phase of trial. Because the trial court provided over Sample’s objection an instruction that minimized the jury’s power of discretion in making a determination on habitual offender status, and provided a “law and facts” instruction that rendered meaningless the jury’s Article I, Section 19 authority, the trial court committed reversible error. Sample is entitled to have the habitual offender adjudication vacated.

Luis E. Duran v. State of Indiana
45S03-0910-CR-430
Criminal. Entry into Duran’s home violated both the state and federal constitutions and the evidence of drugs must be suppressed. The information available to the arresting officers didn’t satisfy even the least-restrictive reasonable suspicion standard.

Subhen Ghosh v. Indiana State Ethics Commission and Office of the Inspector General
32S01-0910-CV-504
Civil. Holds that a 2005 amendment authorized State Employee Appeals Commission to consider ethical violations among other grounds for termination in conducting this review, but did not otherwise affect the general rule that the Ethics Commission has exclusive jurisdiction to interpret the state Ethics Code. Ghosh’s attempt to review his termination by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management in this subsequent Ethics Commission proceeding is therefore barred by IDEM’s earlier unappealed decision to terminate him. Upholds the Ethics Commission’s sanction against Ghosh.

Austin Knight v. State of Indiana
02S03-1006-CR-339
Criminal. Revises Knight’s sentence of 70 years following a guilty plea without a plea agreement to 11 counts, including felony burglary and robbery, to a total aggregate term of 40 years. Cannot conclude that Knight’s transgressions necessarily “demonstrate a character of such recalcitrance or depravity” that they justify a 70-year sentence. Remands for re-sentencing.

Today’s opinions
Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Luiz Alves v. Old National Bank f/k/a St. Joseph Capital Bank
71A03-0909-CV-416
Civil. Affirms denial of Alves’ Ind. Trial Rule 60(B) motion. Because he filed his motion more than one year after the trial court granted summary judgment for Old National Bank and his earlier appeal of that judgment doesn’t toll the 1-year limit applicable to motions brought pursuant to subsections (1)-(4), his motion is untimely. In addition, the evidence on appeal doesn’t show the bank owed a duty to Alves or that the bank breached a duty by conspiring with his former business partner to remove him from their company.

John M. Knight v. Kelly A. Knight (NFP)
39A01-0909-CV-453
Civil. Affirms denial of John Knight’s petition for modification of child support.

Luiz Alves v. Damon R.  Leichty, James W. Tuesley, and Barnes & Thornburg, LLC (NFP)
71A03-0912-CV-605
Civil. Affirms dismissal with prejudice of Alves’ complaint for legal malpractice.

Karla J. Reaser v. State of Indiana (NFP)
92A03-1001-CR-20
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony battery, Class A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia, and Class D felony criminal confinement.

Derrick D. Hammond v. State of Indiana (NFP)
59A05-0908-CR-475
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A misdemeanor operating while intoxicated and Class B misdemeanor false informing.

In Re: the Marriage of J.R. and M.R. (NFP)
30A01-0912-CV-581
Civil. Affirms child support award, reverses division of marital estate, and remands with instructions.

Elizabeth Saldivar-Cruz v. Guardian Industries Corp. (NFP)
93A02-0909-EX-839
Civil. Affirms denial of application for adjustment of claim with the Worker’s Compensation Board of Indiana.

Gregory A. Harpenau v. State of Indiana (NFP)
62A01-1002-CR-52
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a prior conviction.

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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