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Opinions July 13, 2012

July 13, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana opinions at IL deadline.

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


Indiana Court of Appeals
John W. Schoettmer and Karen Schoettmer v. Jolene C. Wright and South Central Community Action Program, Inc.
49A04-1108-CT-406
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Wright and South Central Community Action Program Inc., finding that the plaintiffs did not timely file notice as governed by the Indiana Tort Claims Act.

Robert Hatcher v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1111-CR-1075
Criminal. Reverses and remands trial court revocation of probation, holding that the court could not conclude that Hatcher knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily waived his right to counsel.
 
Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company as Subrogee of Plymouth Wesleyan Church v. Michiana Contracting, Inc., McGrath Refrigeration, Inc., John D. McGrath, Joseph A. Dzierla and Assoc., Inc., et al.
50A03-1111-CT-518
Civil tort. Reverses and remands summary judgment for Michiana, et al., holding that damage to a church addition’s gym floor that was destroyed when a sprinkler froze and burst is not subject to terms of a contact’s waiver of subrogation because the church, not the contractors, performed the work.
 
Michael J. Gosnell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A02-1110-CR-951
Criminal. Affirms trial court sentence after guilty plea on a charge of conspiracy to commit robbery while armed with a deadly weapon.

Swammi, Inc., f/k/a Swami, Inc. v. Shambaugh, Kast, Beck, Williams, LLP and John S. Bloom (NFP)
02A01-1109-PL-417
Civil plenary. Affirms jury verdict that defendants were not liable for legal malpractice.

Alpha Holder, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1111-CR-516
Criminal. Affirms trial court sentence of nine years executed for convictions of Class C felony fraud on a financial institution and being a habitual offender.

Corey Cole v. State of Indiana
49A02-1111-CR-1019
Criminal. Affirms trial court conviction of Class B felony rape, holding the trial court did not commit reversible error when it sustained the state’s objection to Cole’s attempt to refresh the victim’s memory with the notes from a nurse, and that the trial court did not commit fundamental error when it allowed hearsay statements.
 
Donald Humphrey v. State of Indiana (NFP)
75A04-1111-CR-607
Criminal. Affirms trial court convictions of Class C felony intimidation and Class D felony intimidation.

Devonte Rogers v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1111-CR-1015
Criminal. Affirms trial court convictions of Class B felony criminal deviate conduct and two counts of Class D felony criminal confinement.
 
Nancy J. Ferguson and Nyla R. Hamilton v. Natalie A. Watkins (NFP)
28A01-1201-PL-7
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court’s denial of motion to set aside a deed in favor of Watkins.

Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of B.M. and A.M. (Minor Children) and J.R. (Mother) v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
79A02-1112-JT-1189
Juvenile/termination of parental rights. Affirms termination of parental rights.

 

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  1. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  2. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  3. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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