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Opinions July 2, 2014

July 2, 2014
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Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of: Steve L. Brejensky
29S00-1205-DI-277
Discipline. Imposes at least one-year suspension without automatic reinstatement based on Brejensky’s conviction of Class A misdemeanor conversion and lack of remorse. He may be reinstated only after proving his remorse, rehabilitation and fitness to practice law. The costs of the proceeding are assessed against him.

In the Matter of: Patrick H. Stern
49S00-1205-DI-255
Discipline. Suspends Stern for at least 18-months without automatic reinstatement  for  failing to provide competent representation, representing clients with conflicting interests, asserting frivolous legal positions and engaging in deceptive practices with a court and the Disciplinary Commission.  Requires Stern to undergo a reinstatement proceeding before resuming practice. Justice David dissents regarding the discipline imposed, believing it is insufficient.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Somerville Auto Transport Service, Inc. and Robert Souza v. Automotive Finance Corporation
49A02-1307-CC-559
Civil collection.  Affirms orders placing the cause of action on the active docket and granting summary judgment in favor of Automotive Finance Corp against Somerville and Souza on an outstanding loan owed to AFC.  Finds trial court could place case back on docket  based on T.R. 60(A) after it had previously dismissed it with prejudiced, and finds that AFC provided sufficient evidence to show it reasonably believed Robson Merenciano was an agent of the dealership for purpose of purchasing vehicles using Somerville’s line of credit.

Charlotte Wiggins v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1311-CR-972
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B misdemeanor criminal mischief.

Robin Shannon v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1312-CR-1010
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.

David Wickizer v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1310-CR-518
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor battery.

The Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana decisions by 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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