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Opinions July 27, 201

July 27, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Leonard Lapsley, et al. v. Xtek Inc.
11-3313
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. Judge Joseph S. Van Bokkelen.
Civil. Affirms denial of Xtek’s Daubert motion that sought to bar Dr. Gary Hutter from offering his expert opinions, which were essential to Lapsley’s case that a design defect in Xtek’s equipment was the cause of his accident. In this case, the District Court’s stated analysis of the proposed testimony was brief, but it was also directly to the point and was sufficient to trigger deferential review on appeal. The District Court did not misapply Daubert.

The Indiana Supreme Court posted the following decisions Thursday after IL deadline
Indiana Dept. of Revenue v. Miller Brewing Co.

49S10-1203-TA-136
Tax appeal. Reverses Tax Court ruling that Miller owes no tax on certain sales to Indiana consumers, holding that the Tax Court clearly erred in determining that an example of the application of an administrative rule had the force of law.

Douglas Cottingham v. State of Indiana
06S01-1112-CR-703
Criminal. Finds the statutory amendment to Indiana Code 35-38-2.6-6 regarding good time credit for home detention retroactively does not apply to Cottingham. By using “is placed” in the statute, the Legislature intended for the amendment to apply only to people who are placed on home detention on or after the amendment’s effective date.

Robert Smith v. State of Indiana
49S02-1109-CR-529
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation and placement in a community-corrections program and order Smith serve time in the Department of Correction. Rejects Smith’s argument that his due process right to confrontation in revocation hearings requires confrontation as defined in Crawford. Affirms finding that the state’s Exhibit 1 was substantially trustworthy, so his due process right to confrontation was not violated by its admission.

Indiana Court of Appeals
John Cherry v. State of Indiana
55A01-1112-CR-585
Criminal. Affirms trial court convictions and sentences for Class B felony aiding, inducing or causing dealing in heroin and Class D felony unlawful possession of a syringe, finding the trial court did not abuse its discretion.

Dale Brenon v. The 1st Advantage Corp, d/b/a Omega Insurance Services
93A02-1202-EX-108
Executive administrative/workers’ compensation. Reverses and remands to the Worker’s Compensation Board of Indiana dismissal of Brenon’s application for adjustment of claim. The court held that the decision is not sustainable under the doctrine of collateral estoppel, Wisconsin laws or Supreme Court precedent, and that the board’s decision gave no effect to the reservation of rights clauses contained in settlement agreements.

Phillip L. White v. State of Indiana
18A05-1201-PC-1
Criminal/post-conviction relief. Affirms trial court’s denial of post-conviction relief, holding that White cannot demonstrate that his appellate counsel’s performance was deficient.

Kathleen K. Peterink v. State of Indiana
57A03-1112-CR-586
Criminal. Reverses and remands, finding that the trial court’s sentence exceeded the statutory maximum for a Class A misdemeanor.

Andre Graham v. State of Indiana
10A01-1108-CR-440
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony dealing in cocaine, Class A felony possession of cocaine, Class B felony dealing in a schedule III controlled substance, and Class D felony possession of a controlled substance, holding that Graham’s constitutional rights were not violated during the traffic stop that resulted in his arrest.

Ronald Davis v. State of Indiana
49A05-1109-CR-459
Criminal. Affirms 245-year aggregate sentence resulting from a guilty plea to four counts of murder, one count of Class B felony conspiracy to commit robbery and one count of Class B felony unlawful possession of a firearm, ruling that the sentence was not inappropriate in light of Davis’s character and the nature of the crime.   

Damon Tyree Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
29A02-1111-CR-1020
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony robbery.

The Carl Kaetzel Trust U/T/D December 10, 1977, The Roberta Kaetzel Trust U/T/D December 10, 1977 and Carl Kaetzel, Roberta Kaetzel, et al v. Jon Marc Kaetzel and Beverly Kaetzel (NFP)
74A01-1201-PL-36
Civil plenary/rescission of deed and constructive fraud. Affirms trial court determination that the plaintiffs were not entitled to the remedy of rescission and that judgment was properly entered for Jon and Beverly Kaetzel.

In Re the Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of S.S.; D.S. v. Department of Child Services (NFP)
02A03-1112-JT-592
Juvenile/termination of parental rights. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Joshua A. Willey-Rumback v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A05-1111-CR-638
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony robbery and revocation of probation.

Chad A. Jeffries v. State of Indiana (NFP)
73A04-1110-PC-574
Criminal. Affirms conviction of dealing in methamphetamine.

Craig Watts v. Betty (Watts) Lankford (NFP)
42A01-1111-DR-523
Domestic relations/child support. Affirms trial court order for father to pay child support arrearage and mother’s attorney fees.

Anthony Ramirez v. State of Indiana (NFP)
41A04-1109-CR-475
Criminal. Affirms conviction of battery with a deadly weapon and residential entry.
 
Michael S. Dornbusch v. State of Indiana (NFP)
87A01-1112-CR-604
Criminal. Affirms convictions of four counts of Class B felony burglary and a count of Class D felony attempted residential entry.
 
Tarrance Battle v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1110-CR-946
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class A felony possession of cocaine.
 
The Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions prior to IL deadline
 
 

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  2. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  3. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  4. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  5. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

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