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Opinions July 27, 2010

July 27, 2010
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Marion County Coroner’s Office v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and John Linehan
09-3595
Petition for review of an order of the EEOC. Upholds the EEOC determination that Coroner Ackles’ stated reason for taking action against Linehan was pretextual and that the EEOC had jurisdiction over Linehan’s retaliation claim. Reduces the compensatory damage award from $200,000 to a suggested $20,000. If the respondents do not consent to the remittitur, there will be a new hearing on the issue.

Prime Eagle Group Ltd., as assignee of the claims of Nakornthai Strip Mill Public Co. Ltd. v. Steel Dynamics Inc.
09-1663
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge James T. Moody.
Civil. Affirms judgment for Steel Dynamics in Prime Eagle’s suit that Steel Dynamics must pay damages in tort for withdrawing from a steel mill venture in Asia. Nakornthai’s injury began no later than July 1999 and the company had knowledge of the injury then, so its suit is beyond the statute of limitations.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals

Steven Spangler and Heidi Brown v. Barbara Bechtel, Expectations Women's Health & Child Bearing Center, et al.
49A05-0908-CV-482
Civil. Reverses summary judgment in favor of the defendants in Spangler and Brown’s suit for wrongful death and emotional distress after their child was stillborn. The parents have a valid claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress based on Brown’s direct involvement in the stillbirth. Holds that a mother who suffers a stillbirth due to medical malpractice qualifies as an injured patient and satisfies the actual victim requirement under the Medical Malpractice Act regardless of whether the malpractice resulted in injuries to the mother, the fetus, or both, and the parents may assert a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress under Shuamber’s modified impact rule.

David A. Calvert v. State of Indiana
40A05-0911-CR-659
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class B felony attempted robbery with a deadly weapon because the state failed to prove a substantial step. Calvert’s conviction of possession of a sawed-off shotgun as a Class D felony violates double jeopardy. Affirms convictions of Class B felony possession of a firearm as a serious violent felon. Affirms sentence and remands with instructions. Judge Kirsch dissents in part.

E.W. Revocable Trust
29A02-0910-CV-1004
Civil. Affirms order that the trustee pay the beneficiaries’ attorney fees, the reduction of the requested trustee fees, and the reduction of the amount of trustee’s attorney fees to be borne by the trust. The trustee breached duties owed to the objecting beneficiaries. Reverses order that the trustee bear the remaining portion of his attorney fees personally.

Cornelius Tyrone Lacey, Sr. v. State of Indiana
02A05-0910-CR-562
Criminal. Reverses denial of motion to suppress evidence obtained during the execution of a search warrant. There was probable cause for the issuance of the search warrant but the unilateral decision to dispense with the knock-and-announce rule was unreasonable under the Indiana Constitution. Judge Barnes concurs in result.

Damion Wilkins v. State of Indiana
02A03-0910-CR-451
Criminal. Reverses denial of motion to suppress evidence obtained during the execution of a search warrant. There was probable cause for the issuance of the search warrant but the unilateral decision to dispense with the knock-and-announce rule was unreasonable under the Indiana Constitution. Judge Barnes concurs in result.

Cedric Lewis v. State of Indiana
49A02-0908-CR-736
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class B felony possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. The state failed to satisfy its burden of showing that the warrantless search of the vehicle and the seizure of the gun were satisfied. Judge Kirsch concurs in result; Judge Mathias dissents.

Bradford Drake v. State of Indiana (NFP)
55A01-0912-CR-577
Criminal. Affirms sentence for two convictions of attempted murder as Class A felonies.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of M.D.; M.C. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
34A02-1001-JT-156
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Dionte-Daymone Jones v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A05-1001-CR-4
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony auto theft.

Daniel Brownlee v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-0912-CR-1259
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony burglary and Class D felony attempted theft.

James Eiteljorg, et al. v. Ralph E. Lean (NFP)
49A05-0912-CV-679
Civil. Reverses denial of Eiteljorg and Bharti’s motion for summary judgment in an action brought by Lean seeking contribution from them for violations of the Indiana Securities Law. Remands with instructions.

Daniel J. Emery v. State of Indiana (NFP)
52A04-0910-PC-583
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Associated Builders & Contractors Indiana Chapter, Inc., et al. v. Lori A. Torres (NFP)
49A02-0910-CV-995
Civil. Grants rehearing but affirms original opinion in all respects regarding the dismissal of the builders’ complaint for lack of standing.

Robert Emerson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1001-CR-26
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony battery.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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