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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. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  2. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  3. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  4. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  5. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

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