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Opinions July 30, 2012

July 30, 2012
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The following Indiana Supreme Court opinion was released Friday after IL deadline.
In the Matter of Thomas E. Q. Williams
30S00-1101-DI-37
Attorney discipline. Suspends attorney for two years without automatic reinstatement for engaging in misconduct by charging an unreasonable attorney fee to an elderly client, converting funds belonging to the client, and related misconduct.

Monday’s opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Winforge, Inc., et al., v. Coachmen Industries, Inc., et al.
10-3178
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Affirms trial court judgment for defendants, agreeing that the parties had never entered into a final, enforceable contract.

Indiana Supreme Court
Thomas R. Crowel v. Marshall County Drainage Board
50S03-1202-MI-71
Miscellaneous. Affirms trial court ruling assessing a portion of a drain reconstruction’s costs, holding that Crowel receives a benefit by virtue of the drainage.

Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana v. Raymond P. Coleman
29A05-1108-CR-435
Criminal. Dismisses appeal of trial court’s grant of motion to dismiss, holding the state lacks statutory authority to bring the appeal.

The Peniel Group, Inc. and Beech Grove Holdings, LLC v. Elizabeth Bannon, Kenneth G. Schaefer, Linda A. Schaefer, et al.
49A02-1201-PL-42
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment for Kenneth G. and Linda A. Schaefer, Betty Benefiel, Janet Beeler, and Charles and Beth Dodson, finding that Beech Grove Holdings is barred from bringing a claim under Environmental Legal Action statutes.

Jeffery Alholm v. Rebecca (Alholm) Allen (NFP)
48A05-1109-DR-466
Domestic relation. Affirms trial court modification of child custody and parenting time, and contempt order against father.
 
Bruce A. Craig v. Cynthia E. Craig (NFP)
92A03-1112-DR-584
Domestic relation. Affirms trial court’s division of property.

Scott Robertson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1112-CR-1081
Criminal. Affirms bench trial conviction of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement.

Lawrence Ray Holley, II v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A02-1005-PC-652
Post-conviction relief. Reverses denial of post-conviction relief and remands, finding the court erred when it refused to admit trial transcripts into the record.

Elex Baltazar v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1111-CR-545
Criminal. Affirms trial court conviction of murder.

Michael Mangan v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1110-CR-555
Criminal. Affirms trial court conviction of murder.

James L. Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1112-CR-1100
Criminal. Affirms 75-year sentence for convictions of Class A felony criminal deviate conduct, Class B felony criminal confinement and being a habitual offender.

Fortune Management, Inc. v. Design Collaborative, Inc. (NFP)
34A02-1110-CC-1131
Civil collections. Affirms finding that an oral contract existed and that damages were awardable for breach of that contract, and that Fortune could not prevail on the mitigation of damages issue. Reserves in part and remands to trial court to vacate judgment on motion to correct error and restore its original judgment.
 
Katie C. Graber v. Dale Graber (NFP)
02A04-1112-DR-696
Domestic relations. Affirms trial court division of assets.

Barbara A. Johnson and William T. Johnson, both individually and as trustees of the Barbara A. Johnson Living Trust Dated 12-17-1996 v. Joseph Wysocki and M. Carmen Wysocki (NFP)
45A04-1111-CT-610
Civil tort. Reverses trial court finding for the Wysockis on a claim of fraudulent misrepresentation; affirms court’s denial of the Wysockis’ request for attorney fees.

Indiana Tax Court 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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