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Opinions July 9, 2010

July 9, 2010
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The following opinion was issued after Thursday’s IL deadline.

Indiana Supreme Court
Steven W. Everling v. State of Indiana
48S05-0911-CR-506
Criminal. Reverses and remands for a new trial following jury’s finding of Everling to be guilty of three counts of child molesting and two counts of sexual misconduct with a minor. While Everling raised several issues for a reversal, the Supreme Court addressed only whether the judge’s conduct during the trial deprived Everling of a fair trial. Concludes the court’s overall conduct evidenced partiality.

Today’s Opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Freddie L. Byers Jr. v. James Basinger, Superintendent of the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility

09-1833
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. Judge Allen Sharp
Civil. Affirms District Court's denial of Byers' habeas petition. After a jury found Byers guilty of murder, attempted murder and robbery, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed on direct appeal. The Indiana Court of Appeals denied his petition for post-conviction relief, and the Indiana Supreme Court denied transfer. The District Court later denied Byers’ habeas petition, in which Byers argued that his trial counsel performed deficiently. The 7th Circuit granted Byers a certificate of appealability on the question whether he had been denied effective assistance of counsel. The 7th Circuit affirmed the district court’s denial because, even if Byers successfully exhausted his claim, it lacks merit.

Today's opinions
The Indiana Supreme Court posted no opinions before IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Daniel C. Reinhart v. State of Indiana
57A03-1002-CR-84
Criminal. Reverses Reinhart’s convictions of Class D felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated and Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana. The sole issue presented for review was whether trial court abused its discretion when it admitted evidence obtained following a traffic stop of Reinhart’s vehicle. Reinhart asserted police violated his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.
 
Allen A. Halferty v. State of Indiana
20A03-0910-CR-475
Criminal. Affirms Halferty’s conviction of maintaining a common nuisance by dealing methamphetamine. Reverses his conviction of Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine and remands with instructions to enter a conviction for Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine due to evidence regarding the amount of the drug. Also instructs trial court to revise Halferty’s sentence to reflect the change from Class A felony to Class B felony.
 
Charles Taylor v. State of Indiana
71A04-1001-PC-6
Post-conviction. Affirms post-conviction court’s denial of Taylor’s petition for post-conviction relief. After he initiated a direct appeal of his three convictions of Class B felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, the Court of Appeals had granted Taylor a Davis/Hatton petition, which involves a termination or suspension of a direct appeal already initiated, upon appellate counsel’s motion for remand or stay, to allow a post-conviction relief petition to be pursued in the trial court. Court of Appeals concludes Taylor’s trial counsel did not provide ineffective assistance by failing to object to the admission of the weapons and that his convictions do not violate Indiana’s prohibition against double jeopardy.
 
Ben Gill v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-0912-CR-734
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentences for intimidation and battery following a guilty plea without a written plea agreement.

Mark A. Shepard v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-0912-CR-1244
Criminal. Affirms conviction of battery.
 
Robert Townsend v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-0911-CR-1120
Criminal. Affirms classification as a Sexually Violent Predator.

Donald J. Zellers v. Sharon Zellers (NFP)
43A03-0909-CV-433
Civil. Affirms trial court’s distribution of marital property following divorce.
 
Kirby D. Oliver v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1002-CR-53
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s denial of Oliver’s motion requesting placement in community corrections following a guilty plea to murder.

The Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions before 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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