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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. Bill Satterlee is, indeed, a true jazz aficionado. Part of my legal career was spent as an associate attorney with Hoeppner, Wagner & Evans in Valparaiso. Bill was instrumental (no pun intended) in introducing me to jazz music, thereby fostering my love for this genre. We would, occasionally, travel to Chicago on weekends and sit in on some outstanding jazz sessions at Andy's on Hubbard Street. Had it not been for Bill's love of jazz music, I never would have had the good fortune of hearing it played live at Andy's. And, most likely, I might never have begun listening to it as much as I do. Thanks, Bill.

  2. The child support award is many times what the custodial parent earns, and exceeds the actual costs of providing for the children's needs. My fiance and I have agreed that if we divorce, that the children will be provided for using a shared checking account like this one(http://www.mediate.com/articles/if_they_can_do_parenting_plans.cfm) to avoid the hidden alimony in Indiana's child support guidelines.

  3. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  4. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  5. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

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