Opinions June 13, 2012

June 13, 2012
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The following Indiana Supreme Court opinion was posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
Michael W. Baker v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony burglary, finding the evidence suggesting that Baker opened cupboards and drawers in the kitchen is enough to support a reasonable inference that the defendant entered the church with intent to commit theft inside.

Wednesday’s opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals

United States of America v. Cristofer Tichenor
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker
Criminal. Affirms 300-month sentence following guilty plea to armed robbery and discharging a firearm in connection with robbing a bank. Rejects Tichenor’s argument that the career offender sentencing guideline is unconstitutionally vague, finding that the guidelines are not susceptible to vagueness challenges and the U.S. Sentencing Commission did not exceed its authority by promulgating the “crime of violence” definition.

Indiana Supreme Court and Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals

In Re the Matter of: B.N. and H.C., Children in Need of Services; M.C. v. Marion Co. Dept. of Child Services and Child Advocates, Inc.
Juvenile. Reverses determination that children are in need of services. There is insufficient evidence to support the determination that the children’s physical or mental conditions were seriously impaired or endangered as a result of the inability, refusal or neglect of the parent to supply the children with food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education or supervision.

Anthony D. Gorman v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class B felony robbery while armed with a deadly weapon. There is sufficient evidence to support his convictions.

Dennis Jack Horner v. Marcia (Horner) Carter
Domestic relation. Affirms denial of Horner’s request to modify the terms of a mediated settlement agreement. Alternative Dispute Resolution Rule 2.11 and Indiana Evidence Rule 408 allow the introduction of mediation communications to establish traditional contract defenses, so the trial court erred in excluding the evidence of mediation communications to establish that a mistake occurred in drafting the agreement.  But his testimony about the mediation communications falls short of establishing any mistake that might entitle him to relief, so this was a harmless error. The trial court properly determined that the agreement in this case provided for a property settlement that survived Carter’s remarriage.

Chad Stewart v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to two counts of Class B felony child molesting.

Auto Liquidation Center, Inc. v. McKesha Bates (NFP)
Small claim. Affirms judgment in favor of Bates on her breach of contract and criminal conversion claims. Remands for calculation of appellate attorney fees owed to Bates.

Carl D. Jackson, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony battery.

Anthony Michael Beck and Sandra Beck, natural parents and next friends of Jacob Leslie Beck, minor v. Scott Memorial Hospital and Larry Hunefeld, M.D. (NFP)
Civil collection. Affirms grant of a motion in limine filed by Scott Memorial Hospital.



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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.