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Opinions June 22, 2012

June 22, 2012
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The following Indiana Supreme Court opinion was posted after IL deadline Thursday:
Roy Lee Ward v. State of Indiana
74S00-0907-PD-320
Death penalty. Affirms post-conviction court’s denial of Ward’s petition for relief from his death sentence. Ward raised several issues in his petition for relief, including ineffective assistance of counsel claims and that the state’s death penalty statute violates the Eighth Amendment.  

Friday’s opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana opinions at IL deadline.

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

Indiana Court of Appeals

Rafael Bocanegra v. State of Indiana
20A03-1108-CR-361
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony forgery. Holds that potential injury remains a sufficient basis for a finding of criminal intent in a forgery prosecution. Remands for vacation of his identity deception conviction. Senior Judge Sullivan dissents.

German American Financial Advisors & Trust Co. d/b/a German American Investment Svcs., PrimeVest Financial Svcs., Inc., and Jeffery W. Tooley v. Dennis M. Reed
19A01-1110-PL-428
Civil plenary. Reverses denial of German American Financial Advisors & Trust Co. and other appellants’ second motion to compel arbitration of Reed’s claims against them. Remands with instructions. Appellants have sustained their burden to show the existence of an enforceable arbitration agreement and that the disputed matter is the type of claim that is intended to be arbitrated under the agreement. Holds Reed must arbitrate his claims against GAFA under the doctrine of equitable estoppel. Judge Barnes concurs in part and dissents in part.

Karla P. Estrada v. State of Indiana
20A03-1110-CR-474
Criminal. Affirms convictions and 24-year sentence for two counts of Class B felony armed robbery and one count of Class C felony conspiracy to commit robbery. The trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying Estrada’s motion to dismiss or by admitting her statement to police into evidence. Her conspiracy conviction does not violate double jeopardy prohibition and her sentence is appropriate.

William T. Carter, derivatively on behalf of CNO Financial Group, Inc. v. R. Glenn Hilliard, et al.
49A02-1106-PL-582
Civil plenary. Affirms grant of CNO’s motion to dismiss Carter’s complaint for failure to make pre-suit demand on the board of directors. Carter has not alleged particularized facts to show that the director defendants face a substantial likelihood of liability for the conduct described in the amended complaint, nor has he alleged particularized facts to show that the director defendants breached their duties of good faith and loyalty. Therefore, Carter has not shown under Delaware law that pre-suit demand on the board would have been futile.

In Re: Prosecutor's Subpoena Regarding S.H. and S.C.; S.H. v. State of Indiana
73A01-1109-CR-468
Criminal. Affirms order granting the state’s petition to compel testimony by parents S.H. and S.C. by providing use immunity. Agrees with the state that because a prosecutor can compel testimony in grand jury proceedings by granting use immunity, the prosecutor has the same authority when conducting a pre-charge investigation without a grand jury.

Carl E. Thomas, III v. State of Indiana (NFP)
63A05-1108-CR-423
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony rape.

Kevin L. Govan v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A05-1111-CR-663
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to correct erroneous sentence.
 

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  1. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  2. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  3. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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