Opinions June 25, 2010

June 25, 2010
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The following opinions were posted after IL deadline June 24:

Indiana Supreme Court

Curtis Outlaw v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Court of Appeals’ reversal of trial court’s conviction of and sentence for Class A misdemeanor conviction for operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Although the state proved Outlaw was intoxicated, the state failed to present any evidence on the element of endangerment, which would make it a Class A misdemeanor. Operating a vehicle while intoxicated on its own is a Class C misdemeanor.

Steven T. Marbley-El v. State of Indiana
Post-conviction. Finds Marbley-El was not entitled to a jury determination of the factors that led to his six-year sentence, and the trial court correctly did not advise him that he was.

Today’s opinions

7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Lincoln National Life Insurance Co. v. Peter S. Bezich, individually and on behalf of a class of others similarly situated
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen
Civil. Remands to state court. Concludes Bezich’s claim “relates to the rights, duties, ... and obligations relating to or created by or pursuant to ... [a] security,” as defined in the 1933 Act, therefore the District Court has no jurisdiction.

Indiana Supreme Court posted no opinions before IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals

Fred Giddings v. State of Indiana
Post-conviction. Affirms denial of Giddings’ petition for post-conviction relief. He raised one issue on appeal: whether his appellate counsel was ineffective because she did not raise on direct appeal the issue of unanimous verdicts.

Franklin Electric Company Inc. v. Unemployment Insurance Appeals of the Dept. of Workforce Development
Civil. Affirms determination of a liability administrative law judge from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development that Franklin Electric Company Inc.’s two subsidiary corporations, Franklin Electric Sales and Franklin Electric Manufacturing, are not new successor employers under the Indiana Unemployment Compensation Act.

Weigand Construction Co. Inc. and Ohio Farmers Insurance Co. v. Stephens Fabrication Inc. and Ball State University Board of Trustees
Civil. Concludes Stephens’ claims against Weigand, Weigand’s Surety, and Ball State University survived bankruptcy proceedings. Therefore, Stephens is entitled to the unpaid sums under the base contract: $39,408.09 plus attorney fees, prejudgment interest including the periods of time before and during the bankruptcy proceeding, postjudgment interest, and costs of collection to Stephens. Also concludes Stephens’ claim for additional compensation was untimely under the terms of the relevant contracts and that Weigand is entitled to enforce the contractual provisions in this regard.

M.B. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms M.B.’s commitment to the Indiana Department of Correction.

Involuntary Termination of Parent-Child Relationship of Z.H.; A.H. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

In the Matter of R.J.K., a child alleged to be a delinquent child v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms court’s finding that R.J.K. was a delinquent child who committed the offense of sexual battery, a Class D felony if committed by an adult.

Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions before IL deadline.


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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.