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Opinions June 3, 2013

June 3, 2013
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Jeffrey Weaver
12-3324
Criminal. Vacates judgment of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana and remands for resentencing. Weaver was sentenced to 235 months imprisonment after the District Court determined his sentence should be enhanced because he was functioning as a manager/supervisor in supplying methamphetamine to two buyers and pressuring them to sell the drugs. The Circuit Court found his actions did not rise to the 3-level enhancement because he did not have the control necessary to coerce the buyers. Instead Weaver was encouraging behavior that would protect his investment and insure payment of the debt owed to him.  

The following opinion was issued after IL deadline Friday.
SAMS Hotel Group, LLC v. Environs, Inc.
12-2979
Civil. Affirms judgment of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana that SAMS Hotel Group’s damages were limited to $70,000. The hotel group sued Environs for breach of contract after the hotel that Environs designed was found to have serious structural flaws and had to be demolished before being opened. SAMS argued its damages should exceed the limitation of liability provision in the contract because the language of the contract did not refer explicitly to Environs’ own negligence. Finding no indication in Indiana case law that the Indiana Supreme Court would extend the specificity rule to a limitation of liability clause that was knowingly negotiated by two sophisticated commercial entities, the Circuit Court concluded the district court properly held SAMS to the terms of its contract.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Bryant E. Wilson v. State of Indiana
27A02-1212-CR-1012
Criminal. Affirms in a divided opinion trial court denial of motion to correct erroneous sentence for convictions of Class A felony rape and criminal deviate conduct and Class B felony robbery. Judges Terry Crone and Ezra Friedlander affirmed the trial court’s denial, holding the aggregate sentence of 50 years in prison that included a partial consecutive sentence on the lesser count was not erroneous on its face. Chief Judge Margret Robb would reverse the denial, writing in dissent that she believed the sentence was erroneous because the partial consecutive sentence was not explicitly permitted by statute.

Indiana Supreme Court and Indiana Tax Court issued no opinions by IL deadline Monday.

 

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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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