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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. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  2. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

  3. This outbreak illustrates the absurdity of the extreme positions taken by today's liberalism, specifically individualism and the modern cult of endless personal "freedom." Ebola reminds us that at some point the person's own "freedom" to do this and that comes into contact with the needs of the common good and "freedom" must be curtailed. This is not rocket science, except, today there is nonstop propaganda elevating individual preferences over the common good, so some pundits have a hard time fathoming the obvious necessity of quarantine in some situations....or even NATIONAL BORDERS...propagandists have also amazingly used this as another chance to accuse Western nations of "racism" which is preposterous and offensive. So one the one hand the idolatry of individualism has to stop and on the other hand facts people don't like that intersect with race-- remain facts nonetheless. People who respond to facts over propaganda do better in the long run. We call it Truth. Sometimes it seems hard to find.

  4. It would be hard not to feel the Kramers' anguish. But Catholic Charities, by definition, performed due diligence and held to the statutory standard of care. No good can come from punishing them for doing their duty. Should Indiana wish to change its laws regarding adoption agreements and or putative fathers, the place for that is the legislature and can only apply to future cases. We do not apply new laws to past actions, as the Kramers seem intent on doing, to no helpful end.

  5. I am saddened to hear about the loss of Zeff Weiss. He was an outstanding member of the Indianapolis legal community. My thoughts are with his family.

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