Opinions June 5, 2012

June 5, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals had issued no Indiana opinions by IL deadline.

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

Indiana Court of Appeals

Kevin C. O'Connell v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s decision to refuse O’Connell’s tendered jury instructions that the word “voluntary” be included with each of his charges. Holds that other instructions covered the substance of the tendered instructions.

James Ripps v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses trial court’s revocation of Ripps’ probation, holding that several factors – including Ripps’ age, health and his efforts to comply with terms of his probation – indicate the court abused its discretion in issuing its order.

Bennie Chamberlain v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Reverses sentences for Class C felony stalking, Class C felony criminal confinement and Class D felony residential entry, holding the crimes were part of a single episode of criminal conduct and the consecutive sentences exceeded the maximum allowable time under Indiana Code. Remands for resentencing, including attachment of habitual offender enhancement.  

Milan D. Zavodny, Trustee of the Milan D. Zavodny Trust v. Evelyn Ann Pavilionis Trust U/W/A, Dated 18 March 1997 (NFP)
Civil plenary. Holds trial court erred in awarding $43,000 in damages to Pavilionis and therefore reverses and remands for a determination of actual damages, if any, and a determination of whether prejudgment interest should be awarded. Affirms trial court’s denial of Zavodny’s request for a continuance.

Performance Matters Associates and Conseco Marketing, LLC v. Patrick A. Fortune (NFP)
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court’s entry of judgment in favor of Fortune.

In the Matter of the Paternity of N.M.E., Minor Child; J.E.E., Father v. J.B., Mother (NFP)
Juvenile. Reverses juvenile court’s order that father’s parenting time with daughter is to be supervised, holding the court made no finding of physical endangerment or emotional impairment. Remands for court to enter findings or remove restrictions on parenting time.

Mark Shepard v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions for Class C felony conspiracy to commit robbery and felony murder.


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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues