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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
18A02-1109-CR-889
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
15A01-1109-CR-436
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)
79A02-1108-CR-770
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)
75A03-1110-PL-458
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)
29A05-1107-PL-361
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)
71A03-1112-JP-549
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)
49A04-1108-CR-415
Criminal. Affirms convictions for Class C felony conspiracy to commit robbery and felony murder.
 

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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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