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Opinions June 8, 2011

June 8, 2011
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Indiana Supreme Court
Randy Edward Johnson v. State of Indiana
53S01-1106-CR-335
Criminal. Johnson failed to establish that his trial counsel was burdened by a conflict of interest sufficient to trigger the Sixth Amendment duty of inquiry under Holloway or Sullivan. Under similar circumstances, though, a judge should do more than simply pass a complaint by a defendant to the public defender’s office.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Donna Gibson v. G. David Bojrab, M.D., et al.
02A05-1008-CT-497
Civil tort. Affirms judgment in favor of Dr. Bojrab and Pain Management Associates PC on Gibson’s medical malpractice claim. To the extent the issue was properly preserved, Gibson didn’t establish that the trial court abused its discretion in excluding evidence of the medical review panel’s conclusion in an unrelated case against Bojrab.

Cynthia Perdue v. Greater Lafayette Health Services d/b/a Home Hospital
79A05-1011-CT-687
Civil tort. Reverses summary judgment in favor of Home Hospital on Perdue’s complaint alleging negligence and seeking damages for bodily injuries. The trial court erred when it concluded her complaint is barred by a statute of repose. Remands for further proceedings.

Guideone Insurance Co., as Subrogee of Andrew Alexander and Michael Schafstall v. U.S. Water Systems, Inc., and Lowe's Home Centers, Inc.
49A05-1009-CT-569
Civil tort. Affirms grant of partial summary judgment to Lowe’s on the scope of liablity. Reverses summary judgment in favor of Guideone on the issue of liability because an issue of material fact remains. Reverses grant of U.S. Water’s motion to dismiss because the flood damage that resulted from the apparent failure of the water system resulted in physical damage to “other property,” a claim under which Guideone could potentially recover. Remands for further proceedings. Judge Baker dissents in part.

Michael K. Arthur v. State of Indiana
28A01-1008-CR-489
Criminal. Reverses order that denied Arthur eligibility for credit time while placed on home detention in a community corrections program. A reasonable construction of the statute, as amended and consistent with its purpose, finds that Arthur may earn credit time during his placement on home detention. Affirms modification of Arthur’s sentence.

Evelyn Garrard, by and through her Attorney-in-fact, Ronald D. Garrard v. Debra L. Teibel and Douglas Grimmer, and Debra Lindsay
45A04-1003-PL-229
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Evelyn Garrard’s children, Debra Teibel and Douglas Grimmer, following their counterclaim and third-party complaint in Robert Garrard’s action against them for damages, seeking invalidation of Garrard’s power of attorney over Evelyn. The appellate court is unable to discern Garrard’s basis for appeal.

Charles Price v. Delmar Kuchaes

45A04-1007-CT-467
Civil tort. Reverses summary judgment for Kuchaes on the theory of judicial estoppel for Price’s failure to disclose this malpractice action in his Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing. Price has standing to pursue his legal malpractice action. Affirms denial of summary judgment as to damages to Price. Issues of material fact remain such that Price isn’t entitled to summary judgment as to Kuchaes’ liability for malpractice. Remands for further proceedings.

Terri L. Mozingo v. Timothy Pursifull (NFP)
24A04-1011-DR-677
Domestic relation. Reverses child support entered in favor of Pursifull and remands with instructions.

Chad Byrd v. State of Indiana (NFP)
54A01-1101-CR-4
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea but mentally ill to murder.

Anthony Welkie v. State of Indiana (NFP)
64A04-1006-CR-443
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class A felony child molesting and one count of Class C felony child molesting.

Tana Dulin v. Sun Mortgage Co., LLC a/k/a Sun Mortgage, LLC, and Wendy Creed (NFP)
29A04-1008-PL-482
Civil plenary. Affirms award of damages to Dulin in her successful suit against Sun Mortgage and Creed.

Troy L. McMurtry v. Sabrina L. McMurtry (NFP)
82A01-1008-DR-485
Domestic relation. Affirms order granting Sabrina McMurtry’s petition to modify the pre-existing parenting time schedule, calculating father’s child support obligation, and denying Troy McMurtry’s request for attorney fees.

Brandon Gifford v. State of Indiana (NFP)
29A05-1010-CR-707
Criminal. Affirms finding of being a habitual substance offender.

Thomas A. Smith v. State of Indiana (NFP)
38A04-1008-CR-478
Criminal. Affirms Smith’s sentence following a guilty plea to murder, but reverses the imposition of a $10,000 fine. Reverses sentence following a finding of Smith being in contempt of court. Remands for further proceedings.

Jeffrey Randolph v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1010-CR-1104
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony criminal recklessness, Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, and Class B misdemeanor public intoxication.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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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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