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Opinions March 12, 2013

March 12, 2013
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Indiana Supreme Court
Curtis A. Bethea v. State of Indiana
18S05-1206-PC-304
Post conviction. Affirms trial court denial of post-conviction relief, holding that Curtis Bethea, who pleaded guilty to armed robbery and criminal confinement in a deal that dropped seven other felony counts, was not improperly denied post-conviction relief when a judge considered evidence of charges that were dismissed.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Henry Keith Holloway v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A05-1202-CR-58
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony operating a vehicle after lifetime suspension and Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Jennifer Duff v. State of Indiana (NFP)

89A01-1206-CR-280
Criminal. Affirms aggregate executed sentence of 18 years in prison for conviction of one Class B felony count of dealing in a Schedule I controlled substance; eight counts of Class C felony forgery; one count of Class C felony robbery; five counts of Class D felony theft; and three counts of Class C felony fraud.

Brian L. Spurlock, Sally M. Spurlock v. Morequity, Inc. (NFP)

29A04-1207-MF-345
Mortgage foreclosure. Dismisses appeal from an entry of a foreclosure judgment against the Spurlocks.

Kevin Burrell v. State of Indiana (NFP)

71A05-1208-CR-434
Criminal. Affirms conviction and aggregate sentence of 105 years in prison for two counts of Class A felony attempted murder, Class C felony criminal recklessness and a criminal gang activity sentence enhancement.

Kenneth D. Helton v. State of Indiana (NFP)

47A01-1205-CR-200
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine, Class D felony possession of marijuana and Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance, remanding to the trial court to correct a sentencing error. The appeals panel left in place an aggregate sentence of 23 years in prison but instructed the trial court to enhance the dealing in methamphetamine conviction by eight years instead of sentencing him separately for being a habitual substance offender.

John Ivy v. State of Indiana (NFP)
18A02-1205-PC-378
Post conviction. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief from a 65-year sentence for a conviction of murder, concluding the post-conviction court erred in finding that Ivy had waived two issues, but notwithstanding that error, Ivy failed to demonstrate he was entitled to post-conviction relief on any of his claims.

Gary Gardner v. State of Indiana (NFP)

49A05-1207-PC-379
Post conviction. Affirms in a divided opinion denial of post-conviction relief from a 90-year sentence for three counts of Class A felony child molesting, one count of Class C felony child molesting, and one count of Class C felony child exploitation. Senior Judge Betty Barteau and Judge Terry Crone formed the majority from which Judge Elaine Brown dissented, concluding that Gardner demonstrated ineffective counsel assistance because his appellate counsel failed to raise an issue related to the length of his sentence. Brown would find the trial court thus erred and remand for further proceedings.

Indiana Tax Court issued no opinions by IL deadline. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana opinions by IL deadline.
 

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  1. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  2. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  3. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  4. I totally agree with John Smith.

  5. An idea that would harm the public good which is protected by licensing. Might as well abolish doctor and health care professions licensing too. Ridiculous. Unrealistic. Would open the floodgates of mischief and abuse. Even veteranarians are licensed. How has deregulation served the public good in banking, for example? Enough ideology already!

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