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Opinions March 13, 2014

March 13, 2014
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The following Indiana Supreme Court opinion was posted after IL deadline Wednesday:
Joseph D. Hardiman and Jaketa L. Patterson, as Co-Administrators of the Estate of Britney R. Meux, Deceased v. Jason R. Cozmanoff
45S03-1309-CT-619
Civil tort. Affirms the trial court’s ordering the limited stay of discovery regarding only Cozmanoff in the estate’s wrongful death lawsuit against him and requiring him to answer the complaint. The civil suit was brought while criminal charges for Meux’s death were still pending. Notes the ruling does not mean the trial court was constitutionally required to impose the stay but that it did not abuse its discretion by so doing. Remands for further proceedings.

Thursday’s opinions
Indiana Supreme Court

Bobby Alexander v. State of Indiana
49S04-1308-CR-534
Criminal. Concludes that this appeal – taken after Alexander’s prison sentence was imposed but before the question of restitution was decided – should not be dismissed as premature. Remands to the Court of Appeals for resolution on the merits.

Indiana Court of Appeals
J.L. v. State of Indiana
49A04-1306-JV-297
Juvenile. Affirms true finding that J.L. committed what would be Class C felony child molesting if committed by an adult. Judge Barnes concurs in result. Finds that J.L. and his mother were not provided the opportunity for a meaningful consultation, but the admittance of J.L.’s statement was a harmless error. The state presented sufficient evidence of a probative nature from which a reasonable trier of fact could find he committed the offense.

Donald R. Walker, D.D.S. v. State Board of Dentistry
49A02-1307-MI-593
Miscellaneous. Affirms denial of Walker’s petition for judicial review of a decision by the State Board of Dentistry. Substantial evidence supports the board’s finding that Walker violated I.C. 25-1-9-4(a)(4)(B) by using the “hand-over-mouth” technique on Patient A, and the board properly found that Walker violated 828 IAC 3-1-6.5(c)(10) by knowingly failing to provide “continual and direct supervision by a person trained in basic cardiac life support” to that same patient.

Brittney L. Romero v. Teddy Brady and Advantage Tank Lines, LLC
72A05-1308-CT-471
Civil tort. Reverses summary judgment in favor of Brady and Advantage Tank Lines on Romero’s complaint alleging negligence. Because Brady owed Romero a duty of care and the questions of breach and proximate cause are not undisputed, the entry of summary judgment in favor of the appellees was improper.

Caylin P. Black v. State of Indiana (NFP)
27A02-1212-PC-981
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

George T. Bonin v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (NFP)
93A02-1304-EX-376
Agency action. Affirms determination that Bonin was ineligible for unemployment benefits.

City of Valparaiso, Indiana v. Richard and Janet Brown (NFP)
64A03-1307-PL-239
Civil plenary. Affirms order denying the city’s motion for summary judgment as to the Browns’ negligence claim and denying its motion to strike certain exhibits designated and relied upon by the Browns to defend against the city’s motion for summary judgment.

Vincent J. Castaneda v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1310-CR-416
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony disarming a law enforcement officer and two counts of Class D felony resisting law enforcement.

Jennifer Fleming v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A03-1307-CR-257
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine; Class D felony possession of more than 10 grams of a precursor; and Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana, hash oil, hashish, salvia or a synthetic drug.

Joseph Mike Barnett v. JDH Contracting (NFP)
32A01-1307-CT-332
Civil tort. Reverses summary judgment in favor of JDH. As a matter of law, JDH did not owe Barnett a duty pursuant to contract, but a genuine issue of material fact remains as to whether JDH assumed a duty to Barnett through its affirmative conduct.

Shawn Anderson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1307-CR-607
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felony criminal recklessness and Class A misdemeanor battery.

Dean R. Pressler v. State of Indiana (NFP)
92A03-1309-CR-351
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class A felony child molesting, Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor and Class D felony child seduction.

The Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions at IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana decisions by IL deadline.

 

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  1. Bill Satterlee is, indeed, a true jazz aficionado. Part of my legal career was spent as an associate attorney with Hoeppner, Wagner & Evans in Valparaiso. Bill was instrumental (no pun intended) in introducing me to jazz music, thereby fostering my love for this genre. We would, occasionally, travel to Chicago on weekends and sit in on some outstanding jazz sessions at Andy's on Hubbard Street. Had it not been for Bill's love of jazz music, I never would have had the good fortune of hearing it played live at Andy's. And, most likely, I might never have begun listening to it as much as I do. Thanks, Bill.

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  5. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

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