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Opinions March 14, 2014

March 14, 2014
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The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Thursday:
7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Leonard Thomas v. Keith Butts, et al.
12-2902
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson.
Civil. Vacates dismissal of Thomas’ lawsuit against prison officials alleging deliberate indifference to his epilepsy in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The judge dismissed the suit without determining if Thomas was at fault for not paying the initial filing fee.

Indiana Supreme Court
In re the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of G.P., a Minor Child, and His Mother, J.A. v. Indiana Department of Child Services and Child Advocates, Inc.
49S02-1308-JT-558
Juvenile. Vacates judgment terminating J.A.’s parental rights. J.A. was denied her statutory right to counsel during the course of the CHINS proceedings below and those proceedings flowed directly into an action to terminate her parental rights and (in a separate action) adopt out her child.

Howard Justice v. American Family Insurance Company
49S02-1303-PL-221
Civil plenary. Reverses grant of summary judgment to American Family and remands for further proceedings. Concludes Justice is entitled to recover the remaining $25,000 from American Family under the terms of his underinsured motorist policy limit because the set-off using workers’ compensation benefits in his case would reduce the policy below the statutory minimum. Chief Justice Dickson concurs in part.

Friday’s opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals

State Board of Funeral and Cemetery Service v. Settlers Life Insurance Company
49A05-1307-PL-365
Civil plenary. Affirms grant of Settlers’ motion for summary judgment in which the court deemed that Settlers’ insurance product did not fall within the statutory confines of the Pre-Need Act. Settlers sells an at-need product that fulfills different needs than a pre-need product, so the trial court correctly granted summary judgment in its favor when it determined that at-need contracts and services do not fall within the scope of the Pre-Need Act.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: K.D., S.D., and I.D., Minor Children, and D.D., Father v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
53A01-1307-JT-315
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Cleveland Munoz v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1307-CR-567
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class C felony child molesting.

Jason Roudebush v. State of Indiana (NFP)
80A04-1301-PC-46
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Beverly K. Oswald v. CNB National Lending, LLC, Bryce A. Bly, Eric Swedenburg and Andrea Swedenburg (NFP)
82A01-1305-CC-223
Civil collection. Affirms order in favor of CNB, Bly and the Swedenburgs that concluded they did not breach the settlement and release agreement. Affirms separate award of attorney fees.

David Lee Robinson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A05-1308-CR-401
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class C felony failure to register as a sex offender.

C.B. v. G.N. (NFP)
18A02-1308-JP-677
Juvenile. Affirms order requiring M.D.B. to assume the surname of his father G.N.

Mary Sparks v. Harborside Nursing Home (NFP)
93A02-1307-EX-616
Agency action. Affirms denial of claim for workers’ compensation benefits.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no opinions Friday by 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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  3. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

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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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