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Opinions March 15, 2011

March 15, 2011
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Indiana Supreme Court
Debra L. Walker v. David M. Pullen
64S05-1101-CT-6
Civil tort. Reverses grant of Pullen’s motion to have a new trial and remands for the trial court to reinstate the original jury verdict of $10,070. The trial court judge only made general findings and not special findings as required by Indiana Trial Rule 59(J). Justice Dickson concurs in result.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Grange Mutual Casualty, et al. v. West Bend Mutual Ins., et al.
29A02-1008-PL-965
Civil plenary. Affirms in part and reverses in part summary judgment granted to West Bend Mutual. Finds that both policies were triggered – West Bend’s was triggered by the original fracturing of the storm drain pipe which resulted in immediate damage to the pipe and the subsequent flooding. Grange’s was triggered by the flood damage that occurred during its policy period. Remands for the trial court to apportion damages accordingly. Judge May dissents.

Jason W. Hall v. State of Indiana
25A05-1008-CR-534
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to two counts of Class B felony burglary. Hall didn’t establish an abuse of the trial court’s sentencing discretion or that his sentence is inappropriate. He also wasn’t denied credit time to which he was entitled.

Lovetha Smitherman v. Kroger Limited Partnership I, et al. (NFP)
49A02-1008-PL-880
Civil plenary. Affirms grant of partial summary judgment to Kroger upon Smitherman’s claim for negligent hiring and retention.

Susan Ricketts v. Subaru of Indiana Automotive (NFP)
93A02-1008-EX-1030
Civil. Affirms order of the Worker’s Compensation Board on Ricketts’ claim for disability and medical benefits arising from a work related accident.

L.M. v. B.S., et al. (NFP)
71A03-1010-MI-514
Miscellaneous. Affirms order denying grandmother L.M.’s verified petition for grandparent visitation.

Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of S.H.; R.H. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
36A01-1008-JT-418
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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