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Opinions March 20, 2014

March 20, 2014
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The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Wednesday:
United States of America v. Yulia Yurevna Abair
13-2498
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Jon E. DeGuilio
Criminal. Reverses conviction of violating a federal criminal statute that prohibits structuring currency transactions in order to evade federal reporting requirements for transactions involving more than $10,000 in currency. The government lacked a good-faith basis for believing that Bair lied on a tax return and financial aid forms, so the District Court erred by allowing the prosecutor to ask a series of accusatory and prejudicial questions about them under Fed. Rule of Ev. 608(b). Remands for a new trial. Judge Sykes dissents.

Thursday’s opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Zachary Mulholland v. Marion County Election Board
13-3027
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Reverses dismissal of Mulholland’s lawsuit to enjoin Marion County Election Board proceedings relating to a slating violation and to enjoin the future enforcement of I.C. 3-14-1-2(a), the anti-slating law. The election board’s investigation is too preliminary a proceeding to warrant Younger abstention, at least in the wake of Sprint Communications, Inc. v. Jacobs, 134 S. Ct. 584 (2013). Even if Younger abstention were theoretically available after Sprint, the previous final federal judgment against the defendant Election Board holding the same statute facially unconstitutional would still amount to an extraordinary circumstance making Younger abstention inappropriate.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Kevin Moss v. State of Indiana
49A02-1307-CR-618
Criminal. Reverses denial of Moss’ motion to dismiss the enhancement to a Class C felony his charge of Class A misdemeanor possession of a handgun without a license due to a prior felony conviction that was later modified to a misdemeanor. Moss carried his burden of proving error because he had the prior felony reduced to a misdemeanor, so it could not support the enhancement.

Heritage Acceptance Corporation v. Chris L. Romine
71A03-1307-SC-283
Small claim. Affirms small claims court judgment in favor of Romine on Heritage Acceptance Corps.’ complaint to recover unpaid money owed on a car Romine financed. Under I.C. 26-1-2-102, the contract for payment of money is for a transaction of goods, so it is subject to the four-year statute of limitations. As such, Heritage’s complaint was not filed within that time frame.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: A.H. & J.H. (Minor Children), and D.T. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
82A04-1307-JT-378
Juvenile. Affirms order terminating father’s parental rights.

Dominique McClendon v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1307-CR-334
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class C felony possession of a narcotic drug while in possession of a firearm.

Michael W. Gilliland v. Fifth Third Mortgage Company (NFP)
81A01-1307-MF-314
Mortgage foreclosure. Affirms summary judgment for Fifth Third Mortgage Co. on its foreclosure complaint.

Charles Washington v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1308-CR-679
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony pointing a firearm, but reverses conviction of Class D felony criminal mischief. Remands for trial court to enter judgment of conviction and sentence for criminal mischief as a Class B misdemeanor.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no opinions 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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