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Opinions March 23, 2012

March 23, 2012
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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals had posted no Indiana opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Supreme Court
Troy R. Smith v. State of Indiana
35S02-1106-CR-369
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s judgment to revoke probation for Troy Smith on grounds that he failed to pay weekly child support as a condition of his probation. Justices disagreed with Smith’s appellate argument that state failed to carry its burden of proof that his failure to pay was reckless, knowing or intentional.

Brice Webb v. State of Indiana
71S05-1106-CR-329
Criminal. Reverses murder conviction and remands for a new trial, finding the trial court inproperly denied a request for jury instruction on a lesser offense of reckless homicide. Finds evidence is sufficient to support the jury’s guilty verdict, but evidence also created serious evidentiary dispute about his acting knowingly or recklessly. Trial court committed reversible error by not instructing the jury on a lesser-included offense. Justice Steven David and Chief Justice Randall Shepard dissented in a separate opinion.

Indiana Court of Appeals
The Estate of Donald Eugene Smith v. Joshua Stutzman d/b/a Keystone Builders
43A01-1103-PL-136
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court’s dismissal of a lawsuit against Keystone Builders involving an independent subcontractor who fell off a ladder, broke his neck and died. Finds the trial court properly granted a motion to set aside default judgment and a motion to dismiss the estate’s action.

City of Evansville and Evansville Water and Sewer Utility v. United States Fidelity and Guaranty Company, et al.
49A02-1104-PL-375
Civil Plenary. Affirms trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of insurance companies regarding city’s lawsuit about coverage for pollution discharge into local waterways. Holds that trial court properly determined the insurers were entitled to summary judgment because the city was seeking coverage for projects to prevent future discharges of combined-sewer overflows rather than to remediate past discharges.

Schwala Royal v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A04-1108-CR-486
Criminal. Affirms Class D felony conviction of prostitution.
 
Athena Y. Collins v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1104-CR-168
Criminal. Reverses jury conviction of Class A felony voluntary manslaughter. Affirms in part on grounds that trial court did not err in giving a jury instruction. Remands for a new trial.

William H. Lane v. Connie S. Lane (NFP)
18A02-1107-DR-668
Divorce. Affirms trial court’s division of property in a husband and wife’s dissolution of a second marriage.

Indiana  Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.



 

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  1. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  2. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  3. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  4. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  5. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

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