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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. 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

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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