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Opinions March 25, 2013

March 25, 2013
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Maria Upham, as Surviving Spouse and Personal Rep. of the Estate of Wilbur A. Upham, Deceased v. Morgan County Hospital, Richard J. Eisenhut, M.D., Unity Physicians, Kendrick Family Practice, et al.
55A01-1202-CT-53
Civil tort/malpractice. Affirms jury verdict in favor of the hospital, holding that Upham’s counsel failed to request an admonishment and therefore waived the argument that the court should have declared a mistrial because of a prospective juror’s comments that plaintiff’s counsel was motivated by money. There was no abuse of discretion in jury instructions or in the court’s limiting of discovery.  

Ronald G. Arnold and B. Candi Arnold v. Allen Robert Linnemeier and Kathy Sue Linnemeier (NFP)

53A04-1207-PL-368
Civil plenary. Affirms the trial court’s judgment in favor of the Linnemeiers which granted them an easement by prior use and an irrevocable license across the Arnolds’ land for purposes of entering and exiting.

Jesse R. Luckey v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A04-1208-CR-399
Criminal. Reverses order revoking Luckey’s probation in two underlying cases arising from his convictions for possession of a controlled substance as a Class D felony, possession of marijuana as a Class D felony and possession of paraphernalia as a Class A misdemeanor. Ruled although the evidence was sufficient for the trial court to find probable cause that Luckey had committed the new offenses, it was insufficient to establish the commission of such crimes by preponderance of the evidence.

Aaron Brown v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1207-CR-546
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felony possession of marijuana and Class A misdemeanor driving with a suspended license. Found the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it admitted the evidence obtained incident to Brown’s arrest.

Alejandro Gomez-Aviles v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1209-CR-728
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of child molesting, each as a Class A felony; two counts of child molesting, each as a Class C felony; and four counts of sexual misconduct with a minor, each as a Class C felony. Found corpus delicti had been established so the admission of Gomez-Aviles videotaped confession did not constitute a fundamental error. Also ruled Gomez-Aviles did not carry his burden of demonstrating prosecutorial misconduct.

Rev. Carl Z. Liggins and The Board of Trustees of Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church, Inc. v. William Bagley, Raymond Gaines, Gregg Merriweather, Stevie Bonds, Curtis Godfre, et al. (NFP)
49A02-1203-CT-184
Civil tort.  Reverses trial court’s order directing Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church to hold a general meeting to consider the retention of Rev. Liggins. Found the trustees did not fail to follow the procedures set out in the bylaws concerning the renewal or extension of the pastor’s contract because the bylaws did not give a procedure for how to handle a contract renewal or extension.

Jaime A. Herrera v. State of Indiana (NFP)

45A05-1208-PC-440
Post conviction. Affirms denial of Harrera’s petition for post-conviction relief. Ruled that Herrera’s proposed sentencing challenge was meritless and, therefore, he did not demonstrate his appellate counsel was ineffective.

Mark Kevin Liston v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A05-1207-CR-385
Criminal. Dismisses Liston’s appeal of the trial judge’s order rescinding the referee’s order granting his petition for post-conviction relief. Liston did not request the trial court to certify its order for interlocutory appeal and did not request the Court of Appeals to accept jurisdiction.

Sherry L. Pruitt v. State of Indiana (NFP)

58A01-1206-CR-275
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Pruitt’s probation and the order that she serve incarcerated the three years remaining on her sentences. Remands for the court to correct a clerical error and enter a modified abstract of judgment that lists both cause numbers under which the revocation was adjudicated.  
 

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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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