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Opinions March 27, 2012

March 27, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals had issued no Indiana opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Lorraine (Carpenter) Miller v. Karl Carpenter
29A02-1107-DR-663
Domestic relation. Reverses the trial court’s grant of joint legal custody to father, holding the evidence does not support modification of custody. Rejects the mother’s argument that the court made a de facto modification of physical custody, holding the court merely modified parenting time, and holds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in reducing the father’s child support obligations.  

Earl Arnold, Sr. v. Rose Acre Farms, Inc.
93A02-1109-EX-874
Civil. Affirms finding by Worker’s Compensation Board that Arnold did not suffer an injury arising out of and in the course of his employment with Rose Acre Farms. Arnold was on a public road on his way to work when the crash that injured him occurred, and although his car came to rest in the driveway entrance to Rose Acre Farms, the crash did not occur on its property.

Hane C. Harris v. State of Indiana
18A04-1108-CR-391
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for one count each of Class A and Class C felony child molesting, and Class D felony child solicitation, holding that the victim’s testimony via closed-circuit television did not affect Harris’ right to cross-examination. Affirms consecutive sentences, holding the court needs to identify only one aggravator to impose consecutive sentences, and Harris had several, including 10 prior felony convictions. Remands to correct sentence to reflect that the habitual offender finding was an enhancement, not a separate offense.

Kevin K. Cotton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
64A03-1107-CR-334
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for two counts Class C felony child molesting.

Stacy I. Cottrill v. State of Indiana (NFP)
03A01-1110-CR-471
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s revocation of probation and order that Cottrill serve her previously-suspended four-year sentence.

Cynthia J. Biddle, as Personal Rep. of the Estate of Edgar E. Biddle, Deceased v. Joseph W. Laskowski and Barbara J. Laskowski (NFP)
54A01-1105-MI-196
Miscellaneous. Affirms trial court’s order that decreased the attorney fees to be paid to the Biddle estate. On cross-appeal, holds that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it interpreted the agreement between parties, but due to the death of Edgar Biddle, “specific performance” is no longer possible and therefore the case is remanded to the trial court for determination of a money judgment.  

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of A.F.-M (Minor Child); A.M. (Mother) and B.S.M. (Father) v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
28A05-1109-JT-497
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights of mother and father.

Karyl Pogue v. Kim Rawlings and Deborah S. Rawlings (NFP)
12A02-1107-PL-654
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court’s judgment in favor of the Rawlingses on a fraud complaint.

Steffin T. McFall v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1109-CR-410
Criminal. Affirms sentence for five counts of Class A felony child molesting.  

Indiana Tax Court and Indiana Supreme Court had issued no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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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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