Opinions March 28, 2011

March 28, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Scott C. Cole and Jennifer A. Cole v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue
U.S. Tax Court, Judge Diane L. Kroupa.
Tax. Affirms finding that the Coles omitted more than $1.2 million of income and more than $1.3 million of self-employment income from their 2001 joint tax return and that they fraudulently avoided tax liability. The Coles did not show clear error in the Tax Court’s finding that because they did not produce credible documentary or other evidence showing otherwise, that the commissioner’s reconstruction of their income was “reasonable and substantially accurate.” The Coles failed to show that the Tax Court clearly erred in finding that Scott may not avoid tax liability on his income by assigning it to another corporation when substantively his Bentley Group ownership never changed as evidenced by his continued dominion and control over the partnership’s funds.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Sean T. Ryan v. Dee Anna Ryan
Domestic relation. Reverses denial of Sean Ryan’s motion for relief under Indiana Trial Rule 60(B)(8) regarding the prices set for the sale of real estate as listed in the settlement agreement. The trial court abused its discretion in denying his motion for relief from judgment without hearing pertinent evidence. Remands with instructions.

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis, Inc. v. Metro School District of Lawrence Twp., et al.
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis and Joseph Piper and other parents’ requests for declaratory and injunctive relief and the judgments in favor of Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township and Concetta Raimondi, as superintendent of the school district, in a suit challenging the termination of a shuttle bus service paid for by the township to the private schools in the township. Indiana Code Section 20-7-11-1 doesn’t mandate that the school district must provide special school bus routes and free shuttle bus services not already in effect for the sole benefit of nonpublic school students.

Arnaldo Trabucco v. Pamela Trabucco
Domestic relation. Affirms the trial court’s use of income averaging to compute Arnaldo Trabucco’s child support obligation. The trial court did not err in using an income averaging approach to calculate his weekly gross income for child support and in including funds set aside for their son’s college and other accounts within the marital estate. Remands with instructions to consider whether the Home Federal IRA and IRA #1491 were consolidated into another IRA and therefore should not have been counted separately. Remands to also provide a detailed explanation of how the trial court arrived at the specific value assigned to a coin collection.

Capitol Construction Services v. Farah, LLC
Civil plenary. Affirms order denying Capitol Construction Services’ motion to dismiss demand for arbitration in favor of Farah LLC. Farah has not waived its right to arbitrate and equity favors the result reached by the lower court.

Steven A. Wright v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony and Class C felony child molesting.  

G.F. v. R.F. (NFP)
Domestic relation. Affirms denial of father’s petition for modification of child custody.

Cynthia Taylor v. Community Hospitals of Indiana, Inc. (NFP)
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Community Hospitals of Indiana after Taylor fell and was injured in the hospital.

Ashley Straub v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of dealing in a schedule I controlled substance as Class B felonies, and one count of Class D felony possession of a schedule I controlled substance.

Alois Cronauer v. Starke Co. Jail, et al. (NFP)
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of motion for relief under Indiana Trial Rule 60(B).

Kristin M. Escamilla v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony dealing in narcotics.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

The Indiana Supreme Court dismissed one appeal for the week ending March 25.


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  1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues