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Opinions March 6, 2013

March 6, 2013
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The following Indiana Supreme Court opinion was posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
Kimberly Heaton v. State of Indiana
48S02-1206-CR-350
Criminal. Holds the statutorily mandated preponderance of the evidence standard is the correct legal standard to be applied in a probation revocation proceeding where the state claims that the probationer committed a new criminal offense while on probation. Vacates finding Heaton violated her probation and orders a new determination of whether she violated the conditions of her probation by a preponderance of the evidence pursuant to I.C. 35-38-2-3(e) (2008), and if so, what is the appropriate sanction for such violation.

Wednesday’s opinions
Indiana Supreme Court

Holiday Hospitality Franchising, Inc. v. Amco Insurance Company
33S01-1206-CT-312
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for Amco Insurance Co. on its motion for declaratory judgment to enforce its reading of the insurance contract with the hotel disclaiming coverage for, and its duty to defend against, a civil complaint brought by a motel guest molested by an off-duty motel employee. The facts of the case reflect precisely the sort of scenario contemplated by the parties to be excluded from coverage when they agreed to the insurance contract. Chief Justice Dickson concurs and Justice Rucker dissents.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Alva Electric, Inc., Arc Construction Co., Inc., Danco Construction, Inc., Deig Brothers Lumber & Construction Co., Inc., et al. v. Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp., and EVSC Foundation, Inc.
http://media.ibj.com/Lawyer/websites/opinions/index.php?pdf=2013/march/03061301jsk.pdf
82A01-1201-PL-2
Civil plenary. Reverses summary judgment in favor of the school corporation and the foundation on the contractors’ suit for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief, claiming the school corporation’s renovation of an administrative building should have been subject to the competitive bidding procedures required for a public work project under Indiana Code 36-1-12-4 and that the actions taken to accomplish the renovation constituted an antitrust violation under Indiana Code 24-1-2-3. The scheme used by the school corporation has not been authorized by the General Assembly and violates public bidding laws. Judge Friedlander dissents.

The First Baptist Church of Hammond v. Felipe Andrade, a minor, by his mother and custodial parent, Manuela Andrade (NFP)
45A05-1207-CT-354
Civil tort. Affirms jury verdict in favor of Felipe Andrade on his lawsuit after he was injured at an activity hosted by the church, the finding he was 45 percent at fault for his injuries, and reduction of his recovery accordingly.

Damion Martin v. State of Indiana (NFP)

49A02-1206-CR-473
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of murder, one count of Class B felony aggravated battery, and three counts of Class C felony battery.

Brian Rinearson v. State of Indiana (NFP)

34A02-1209-CR-715
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license and sentence of 365 days incarceration, all suspended.

City of Muncie v. Stanley Benford (NFP)

18A02-1207-CR-549
Criminal. Affirms order setting aside an earlier order dismissing a forfeiture claim brought by the city against Stanley Benford.

Leonard Beaty v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A04-1107-CR-384
Criminal. Affirms three convictions of Class A felony child molesting.

In the Matter of: B.G., a Child in Need of Services; B.T. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
49A02-1208-JC-642
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication of B.G. as a child in need of services.

Calvin Horton v. State of Indiana (NFP)

49A05-1207-CR-371
Criminal. Affirms revocation of placement in community corrections and order that Horton serve remainder of his sentence at the Department of Correction.

Christopher Groce and Tracey Groce v. American Family Insurance Company and Michael A. Meek (NFP)
48A02-1208-CT-703
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for American Family and Meek after the Groces filed a complaint for damages against them alleging negligence and breach of contract.

The Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana decisions by 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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