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Opinions March 7, 2011

March 7, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Martin Avila
09-2681
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge David F. Hamilton.
Criminal. Affirms 365-month sentence for drug offenses following re-sentencing on remand. The District Court corrected the drug quantity attributable to Avila. The District Court did not violate the cross-appeal rule and acted within the scope of the remand.

United States of America v. William Travis Brown
09-3976
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Chief Judge David F. Hamilton.
Criminal. Affirms 240-month sentence for one count of possession of child pornography and one count of transportation of child pornography. Application of the “thing of value” enhancement was not double counting. The District Court properly based Brown’s sentence on the Section 3553(a) sentencing guidelines.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Jill M. Baird v. Lake Santee Regional Waste and Water District (NFP)
16A01-1009-CC-470
Civil collections. Affirms denial of Baird’s motion for relief from judgment granting a foreclosure decree against her property in favor of Lake Santee Regional Waste and Water District for her failure to pay sewer connection penalties.

Desmond D. Clayton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1006-CR-363
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony robbery and Class A misdemeanor battery.

Ricky Renee Patterson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
29A02-1007-PC-894
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Thomas William Donaldson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1007-CR-763
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony resisting law enforcement.

Carl Sonnenberg, et al. v. A.N. Real Estate Services, Inc., et al. (NFP)
29A04-1005-PL-381
Civil plenary. Affirms determination that the Sonnenbergs are only entitled to $650 in damages in a lawsuit against A.N. Real Estate Services and employee Natalie Higgens pursuant to the Home Loan Practices Act for an erroneous appraisal of their home.

Seth R. Adkins v. State of Indiana (NFP)
57A03-1010-CR-569
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

The Indiana Supreme Court denied transfer to 16 cases for the week ending March 4.
 

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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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