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Opinions March 9, 2011

March 9, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Peggy Abner and Linda Kendall v. Scott Memorial Hospital
10-2713
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division, Chief Judge Richard L. Young.
Civil. Denies motion to file an oversized brief and affirms summary judgment for Scott Memorial Hospital in a suit under the False Claims Act. Finds the appeal has no merit and the appellant’s attorney flagrantly violated the word limit for the brief.

United States of America v. Styles Taylor and Keon Thomas
05-2007, 05-2008, 09-1291
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Charles R. Norgle Sr.
Criminal. Vacates Taylor and Thomas’ convictions of murder and robbery and remands for a new trial. Accepting new, unrelated reasons extending well beyond the prosecutor’s original justification for striking an African-American juror amounts to clear error under Miller-El II, and the government’s reliance on these additional reasons raises the specter of pretext.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
David Sasser v. State of Indiana
79A04-1006-CR-457
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class C felony failure to register as a convicted sex offender while having a prior conviction and remands for a new trial. The admission of evidence regarding Sasser’s prior convictions for failure to register was a fundamental error, but there is sufficient evidence supporting the conviction.

Jerrell D. White v. State of Indiana
15A01-1008-CR-463
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft and reverses conviction of Class D felony receiving stolen property for violating double jeopardy. There is insufficient evidence to support the habitual offender finding. Affirms remaining three-year sentence for theft conviction. Remands with instructions.

Thomas P. Burke v. American General Financial Services, Inc. (NFP)
29A02-1008-PL-925
Civil plenary. Affirms on interlocutory appeal the grant of a motion to appoint a receiver filed by American General Financial Services.

Joshua Murrell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1005-CR-552
Criminal. Dismisses appeal of the denial of demand for trial setting and motion to transport defendant to Marion County Jail for purpose of trial preparation or competency evaluation, and motion for discharge under Indiana Criminal Rule 4(C).

James D. Imel, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
16A01-1009-CR-471
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class C felony reckless homicide.

William C. Lansford v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1004-CR-178
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony burglary.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. Bill Satterlee is, indeed, a true jazz aficionado. Part of my legal career was spent as an associate attorney with Hoeppner, Wagner & Evans in Valparaiso. Bill was instrumental (no pun intended) in introducing me to jazz music, thereby fostering my love for this genre. We would, occasionally, travel to Chicago on weekends and sit in on some outstanding jazz sessions at Andy's on Hubbard Street. Had it not been for Bill's love of jazz music, I never would have had the good fortune of hearing it played live at Andy's. And, most likely, I might never have begun listening to it as much as I do. Thanks, Bill.

  2. The child support award is many times what the custodial parent earns, and exceeds the actual costs of providing for the children's needs. My fiance and I have agreed that if we divorce, that the children will be provided for using a shared checking account like this one(http://www.mediate.com/articles/if_they_can_do_parenting_plans.cfm) to avoid the hidden alimony in Indiana's child support guidelines.

  3. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  4. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  5. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

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