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
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
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
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)
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)
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)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class C felony reckless homicide.

William C. Lansford v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony burglary.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.