Opinions May 10, 2013

May 10, 2013
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Royce Brown v. John F. Caraway, Warden
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Reverses denial of Brown’s petition for habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. Section 2241 in which he argued under Begay v. United States, 553 U.S. 137 (2008), his prior Delaware conviction for arson in the third degree did not qualify as a crime of violence. Brown is entitled to relief, and under Begay, his prior conviction doesn’t qualify as “generic” arson under the enumerated crimes clause of the career offender guideline, nor is it covered by the residual clause. Remands with instructions to reduce his drug and firearm sentence to reflect that he is not a career offender under Section U.S.S.G. Section 4B1.1. Chief Judge Easterbrook issued a statement concerning the circulation under Circuit Rule 40(e).

Indiana Court of Appeals
Dwight L. Cobbs v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony dealing in cocaine. The trial court properly admitted the confidential informant’s testimony. Even if the court erred by admitting it, any error was harmless.

Roberto Barajas v. State of Indiana
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief. Barajas failed to demonstrate prejudice by his trial counsel’s performance in light of the court’s advisements at his guilty plea hearing.

Bobby Alexander v. State of Indiana

Criminal. Dismisses appeal of conviction of Class B felony aggravated battery and remands with instructions for the trial court to enter a restitution order within 30 days of this opinion. The trial court never entered a restitution order, so the case is in procedural limbo.

Karina Wilson v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class A misdemeanor battery.

Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of C.T. and D.T., minor children, and C.T., biological father, and K.P., biological mother: C.T. and K.P. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Mr. Bults, Inc. D/B/A MBI v. Nathan Orlando (NFP)

Civil tort. Affirms negligence finding against Mr. Bults Inc. and $650,000 jury award.

In Re: The Paternity of V.A.; R.A. v. B.Y. (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms order addressing custody, parenting time, child support and personal property issues. Remands for the court to rule on the issue of legal custody, father’s contempt petition, to clarify the factual basis for its child support order and to enter findings supporting the conclusion.

Daon L. Bellamy v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no decisions by 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.