Opinions May 4, 2011

May 4, 2011
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Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Robert Eppl v. Christine DiGiacomo
Small claim. Reverses summary judgment for DiGiacomo and order that Eppl return DiGiacomo’s security deposit and pay her attorney fees. DiGiacomo’s mere delivery of the keys is not sufficient to demonstrate that Eppl actually accepted surrender of the premises and thereby released her from liability as of that date. Eppl’s itemization of damages letter was timely. Affirms determination that Eppl isn’t entitled to prevail in whole on his counterclaim for damages and remands with instructions to calculate the undisputed nail hole damage and expenses for repair of a broken light fixture to be deducted from the security deposit.

American Family Home Insurance Co. v. Rick Bonta
Civil tort. Reverses order granting a new trial in favor of Bonta. The trial court erred when it failed to make specific findings in setting aside the jury’s verdict and granting a new trial because the court concluded that the verdict was against the weight of the evidence. Also finds American Family Home Insurance has standing to bring the appeal. Remands for reinstatement of the jury’s verdict.

Jack M. Estes, II v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence following revocation of probation.

Thomas James Newsom v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class A felony conspiracy to commit murder.

Thomas D. Eckel v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated in a manner endangering a person while having a prior conviction within the past five years, and Class C misdemeanor operating a vehicle with a schedule I or II controlled substance or its metabolite in the body.

Michael Bracken v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony methamphetamine manufacture and finding that Bracken is a habitual substance offender.

Cassandra Gardner v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor conversion.

A.B. v. Review Board (NFP)
Civil. Affirms denial of request for unemployment benefits.

Peggy Bracken v. Marine Corp. League Joseph Bray Det. Inc. (NFP)
Civil tort. Affirms grant of summary judgment for Marine Corp. League Joseph A. Bray Detachment Inc. with respect to Bracken’s slip and fall at the premises known as Northside Bingo.

Gary C. Williams v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A felony possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a family housing complex.

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.