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Opinions May 7, 2013

May 7, 2013
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Jose J. Loera, Jr. v. United States of America
11-3223
Criminal. Affirms drug conviction and 240-month prison sentence, holding that Loera failed to prove his attorney provided ineffective legal counsel. Loera claimed that a prior grant of a motion to suppress his statements to police before consulting an attorney should have been binding on future proceedings. The court held it was doubtful that a subsequent refusal to suppress on different grounds, if it was error, was harmful.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Think Tank Software Development Corp. d/b/a Think Tank Networking Technologies Group, et al. v. Chester, Inc., Mike Heinhold, John Mario, Joel Parker, Thomas Guelinas, et al.
64A05-1205-PL-270
Civil plenary. Reverses and remands on interlocutory appeal a trial court grant of a motion to exclude testimony from an expert witness on economics and business valuation, holding that once an expert’s scientific theories are determined to be reliable under Trial Rule 702, cross-examination is the means of exposing dissimilarities between actual evidence and an expert’s theories.

Ryan Westlake v. State of Indiana
73A01-1209-CR-433
Criminal. Affirms aggregate sentence of 25 years executed and five years suspended for pleading guilty to Class A felony child molesting and Class B felony sexual misconduct. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing when it did not consider the guilty plea as a mitigating factor because Westlake received the “substantial benefit” of having four additional charges dropped in exchange for the plea.
 
In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: A.D.S. & A.S. and L.S. v. The Indiana Department of Child Services
49A02-1207-JT-604
Juvenile. Affirms termination of mother’s parental rights, concluding there was sufficient evidence that there is a reasonable probability
that the reasons for the children’s placement outside the home will not be remedied and that the totality of the evidence supports the trial court’s conclusion that termination of mother’s parental rights is in the children’s best interest.

Patti S. Maxfield and Ronald G. Maxfield v. Women's Health Partnership, P.C. and Corporate Cleaning Systems, Inc. (NFP)

49A02-1209-CT-707
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgments for Corporate Cleaning and for Women’s Health.  

Tracy Lawrence v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1206-CR-524
Criminal. Affirms Lawrence’s sentence to an aggregate 100-year term after being convicted of Class A felony child molesting and Class A felony attempted child molesting. The trial court neither abused its discretion nor imposed an inappropriate sentence.

Brice Dutrow v. State of Indiana (NFP)
30A04-1207-CR-356
Criminal. Affirms Dutrow’s sentence of concurrent terms of 45 years  with five years suspended to probation for convictions of burglary and robbery, both Class A felonies, and an enhancement of 30 years on the burglary conviction.   

Amy (Winton) Otis v. Marketing Three LLC (NFP)
20A05-1210-CC-505
Civil collection. Reverses the judgment of the trial court and remands for further proceedings. Concludes the trial court erred in entering summary judgment in favor of Marketing Three.

Jonathan Reiner v. State of Indiana (NFP)

20A05-1210-PC-499
Post conviction. Affirms Reiner’s conviction and 30-year sentence for Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine. The majority finds Reiner’s trial counsel was not ineffective for failing to raise a competency objection to the detective’s yield rate testimony; failing to present evidence challenging the reliability of yield rate evidence in general; and failing to move for a directed verdict on the Class A felony charge on the basis of insufficient evidence as to the amount of meth being manufactured. Also concludes Reiner’s appellate counsel was not ineffective for failing to challenge the sufficiency of the state’s evidence as to the amount of meth being manufactured. In her dissent, Judge Elaine Brown finds Reiner has demonstrated that he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel for failure to challenge the admissibility of the evidence regarding the yield rate. He also received ineffective assistant of trial and appellate counsel for failure to challenge the evidence as insufficient to support the Class A felony.    

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no opinions prior to IL deadline.
 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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