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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. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  2. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  3. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  4. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  5. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

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