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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. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  2. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

  3. This outbreak illustrates the absurdity of the extreme positions taken by today's liberalism, specifically individualism and the modern cult of endless personal "freedom." Ebola reminds us that at some point the person's own "freedom" to do this and that comes into contact with the needs of the common good and "freedom" must be curtailed. This is not rocket science, except, today there is nonstop propaganda elevating individual preferences over the common good, so some pundits have a hard time fathoming the obvious necessity of quarantine in some situations....or even NATIONAL BORDERS...propagandists have also amazingly used this as another chance to accuse Western nations of "racism" which is preposterous and offensive. So one the one hand the idolatry of individualism has to stop and on the other hand facts people don't like that intersect with race-- remain facts nonetheless. People who respond to facts over propaganda do better in the long run. We call it Truth. Sometimes it seems hard to find.

  4. It would be hard not to feel the Kramers' anguish. But Catholic Charities, by definition, performed due diligence and held to the statutory standard of care. No good can come from punishing them for doing their duty. Should Indiana wish to change its laws regarding adoption agreements and or putative fathers, the place for that is the legislature and can only apply to future cases. We do not apply new laws to past actions, as the Kramers seem intent on doing, to no helpful end.

  5. I am saddened to hear about the loss of Zeff Weiss. He was an outstanding member of the Indianapolis legal community. My thoughts are with his family.

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