Opinions May 8, 2013

May 8, 2013
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Terri Basden v. Professional Transportation Inc.
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for Professional Transportation on Basden’s claim she was terminated in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Family and Medical Leave Act. Basden failed to present evidence sufficient to establish a prima facie right to the protection of the ADA or FMLA.

United States of America v. Tyrone Reynolds
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Rudy Lozano.
Criminal. Affirms a four-level leadership adjustment in the sentencing guidelines calculations for Reynold’s role in a kidnapping because sufficient evidence supports the adjustment. Holds the “ransom demand” provision requires, at a minimum, that the ransom demand be “made” to a third party. Reverses six-level increase for the ransom demand. Because nothing in the record suggests such a demand was made, the judges vacate Reynold’s life sentence and remands for resentencing.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Stacy Smith and Robert Smith, Individually and as Co-Personal Representatives of the Estate of Johnny Dupree Smith, Deceased v. Delta Tau Delta, Beta Psi Chapter of Delta Tau Delta, Wabash Col., et al
Civil tort. Holds that the trial court abused its discretion by admitting certain paragraphs of Delta Tau Delta’s executive vice president James Russell’s affidavit and by admitting two unsworn, unverified and uncertified statements. Finds that the trial court erred in granting Delta Tau Delta’s motion for summary judgment as there is a genuine issue of material fact that an agency relationship existed between the national fraternity and its local chapter, and the national fraternity assumed a duty to protect its freshmen pledges. Remands for further proceedings. Judge Baker concurs in parts and dissents in part.

Michael E. Lyons, Denita L. Lyons, individually and as Co-Personal Representatives of the Estate of Megan Renee Lyons, Deceased v. Richmond Community School Corp. d/b/a Richmond High School; Joe Spicer; et al.
Civil plenary. Holds summary judgment for the school was inappropriate on the Lyonses’ claims under the Indiana Tort Claims Act because when their cause of action accrued remains a question of fact, as does the issue of contributory negligence. Affirms there are no genuine issues of material fact on the couple’s claims of fraudulent concealment and on their Section 1983 claims. Affirms grant of motion to quash the Lyonses’ third-party discovery requests against RCSC’s insurer. Chief Judge Robb concurs in part and dissents in part.

Robert Graber, Jr. and Barbara Graber v. Allen County, Indiana Building Department (NFP)

Miscellaneous. Reverses grant of the building department’s motion to dismiss a verified complaint and remands for further proceedings.

In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of: E.M. & El.M. and E.M. v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)
Juvenile. Reverses termination of parental rights.

John A. Schmidt v. Karen Elaine Schmidt Denton (NFP)
Domestic relation. Reverses the trial court to the extent that it failed to make father’s child support modification retroactive to the filing of the petition and concluded that father would be responsible for 17 weeks of child support. Remands with instructions to credit a total of $2,814 against father’s college expense obligation. In all other respects, we affirm the trial court.

Robert Bowen v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class D felony possession of a controlled substance and Class A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia.

Michael Edward Groves v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine and aggregate sentence of 20 years.

Ashley N. Lawrence v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Reverses revocation of probation and sentence imposed. Remands for further proceedings.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no opinions 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.