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Opinions May 8, 2013

May 8, 2013
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Terri Basden v. Professional Transportation Inc.
11-2880
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
12-1206
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
54A01-1204-CT-169
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.
89A04-1204-PL-159
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)

02A05-1209-MI-485
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)
45A03-1208-JT-370
Juvenile. Reverses termination of parental rights.

John A. Schmidt v. Karen Elaine Schmidt Denton (NFP)
34A02-1207-DR-579
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)
08A04-1206-CR-305
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)

82A01-1208-CR-386
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)
92A04-1211-CR-597
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. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  2. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  3. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

  4. When I hear 'Juvenile Lawyer' I think of an attorney helping a high school aged kid through the court system for a poor decision; like smashing mailboxes. Thank you for opening up my eyes to the bigger picture of the need for juvenile attorneys. It made me sad, but also fascinated, when it was explained, in the sixth paragraph, that parents making poor decisions (such as drug abuse) can cause situations where children need legal representation and aid from a lawyer.

  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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