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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. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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