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Opinions Nov. 10, 2010

November 10, 2010
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Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Scott D. Wells v. Herman Bud Bernitt, et al.
53A01-0910-CV-494
Civil. Affirms summary judgment in favor of the Bernitts on Wells’ claim against them for defamation because there was no admissible evidence before the court to establish actual malice, an element of defamation. Affirms summary judgment in favor of J.D. Maxwell and Travis Coryea as to Wells’ claim for negligent and intentional torts finding the evidence establishes the officers didn’t use excessive force. Affirms summary judgment for Wells on the Bernitts’ cross appeal alleging abuse of process.

Robert J. Blanford v. Judy D. Blanford
65A01-1004-DR-181
Domestic relation. The trial court erred in calculating Robert’s child support obligations on two worksheets and treating each son as an only child without an explanation of its reasons. Affirms determination and allocation of extraordinary educational expenses as part of Robert’s support obligations related to college education. Reverses assigning funds in his 401(k) to his children rather than Robert and Judy upon S.B.’s completion of a bachelor’s degree because this assignment was a post-dissolution modification of the division of marital assets. Remands with instructions.

Kevin Barton v. State of Indiana
18A04-0910-CR-609
Criminal. Affirms Class C felony conviction of failure to return to the scene of an accident resulting in death. The trial court didn’t err when it denied Barton’s motion to dismiss, which asserted that the state was barred under collateral estoppel principles from prosecuting him, because he failed to comply with Indiana Code Section 9-26-1-1. He waived his claim of Doyle violations by the prosecutor during closing statements and the trial court properly determined the substance of Barton’s proposed instruction was adequately covered by other jury instructions.

C & R Realty, LLC v. Jerry Tooley (NFP)
26A01-1007-PL-391
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of C&R Realty’s motion to set aside a default judgment under Trial Rule 60(B).

Quentin L. Taylor v. State of Indiana (NFP)
02A04-1006-CR-388
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty pleas to three counts of Class B felony robbery, one count of Class B felony criminal confinement, and two counts of Class C felony battery.

Mamadou Sow v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1004-CR-516
Criminal. Affirms Class A misdemeanor conviction of resisting law enforcement.
 
Damon A. Myers v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1001-PC-154
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Kenneth J. DeBord v. State of Indiana (NFP)
87A01-1006-PC-290
Post conviction. Reverses denial of petition for post-conviction relief. Remands for further proceedings.
 
Paul Catterall v. James Donbrock d/b/a Donbrock Enterprises (NFP)
76A04-1004-SC-219
Small claims. Affirms conclusion Donbrock could collect maintenance fees from Catterall from Jan. 5, 2002, to July 12, 2002. The court erred by ordering Donbrock to pay fees for months prior to Jan. 5 and prejudgment interest. Reverses ruling regarding fees prior to Jan. 5 and remands for an order consistent with the opinion.

Jean D. Schoknecht v. Susan E. Dunlap (NFP)
49A04-0912-CV-745
Civil. Reverses Schoknecht’s claims as a landlord against tenant Dunlap.
 
R.B. v. Review Board (NFP)
93A02-1005-EX-589
Civil. Reverses denial of claim for unemployment benefits.
 
Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. The child support award is many times what the custodial parent earns, and exceeds the actual costs of providing for the children's needs. My fiance and I have agreed that if we divorce, that the children will be provided for using a shared checking account like this one(http://www.mediate.com/articles/if_they_can_do_parenting_plans.cfm) to avoid the hidden alimony in Indiana's child support guidelines.

  2. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  3. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  4. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

  5. Agreed on 4th Amendment call - that was just bad policing that resulted in dismissal for repeat offender. What kind of parent names their boy "Kriston"?

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