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Opinions Nov. 13, 2013

November 13, 2013
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Indiana Supreme Court
The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Tuesday
.
Jamar Washington v. State of Indiana
49S02-1212-CR-669
Criminal. Affirms trial court jury instruction regarding defense of another as the correct statement of law, holding that Washington’s tendered instruction that the court declined to use was not required. Remands for correction of the sentencing abstract to reflect that Washington was convicted of resisting law enforcement as a Class A misdemeanor rather than as a Class D felony.  

Billy Russell v. State of Indiana
49S04-1311-CR-741
Criminal. Affirms convictions for murder and Class B felony possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. Finds the trial court did not err in refusing to give Russell’s tendered jury instruction assessing his claim of self-defense. Concludes that partially bifurcating the trial did not prejudice Russell.

Today's opinions
Indiana Supreme Court

Julie Kitchell v. Ted Franklin, as the Mayor of the City of Logansport, and the Common Council of the City of Logansport
09S00-1307-PL-476
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court dismissal of a suit challenging the city’s planned public-private partnership to convert a coal-fired power plant to generate electricity by burning refuse. Justices held that the Indiana Public-Private Agreements statute does not require a local legislative body to adopt an enabling statute before it may issue requests for proposals or begin contract negotiations.


Indiana Court of Appeals
Robert Kuntz, Kunodu, Inc., and B-K Interests, LLC v. EVI, LLC
02A03-1301-PL-14
Civil plenary. Affirms order granting preliminary injunction based on trial court’s finding that Kuntz had violated the terms of his noncompete agreement. Reverses and remands the trial court extending the duration of the noncompete and awarding attorney fees to EVI. The COA points out a preliminary injunction is not a final judgment and is meant only to preserve the status quo as it existed prior to the dispute.

David Williams v. State of Indiana
67A01-1302-CR-87
Criminal. Affirms conviction and aggregate 99-year sentence for eight counts of Class A felony child molestation and once count of Class B felony incest. Finds Williams’ confession to police was voluntary and not coerced. Ruled the convictions for incest and child molesting do not constitute double jeopardy. Holds even though the trial court may have abused its discretion in considering Williams’ IRAS score as an aggravating factor, the 99-year sentence is not inappropriate.

Charles Cole v. State of Indiana
49A02-1308-CR-680
Criminal. Reverses an increase of bond from $2,500 surety to $10,000 surety on a Class D felony charge of possession of methamphetamine, holding that the increase was an abuse of discretion. No new evidence supported the increase that was twice as high as the maximum under local court rules, and the requirements for increasing bail under Ind. Code 35-33-8-5 were not satisfied.

State of Indiana v. Molly Gray
62A01-1303-CR-108
Criminal. Affirms on interlocutory appeal the trial court’s suppression of drug evidence collected after a drug-sniffing police dog indicated the presence of narcotics in a van pulled over in a traffic stop. The free-air sniff conducted by the canine was not incidental to the traffic stop and the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to justify increasing the duration of the stop.

Timothy W. Mackall, and Stephanie K. Mackall v. Cathedral Trustees, Inc., d/b/a Cathedral High School (NFP)
49A02-1304-CC-290
Civil collections. Affirms trial court award of $47,510 in attorney fees in favor of Cathedral.

In the Matter of E.B. (Minor Child), Child in Need of Services and R.K. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
84A01-1303-JC-95
Juvenile. Affirms adjudication of E.B. as a child in need of services.

Billy Bulu Gercilus v. State of Indiana (NFP)
18A02-1303-CR-246
Criminal. Affirms conviction of two counts of Class D felony battery resulting in bodily injury and one count of Class A misdemeanor interfering with the reporting of a crime.

Tammy Price v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and WC Fern Exposition Services(NFP)
93A02-1304-EX-369
Agency action. Affirms denial of unemployment benefits.
 
Zigfried Davis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A05-1303-CR-124
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony possession of cocaine.

Shaun A. Fry v. State of Indiana (NFP)
50A03-1305-CR-170
Criminal. Affirms in part and reverses in part convictions after a bench trial of Class D felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person, Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement and Class C misdemeanor operating a vehicle without receiving a license. Vacates the felony conviction and remands for new trial because there is no evidence in the record that Fry knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently waived his right to a jury trial.  
 
Brenda Painter v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1304-CR-346
Criminal. Affirms 22-year aggregate sentence for conviction of two counts of Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine.


Indiana Tax Court issued no opinions by IL deadline. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana opinions by IL deadline .
 

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  1. Bill Satterlee is, indeed, a true jazz aficionado. Part of my legal career was spent as an associate attorney with Hoeppner, Wagner & Evans in Valparaiso. Bill was instrumental (no pun intended) in introducing me to jazz music, thereby fostering my love for this genre. We would, occasionally, travel to Chicago on weekends and sit in on some outstanding jazz sessions at Andy's on Hubbard Street. Had it not been for Bill's love of jazz music, I never would have had the good fortune of hearing it played live at Andy's. And, most likely, I might never have begun listening to it as much as I do. Thanks, Bill.

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  3. 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.

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  5. 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.

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