Opinions Nov. 18, 2011

November 18, 2011
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The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Thursday:
FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. v. United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
Petition for a Writ of Mandamus to the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, MDL No. 1700
Denies petition for the extraordinary writ of mandamus, holding that the petitioner failed to show that it has a clear and indisputable right to issuance of the writ.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals

David Marks and Karen Marks v. Northern Indiana Public Service Company
Civil tort. On petition for rehearing, affirms original decision in all respects, holding that the semi-trailer from which David Marks fell was owned by a subcontractor of a general contractor, and therefore Northern Indiana Public Service Co. is not liable for the accident.

Alesha Houston and Donna Gruzinsky v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Houston’s and Gruzinsky’s convictions of Class B misdemeanor failure to ensure school attendance, holding that the attendance officer at the schools were legally required to prepare and file referral records as part of the proceedings in Gruzinsky’s case, and that regardless of whether Houston’s lawyer had objected to the admission of hearsay documents, the objection would not have been sustained.

Jose J. Martinez v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Becky Melton v. Michael Melton (NFP)
Domestic relation. Affirms trial court’s order denying in part and granting in part Becky Melton’s motion to correct error, holding the court did not abuse its discretion in its division of property.

Tracy D. Miller v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms aggregate sentence of 20 years for Class B felony armed robbery, Class D felony pointing a firearm and associated charges.

Becky Jayne Wells v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions for Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine and Class C felony possession of methamphetamine.

Michael Ratliff v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms executed sentence for Class C felony possession of a controlled substance.

Patricia Abram v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class D felony theft.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at 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.