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Opinions Nov. 23, 2010

November 23, 2010
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Nightingale Home Healthcare, Inc. v. Anodyne Therapy, LLC
10-2327
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker
Civil. Affirms the judgment of the District Court that granted Anodyne’s request for an award of attorneys’ fees in the amount of $72,747. The award was based on 15 U.S.C. § 1117(a), which allows attorneys’ fees to be awarded to prevailing parties in Lanham Act suits, but only in “exceptional cases.” Nightingale contended no award of attorneys’ fees was justified because the case was not “exceptional.” Also grants Anodyne’s motion for fees and costs pursuant to Rule 38 of the appellate rules. Dismisses as moot Anodyne’s motion to strike Nightingale’s brief and appendix.

June Kimmel v. Western Reserve Life Assurance Company of Ohio
10-1336
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Magistrate Judge Paul R. Cherry
Civil. Affirms District Court’s grant of summary judgment to Western Reserve Life Assurance Company of Ohio. The insurance company had neither accepted nor denied the life insurance application of June Kimmel’s late husband, Richard Kimmel, within a 60-day timeframe. Richard died in an automobile accident six weeks after the end of that 60-day period. The 7th Circuit concludes that  "although Western Reserve deserves criticism for its handling of Richard’s application for life insurance, its behavior is not actionable under Indiana tort law” because ”the relationship between an insured and an insurer is different enough from the relationship between an applicant and a prospective insurer.”

Indiana Supreme Court posted no opinions before IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
 
Deidre Carter v. Grace Whitney Properties
82A04-1003-SC-177
Civil. Reverses and remands findings of small claims court. Concludes Vanderburgh County Local Rules 1.23(C) and 1.05(E), as applied here, violate Article 1, Section 22 of the Indiana Constitution because they contemplate the use of contempt to enforce an obligation to pay money even where, as here, the debt does not involve child support or fraud.
 
Larry Cox v. State of Indiana
79A04-0912-CR-741
Criminal. Reverses and remands Cox’s convictions of 10 counts of Class A felony child molesting and five counts of Class C felony child molesting. Concludes the trial court improperly permitted the state to introduce a videotaped statement in lieu of live direct examination, and that that error was not harmless.

Gregory Owens v. State of Indiana
29A02-1002-CR-390
Criminal. Affirms Owens’ conviction of child molesting. Concludes the state did not infringe upon his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination by introducing evidence that he did not contact police. Also finds the prosecutor’s comment in closing argument was improper but did not rise to the level of fundamental error requiring reversal.
 
Erik E. Neal, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)

71A03-1003-CR-214
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for felony murder.
 
Steven Thrash v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1005-CR-483
Criminal. Affirms conviction of aggravated battery, a Class B felony. Revises 10-year sentence to eight years with six years executed and two years suspended.

Tara K. Mateyko v. State of Indiana (NFP)
29A02-1002-CR-226
Criminal. Affirms conviction of theft, a Class D felony.
 
Kyle Sheets v. Kandie Sheets (NFP)
48A02-1004-DR-419
Civil. Affirms trial court’s grant of mother’s request for permission to move with the parties’ children to Oklahoma.

Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions before IL deadline.
 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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