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Opinions Oct. 13, 2010

October 13, 2010
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Cruz Saenz
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Criminal. Affirms conviction of conspiring to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine but vacates his 293-month sentence. Rejects Saenz’s speedy trial challenge because nearly all of the delay is attributable to requests by Saenz or his co-defendants and the court didn’t error in imposing an obstruction of justice enhancement by concluding Saenz willfully lied about whether he knew the money he was transporting was drug money. Remands for the District Court to reconsider whether Saenz should receive the minor role adjustment as there is no evidence in the record of his involvement in a conspiracy beyond the single transport of money.


Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
State of Indiana v. Eric Booher, et al.
18A04-0910-CV-599
Civil. Reverses award of pre-judgment and post-judgment interest to the Boohers and Nortra Inc. Based on the language in the settlement agreements, the agreements didn’t contemplate any pre-judgment interest other than that accrued on the amounts previously deposited by the state. Remands for a calculation of post-judgment interest because the record doesn’t reveal when or if the state paid the Boohers the remaining principal payment or when the state paid the remaining principal payment under the Nortra judgment.  

Fabian Morgan v. State of Indiana
49A04-1001-CR-43
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon as a Class B felony. Morgan waived his claim that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to prove he qualified as a serious violent felon. Concludes there is persuasive authority for the proposition that a stipulation may be presented to the jury in the form of a preliminary instruction, where it may be challenged by a defendant who preserves the issue for appellate review. The trial court didn’t commit fundamental error when it stated to the jury that the defense attorney’s characterization of certain evidence was “misleading” and “not the evidence.”

Larry E. Hyatt v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A04-0912-CR-735
Criminal. Affirms convictions of four counts of dealing in cocaine as Class B felonies and one count of maintaining a common nuisance as a Class D felony.

Clarence T. Hunt v. State of Indiana (NFP)
73A04-1001-CR-39
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class A felony dealing in a narcotic drug.

Jason Akemon v. State of Indiana (NFP)
38A02-1003-CR-307
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony rape.

Shavaughn C. Wilson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1002-PC-326
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Ronald B. Blake v. State of Indiana (NFP)
73A01-1002-CR-123
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to operating a vehicle after forfeiture for life as a Class C felony.

Christopher James Hovious v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A02-1003-CR-354
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

Kevin Andrew Kohler v. State of Indiana (NFP)
35A02-1002-CR-175
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony child molesting and two counts of Class C felony child molesting.

Sabrina Wright v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1002-CR-57
Criminal. Affirms conviction of battery on a law enforcement officer as a Class A misdemeanor.

Willard Bolton v. Nanette Bolton (NFP)
34A05-1002-DR-59
Domestic relation. Reverses the valuation of certain marital assets and finding Willard in contempt of the court’s Dec. 7, 2009, order. Affirms denial of his request for permanent spousal maintenance, ordering of an unequal division of marital assets, and not awarding Willard attorney’s fees.

M.B. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1002-JV-241
Juvenile. Reverses modification of probation to the Department of Correction and remands for an evidentiary hearing.

Jessica Haylett v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1002-CR-64
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor criminal mischief.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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