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Opinions Oct. 15, 2013

October 15, 2013
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Judith (Lund) Pherson v. Michael Lund
52A04-1304-DR-180
Domestic relation. Affirms denial of Pherson’s motion to correct error, which challenged a post-dissolution order in response to a motion by Lund for clarification of a pension-fund provision of a property settlement agreement incorporated into a divorce decree. The pension contributions in the 18 ½ years since the dissolution were after-acquired property beyond the scope of the settlement agreement to divide.

Martha Ferguson, Anthony Schmitt, Rebecca Schmitt, Mary Meadows, et al. v. Berton O'Bryan
49A02-1211-CT-917
Civil tort. Reverses summary judgment in favor of attorney O’Bryan on a legal malpractice claim stemming from the preparation of a will. Concludes that regardless of whether O’Bryan saw the list that contained the plaintiffs’ names and items they would receive, he knew that Linder intended to benefit anyone named on the list; therefore, the relatives are known third-party beneficiaries for purposes of Walker v. Lawson and are thus entitled to bring a legal malpractice action against O’Bryan. Judge Friedlander dissents.

In Re The Marriage of Debra Ann Fioritto (Weber) v. Victor Lynn Weber (NFP)
20A03-1303-DR-73
Domestic relation. The trial court erred in concluding that the husband’s spousal maintenance payments should be included in calculations pursuant to the suspension clause. Remands with instructions for the trial court to alter its judgment because husband’s spousal maintenance obligation for the period from February of 2009 through January of 2010 is $10,775.13. Affirms denial of attorney fees to wife.

Aleesha Duensing, Erica Buzalski, Kristi Buzalski and Ray Buzalski v. Wendy Johnson and Kris A. Frazier (NFP)
71A05-1302-CC-69
Civil collection. Affirms summary judgment for Johnson and Frazier in a defamation and slander lawsuit and denies their request for appellate attorney fees.

In Re the Marriage of Jennifer Sausaman and Gregory Sausaman; Jennifer Hutchens (Sausaman) v. Gregory Sausaman (NFP)
43A03-1302-DR-43
Domestic relation. Affirms denial of Hutchens’ petition to modify child custody. Remands to the trial court the issue of the amount of attorney fees due to Sausaman.

William Beeler v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1209-PC-480
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

In Re The Marriage of Patricia Sovinski and Patrick Sovinski; Patrick Sovinski v. Patricia Sovinski (NFP)
02A01-1303-DR-101
Domestic relation. Affirms order of educational support regarding son.

In Re the Paternity of S.P., W.V. v. R.P. (NFP)
18A02-1303-JP-251
Juvenile. Affirms denial of father’s motion to stay the provision of a child support withholding order pertaining to accrued arrearages.

Perfect North Slopes, Inc. v. Nicholas A. Searcy (NFP)
15A05-1305-CT-204
Civil tort. Affirms denial of Perfect North Slopes’ motion to set aside default judgment entered at the request of Searcy on his negligence lawsuit.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana decisions by 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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