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Opinions Oct. 18, 2011

October 18, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Bruce Barton v. Zimmer Inc.
10-2212
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Judge Theresa L. Springmann.
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for Zimmer Inc. on Barton’s claims for discrimination and retaliation in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and for interference with his right to reinstatement under the Family Medical Leave Act. Barton’s ADEA claims fail for lack of causation and any available remedy. There is also no evidence of retaliation, and he has no claim under FMLA because when Barton returned to work after his medical leave, the company assigned him equivalent duties without regard to his medical leave.

Indiana Supreme Court
Nathan Brock v. State of Indiana
38S02-1101-CR-8
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony operating a motor vehicle after forfeiture of driving privileges for life. Although Brock did not consent to a mistrial, his second trial didn’t violate the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment because the trial court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that a mistrial was justified by manifest necessity.

Jeffery W. Cain v. State of Indiana
17S00-1008-CR-684
Criminal. Affirms convictions of murder and armed robbery and Cain’s sentence of life without parole. The trial court was within its discretion to deny Cain’s motion to exclude a witness’ testimony. A statement made by the prosecutor during her closing argument was not fundamental error.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Espiridion Estudillo v. Maria E. Estudillo
91A02-1102-DR-97
Domestic relation. Affirms property division following dissolution proceedings. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in considering the husband’s interest in property he titled to his adult daughter when dividing the marital estate nor when it determined two cars were not marital property. The trial court didn’t err by determining the extensive evidence of dissipation justified an unequal distribution of the marital property.

Gregg Miller v. America's Directories Inc. and Studio A Advertising and Marketing (NFP)
71A04-1011-CT-738
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for America’s Directories Inc. and Studio A Advertising and Marketing on Miller’s wrongful termination claim.

Joaquin Starks v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A01-1006-CR-266
Criminal. Affirms conviction of felony murder.

Justin A. Van Brunt v. State of Indiana (NFP)
59A01-1104-CR-177
Criminal. Reverses sentence following guilty plea to three counts of Class B felony burglary and three counts of Class D felony theft. Reduces sentence to 10 years.

Timothy Platt v. Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation (NFP)
49A02-1105-CT-417
Civil tort. Affirms order dismissing Platt’s petition for “declaration of rights & status” regarding a contract.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 
 

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  1. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  2. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

  3. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  4. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  5. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

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