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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. "Am I bugging you? I don't mean to bug ya." If what I wrote below is too much social philosophy for Indiana attorneys, just take ten this vacay to watch The Lego Movie with kiddies and sing along where appropriate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etzMjoH0rJw

  2. I've got some free speech to share here about who is at work via the cat's paw of the ACLU stamping out Christian observances.... 2 Thessalonians chap 2: "And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to everyone in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last."

  3. Did someone not tell people who have access to the Chevy Volts that it has a gas engine and will run just like a normal car? The batteries give the Volt approximately a 40 mile range, but after that the gas engine will propel the vehicle either directly through the transmission like any other car, or gas engine recharges the batteries depending on the conditions.

  4. Catholic, Lutheran, even the Baptists nuzzling the wolf! http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-documents-reveal-obama-hhs-paid-baptist-children-family-services-182129786-four-months-housing-illegal-alien-children/ YET where is the Progressivist outcry? Silent. I wonder why?

  5. Thank you, Honorable Ladies, and thank you, TIL, for this interesting interview. The most interesting question was the last one, which drew the least response. Could it be that NFP stamps are a threat to the very foundation of our common law American legal tradition, a throwback to the continental system that facilitated differing standards of justice? A throwback to Star Chamber’s protection of the landed gentry? If TIL ever again interviews this same panel, I would recommend inviting one known for voicing socio-legal dissent for the masses, maybe Welch, maybe Ogden, maybe our own John Smith? As demographics shift and our social cohesion precipitously drops, a consistent judicial core will become more and more important so that Justice and Equal Protection and Due Process are yet guiding stars. If those stars fall from our collective social horizon (and can they be seen even now through the haze of NFP opinions?) then what glue other than more NFP decisions and TRO’s and executive orders -- all backed by more and more lethally armed praetorians – will prop up our government institutions? And if and when we do arrive at such an end … will any then dare call that tyranny? Or will the cost of such dissent be too high to justify?

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