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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. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  2. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  3. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

  4. Duncan, It's called the RIGHT OF ASSOCIATION and in the old days people believed it did apply to contracts and employment. Then along came title vii.....that aside, I believe that I am free to work or not work for whomever I like regardless: I don't need a law to tell me I'm free. The day I really am compelled to ignore all the facts of social reality in my associations and I blithely go along with it, I'll be a slave of the state. That day is not today......... in the meantime this proposed bill would probably be violative of 18 usc sec 1981 that prohibits discrimination in contracts... a law violated regularly because who could ever really expect to enforce it along the millions of contracts made in the marketplace daily? Some of these so-called civil rights laws are unenforceable and unjust Utopian Social Engineering. Forcing people to love each other will never work.

  5. I am the father of a sweet little one-year-old named girl, who happens to have Down Syndrome. To anyone who reads this who may be considering the decision to terminate, please know that your child will absolutely light up your life as my daughter has the lives of everyone around her. There is no part of me that condones abortion of a child on the basis that he/she has or might have Down Syndrome. From an intellectual standpoint, however, I question the enforceability of this potential law. As it stands now, the bill reads in relevant part as follows: "A person may not intentionally perform or attempt to perform an abortion . . . if the person knows that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion solely because the fetus has been diagnosed with Down syndrome or a potential diagnosis of Down syndrome." It includes similarly worded provisions abortion on "any other disability" or based on sex selection. It goes so far as to make the medical provider at least potentially liable for wrongful death. First, how does a medical provider "know" that "the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion SOLELY" because of anything? What if the woman says she just doesn't want the baby - not because of the diagnosis - she just doesn't want him/her? Further, how can the doctor be liable for wrongful death, when a Child Wrongful Death claim belongs to the parents? Is there any circumstance in which the mother's comparative fault will not exceed the doctor's alleged comparative fault, thereby barring the claim? If the State wants to discourage women from aborting their children because of a Down Syndrome diagnosis, I'm all for that. Purporting to ban it with an unenforceable law, however, is not the way to effectuate this policy.

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