Opinions Oct. 18, 2011

October 18, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Bruce Barton v. Zimmer Inc.
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
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
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
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)
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)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of felony murder.

Justin A. Van Brunt v. State of Indiana (NFP)
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)
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. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.