Opinions Oct. 19, 2011

October 19, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals had posted no Indiana opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Alan Massey v. State of Indiana
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief. Even though the jury was improperly instructed regarding the elements of voluntary manslaughter, Massey wasn’t entitled to the voluntary manslaughter instruction because his girlfriend’s words ending their relationship do not constitute sufficient provocation to induce sudden heat. He also failed to carry his burden to show that the sentencing issue was significant.

Mark S. Weinberger, M.D., Mark S. Weinberger, M.D., P.C., Merrillville Center for Advanced Surgery, LLC and Nose and Sinus Center, LLC v. William Boyer
Civil tort. Affirms award of $300,000 in damages to William Boyer following his complaint for medical malpractice. The trial court properly denied the Weinberger entities’ motion for change of judge; did not abuse its discretion when it failed to strike jurors for cause; the testimony on Weinberger’s breach of his standard of care, the result of Boyer’s EKG, and evidence of Weinberger’s flight and absence from the country were properly admitted; and the jury award was not excessive. Affirms in all other respects.

Carolyn S. Baird v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms convictions of infractions for operating a motor vehicle without financial responsibility, failure to register and failure to have the proper license for operating a motorcycle. The evidence was sufficient to support these convictions. Reverses her conviction of Class A misdemeanor driving while suspended with a prior conviction because there was insufficient evidence. Remands with instructions to enter a conviction of the lesser included offense of driving while suspended, a Class A infraction.

Barker Industrial Park, Inc., Clara Barker and Charles E. Barker v. Ken Cut Lawn Service, Inc. (NFP)
Civil plenary. Reverses attorney fee award to the Bakers and remands for recalculation. Also on remand, the trial court should explain its prejudgment interest calculation and correct its total judgment calculation.

Marquinn McGruder v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A misdemeanors carrying a handgun without a license and possession of marijuana.

Zachary Thomas v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony residential entry.

Remy Inc. v. Ice Miller LLP and Kathy S. Kiefer (NFP)
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment for Ice Miller and Kiefer on Remy’s legal malpractice claim.

Jeffrey J. Whitmer v. Nancy J. Whitmer (NFP)
Domestic relation. Affirms in part and reverses in part the order that set aside substantial sums to Nancy following the sale of property at auction for expenses she claimed to have incurred, as most of the expenses she requested were either untimely raised or were an improper attempt to relitigate the equal property distribution. Remands with instructions.

Danny L. Slaven v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms in part and reverses in part the denial of petition for post-conviction relief. Remands for resentencing.

Darren B. Stone v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

K.B.S. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Juvenile. Affirms order placing K.B.S. at a private residential facility after the juvenile court found she committed what would be Class A misdemeanor criminal conversion if committed by an adult.

Christopher Davies v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms order Davies serve the 18-month balance of his suspended sentence following a probation violation.

Kevin Legg v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony rape, Class B felony criminal deviate conduct and Class D felony criminal confinement.

James Lee v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Sergio Esqueda v. Alfredo and Maria Ponce (NFP)
Agency appeal. Affirms denial of application for adjustment of claim.

Valentin Jaramillo v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Rumero Ziebell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms in part and reverses in part the denial of Ziebell’s petition for post-conviction relief. Remands for the post-conviction court to order the habitual offender enhancement in the murder case to be served concurrent with the habitual offender enhancement in the drug case.

Ayron Saylors v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.


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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues