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Opinions Oct. 30, 2012

October 30, 2012
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Indiana Supreme Court
Lisa J. Kane v. State of Indiana
30S04-1206-CR-372
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class D felony receiving stolen property and remands for retrial. The trial court improperly instructed the jury on the mental state required to convict Kane.

Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of the Estate of Nathaniel Kappel v. William Kappel, Judith Kappel, and Mark Kappel
32A01-1111-ES-526
Estate, supervised. Affirms denial of the estate’s recovery of insurance proceeds, directive that William and Mark Kappel withdraw their claims against the estate, and the denial of the complaint for contribution. Also affirms denial of the request the estate pay William, Judith and Mark Kappel’s attorney fees. The probate court’s judgment is not clearly erroneous based on the evidence.

Boulder Acquisition Corp. (n/k/a Affiliated Computer Services, LLC), et al. v. Unemployment Insurance Appeals of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development
93A02-1202-EX-127
Agency appeal. Reverses liability administrative law judge’s decision to combine BAC’s unemployment experience account with all its subsidiaries’ accounts and in recalculating BAC and the subsidiaries’ contribution rates. BAC is not a successor employer to the subsidiaries under I.C. 22-4-10-6(a) or 22-4-11.5-7. Remands to the Department of Workforce Development to adjust their respective experience accounts accordingly and to refund any overpayment by BAC and/or the subsidiaries.

Mark Carter and John E. Carter, Co-Personal Rep. of the Estate of John O. Carter, M.D., Deceased v. Loretta Robinson, Individually and as Admin. of the Estate of John E. Robinson, Deceased
45A05-1110-CT-563
Civil tort. Affirms $550,000 verdict in favor of Loretta Robinson, individually and as administratix of the estate of John E. Robinson, deceased, following John Robinson’s complaint for medical malpractice. Concludes Dr. James Bryant’s expert opinion is based on a proper use of the differential etiology methodology, that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it excluded Dr. Michael Kaufman as a witness in support of Carter. Denies Robinson’s request for attorney fees.

Indiana Gas Company, Inc. and Southern Indiana Gas and Electric Company, et al. v. Indiana Finance Authority and Indiana Gasification, LLC
93A02-1112-EX-1141
Agency appeal. Reverses approval by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission of a substitute natural gas purchase and sale agreement between the Indiana Finance Authority and Indiana Gasification. The utilities and industrial group’s claims are justiciable, the commission did not exceed its jurisdiction when it approved the contract, and the contract’s definition of retail end use customer inappropriately included industrial transportation customers even though the Legislature did not intend for these customers to be subject to the Substitute Natural Gas Act as retail end use customers. Chief Judge Robb concurs in part and dissents in part.

Kevin Reaves v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1202-CR-131
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony burglary and Class D felony theft.

In the Matter of the Revocable Trust of Mary Ruth Moeder (NFP)
49A02-1205-TR-377
Trust. Affirms order modifying the trust agreement.

Thomas R. Clements v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1204-CR-161
Criminal. Affirms denial of verified petition for permission to file a belated notice of appeal.

State of Indiana v. Christopher Holloway (NFP)
49A02-1203-CR-240
Criminal. Reverses revision of Holloway’s sentence and remands with instructions to reinstate the original sentence.

Demetriese Gunn v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1202-CR-152
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony neglect of a dependent and Class D felony strangulation.
 

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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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