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Opinions Oct. 8, 2013

October 8, 2013
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Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of: Thomas M. Dixon
71S00-1104-DI-196
Discipline. The majority concludes in a per curiam ruling that statements made in support of a motion for change of judge did not violate Indiana Professional Conduct Rule 8.2(a) considering the entirety of the statements. Finds that the statements were relevant to, and required for, the relief sought. Justice Robert Rucker dissents, agreeing with the Disciplinary Commission hearing officer that the comments went beyond legal argument, became personal and therefore violated the rule.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Indiana State Ethics Commission, Office of Inspector General, an agency of the State of Indiana, and David Thomas, in his official capacity as Inspector General v. Patricia Sanchez
49A02-1301-PL-12
Civil plenary. Affirms the trial court’s reversal of the ethics commission’s final report against Sanchez. The state turned to the ethics commission after a trial court granted Sanchez’s motion to suppress the evidence that indicated she failed to return state property after she was dismissed from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. The ethics commission then denied her motion to suppress and sanctioned her. The COA ruled the court order to suppress evidence was binding and could not be ignored by the commission.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: N.Q., Je.Q., Ja.Q., L.Q., Minor Children, T.Q., Mother, and A.Q., Father v. Indiana Department of Child Services
82A04-1301-JT-42
Juvenile. Reverses the termination of the parent-child relationship between the parents and four minor children and remands for proceedings consistent with this opinion. Rules the trial court committed clear error by relying on evidence from the first termination hearing and failing to adequately consider the new evidence showing the parents had improved their living situation.  

David Holbert v. State of Indiana
49A05-1302-CR-54
Criminal. Affirms Holbert’s conviction for possession of marijuana as a Class A misdemeanor. Reverses and remands his Class B misdemeanor conviction for public intoxication. Rules although Holbert was drunk in a public place, he did not meet any of the four conditions added to the state public intoxication statute. He was not endangering his or anyone’s life, he was not breaching the peace and he was not annoying or harassing anyone.  

Bradley R. Benard v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and Rolls-Royce Corporation (NFP)
93A02-1303-EX-237
Agency action. Affirms the Unemployment Insurance Review Board’s finding that Benard was ineligible for unemployment benefits because he had been discharged for just cause.

Stephen G. Bentle v. State of Indiana (NFP)
15A05-1303-CR-131
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s imposition of Bentle’s previously suspended seven-and-a-half year sentence.

David Lee O'Banion v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A04-1303-CR-124
Criminal. Affirms sentence of 45 years with 10 years suspended after O’Banion pleaded guilty but mentally ill to burglary as a Class A felony.

Jason Frye v. State of Indiana (NFP)
12A04-1301-CR-16
Criminal. Affirms conviction of six counts of Class D felony possession of child pornography.

D.H. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1304-JV-137
Juvenile. Affirms juvenile court’s dispositional order that D.H. serve a two-year determinate term with credit for the seven months he spent at the Indiana Department of Correction between his first and second dispositional hearings. Rules the dispositional order did not violate Article I, Section 23 of the Indiana Constitution.

Phillip A. Evans v. State of Indiana (NFP)
84A01-1303-CR-105
Criminal. Affirms conviction and two-year sentence for intimidation, as a Class D felony, pursuant to a guilty plea.

Larry Warren v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1301-CR-25
Criminal. Remands for resentencing Warren’s appeal of an aggregate 80-year sentence following his convictions for three counts of child molesting as Class A felonies and two counts of child solicitation as Class D felonies. Finds there is insufficient evidence to support two of the three aggravators the trial court used as the basis to enhance the sentence.  

Andrew Bridgford v. Julie K. Bridgford (NFP)
73A01-1303-DR-111
Domestic relation. Dismisses Andrew Bridgford’s appeal of the trial court’s “Entry on Pending Motions” because he failed to substantially comply with the Indiana Rules of Appellate Procedure.  


The Indiana Tax Court did not submit any opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals did not submit any Indiana opinions by IL deadline.
 

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  1. People have heard of Magna Carta, and not the Provisions of Oxford & Westminster. Not that anybody really cares. Today, it might be considered ethnic or racial bias to talk about the "Anglo Saxon common law." I don't even see the word English in the blurb above. Anyhow speaking of Edward I-- he was famously intolerant of diversity himself viz the Edict of Expulsion 1290. So all he did too like making parliament a permanent institution-- that all must be discredited. 100 years from now such commemorations will be in the dustbin of history.

  2. Oops, I meant discipline, not disciple. Interesting that those words share such a close relationship. We attorneys are to be disciples of the law, being disciplined to serve the law and its source, the constitutions. Do that, and the goals of Magna Carta are advanced. Do that not and Magna Carta is usurped. Do that not and you should be disciplined. Do that and you should be counted a good disciple. My experiences, once again, do not reveal a process that is adhering to the due process ideals of Magna Carta. Just the opposite, in fact. Braveheart's dying rebel (for a great cause) yell comes to mind.

  3. It is not a sign of the times that many Ind licensed attorneys (I am not) would fear writing what I wrote below, even if they had experiences to back it up. Let's take a minute to thank God for the brave Baron's who risked death by torture to tell the government that it was in the wrong. Today is a career ruination that whistleblowers risk. That is often brought on by denial of licenses or disciple for those who dare speak truth to power. Magna Carta says truth rules power, power too often claims that truth matters not, only Power. Fight such power for the good of our constitutional republics. If we lose them we have only bureaucratic tyranny to pass onto our children. Government attorneys, of all lawyers, should best realize this and work to see our patrimony preserved. I am now a government attorney (once again) in Kansas, and respecting the rule of law is my passion, first and foremost.

  4. I have dealt with more than a few I-465 moat-protected government attorneys and even judges who just cannot seem to wrap their heads around the core of this 800 year old document. I guess monarchial privileges and powers corrupt still ..... from an academic website on this fantastic "treaty" between the King and the people ... "Enduring Principles of Liberty Magna Carta was written by a group of 13th-century barons to protect their rights and property against a tyrannical king. There are two principles expressed in Magna Carta that resonate to this day: "No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land." "To no one will We sell, to no one will We deny or delay, right or justice." Inspiration for Americans During the American Revolution, Magna Carta served to inspire and justify action in liberty’s defense. The colonists believed they were entitled to the same rights as Englishmen, rights guaranteed in Magna Carta. They embedded those rights into the laws of their states and later into the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution ("no person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.") is a direct descendent of Magna Carta's guarantee of proceedings according to the "law of the land." http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/magna_carta/

  5. I'm not sure what's more depressing: the fact that people would pay $35,000 per year to attend an unaccredited law school, or the fact that the same people "are hanging in there and willing to follow the dean’s lead in going forward" after the same school fails to gain accreditation, rendering their $70,000 and counting education worthless. Maybe it's a good thing these people can't sit for the bar.

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