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Opinions Sept. 2, 2011

September 2, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Gary Williams and Nancy Meehan v. Rohm and Haas Pension Plan
10-1978, 10-2175, 10-3713
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Affirms $180 million settlement and approval of $43.5 million in attorney fees. The District Court adequately addressed the expected value of the early retirees’ claims. The District Court did not abuse its discretion by not creating a separately represented subclass of early retirees. The 7th Circuit sees no reason to disturb the District Court’s assessment of attorney fees.

United States of America v. Jake Richardson III
11-1205
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Jon E. DeGuilio.
Criminal. Richardson has not shown that the District Court erred by admitting the physical evidence found on him after a traffic stop or by admitting evidence of the statements Richardson volunteered to police.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
James Daher v. Mark Sevier
52A04-1103-MI-150
Miscellaneous. Affirms dismissal of prisoner Daher’s request for a temporary restraining order. Daher’s complaint about the jumpsuits falls so far below the Eighth Amendment threshold of cruel and unusual punishment that it can be fairly characterized as a trivial complaint in that context.

Kirby D. Edwards v. State of Indiana
18A02-1102-CR-118
Criminal. Affirms determination that Edwards is a sexually violent predator. The trial court, after weighing the doctors’ reports and testimony, considering the presentence investigation report, and finding that Edwards also had a lack of remorse, did not abuse its discretion in determining he should be classified as a SVP. Also, Ind. Code 35-38-1-7.5(e) does not require that the doctors who evaluate a defendant conduct the evaluations separately.  

Visitation of P.V.D. and P.I.D.; P.M. v. K.B.
45A03-1102-JM-79
Juvenile. Reverses denial of mother P.M.’s request that the trial court set aside its previous order granting maternal grandmother K.B. visitation with P.M.’s minor children. The trial court erroneously denied P.M.’s request for relief from the default judgment. Lake County was not the proper venue for the grandmother’s petition. Remands with instructions to rescind the previous order granting K.B. visitation with the children under the Grandparent Visitation Act.

Anthony Wheeler v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1101-PC-22
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Anthony W. Dalton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1101-CR-26
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class C felony battery and Class B misdemeanor public intoxication.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  1. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  5. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

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