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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. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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