Opinions Sept. 20, 2011

September 20, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals had posted no opinions from Indiana courts at IL deadline.

Indiana Supreme Court
Rod L. Avery and Marshall K. Avery v. Trina R. Avery
Civil plenary. Affirms default judgment entered against Rod and Marshall Avery. The Indiana Trial Rules apply to will contest actions, and the failure to file an answer or responsive pleading in accordance with Trial Rule 7 may result in a default judgment.

Richard L. Barnes v. State of Indiana

Criminal. Grants rehearing and affirms original opinion that residents don’t have a common law right to resist police entering a person’s home. The castle doctrine is not a defense to battery or any violence against a police officer who is acting in his or her duties. Justice Rucker dissents.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Thomas Temple v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Rejects Temple’s proposed definition of “induce,” and rejects his claims, premised upon that definition, that there was insufficient evidence and that there was a fatal variance between the charging information and the evidence adduced at trial.

State of Indiana v. Jonathon McDonald
Criminal. Reverses dismissal of charges against McDonald. The trial court erred by dismissing the charges based on the successive prosecution statute. Remands for further proceedings.

David L. McDaniel v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class C felony criminal recklessness.

Darnell Kelly, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony burglary and finding that Kelly is a habitual offender.

Richard West v. Elizabeth West (now Smith) (NFP)
Domestic relation. Affirms denial of Richard West’s petition to modify child custody and the award of $5,000 in attorney fees to Elizabeth West.

Daniel Zunica v. Zuncor, Inc., Steven A. Coppolillo, Jared Tomich, et al. (NFP)
Civil plenary. Affirms denial of motion to correct error brought by Zunica, which challenged a jury verdict finding him liable for breach of fiduciary duty in an action brought by Zuncor Inc. and shareholders.

Jon Dalton Gates v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance.

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