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Supreme Court takes 3 cases

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The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer to three cases, dismissed one and declined 16 cases for the week ending Oct. 21.

In John R. Berry IV v. State of Indiana, No.49A04-1008-CR-536, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed John Berry’s conviction of Class A felony attempted murder and remanded with instructions to find Berry not guilty by reason of insanity and for further proceedings as required by the Indiana Code. The appellate court looked at whether a person’s mental disease brought on by years of drinking could support an insanity defense. The judges concluded Berry’s psychosis was a mental defect under the law.

In Michael J. Lock v. State of Indiana, No. 35A04-1010-CR-641, Michael Lock appealed his conviction of Class D felony operating a motor vehicle while privileges are suspended. He contended the state failed to prove his 2009 Yamaha Zuma was a motor vehicle, and the appellate court agreed, reversing his conviction. The COA was split in reversing Lock’s conviction, with Judge John Baker dissenting.

The justices also accepted Otha S. Hamilton v. State of Indiana, No. 49S02-1110-CR-621 and released an opinion on the case Oct. 19.

The justices voted 3-2 to dismiss Warren L. Williams, et al. v. David Orentlicher, et al., No. 49A02-1003-PL-249, in which the COA had held that the trial court properly denied Warren Williams’ and David Frankel’s motion to compel arbitration. The appellate court ruled that the two former leaders in the Indiana State Teachers Association – who served as trustees for a legally separate insurance trust – can’t force the trust’s governing board to adhere to arbitration clauses outlined in their ISTA employment contracts. Judge James Kirsch dissented because he believed Williams’ and Frankel’s respective ISTA responsibilities were an integral foundation for what they did as ex officio members for the trust.

Justices Frank Sullivan and Robert Rucker voted to deny petition to transfer, rather than dismiss.
 

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  1. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  2. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  3. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

  4. 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.

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