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Opinions Oct. 1, 2010

October 1, 2010
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The following opinions were posted after IL deadline Thursday.
Indiana Supreme Court
Caesars Riverboat Casino, LLC v. Genevieve M. Kephart
31S01-0909-CV-403
Civil. Reverses trial court denial of Caesar’s motion to dismiss Kephart’s counterclaim under Trial Rule 12 (B)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Holds that no common law right exists for patrons to recover damages for casino gambling losses. Justice Boehm concurs in result and Justice Dickson dissents.

Sheehan Construction Co., Inc., et al. v. Continental Casualty Co., et al.
49S02-1001-CV-32
Civil. Reverses trial court grant of summary judgment in favor of the insurers on grounds that there was no damage to the property and thus there was no “occurrence” or “property damage” and remands for further proceedings. Faulty workmanship may constitute an accident and thus an occurrence depending on the facts under a standard commercial general liability insurance policy. Chief Justice Shepard and Justice Sullivan dissent.

State of Indiana v. James S. Hobbs, IV
19S01-1001-CR-10
Criminal. Reverses trial court finding that the search violated the Fourth Amendment and Article I, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution and the consequent suppression of the fruits of the search. Hobbs’ car was an operational vehicle in a public place, the dog sniff wasn’t conducted under circumstances where Hobbs was unconstitutionally seized and the dog  sniff provided probable cause that the car contained evidence of a crime. Justice Sullivan dissents in which Justice Rucker joins.

Thomas P. Donovan v. Grant Victoria Casino & Resort, L.P.
49S02-1003-CV-124
Civil. Affirms summary judgment for the casino on Donovan’s breach-of-contract claim and declaratory judgment that the casino can’t exclude him for counting cards. The long-standing common law right of private property owners extends to the operator of a riverboat casino that wishes to exclude a patron for employing strategies designed to give the patron a statistical advantage over the casino. The Riverboat Gambling Act, which gives the Indiana Gaming Commission exclusive authority to set the rules of licensed casino games, does not abrogate this common law right. Justice Dickson dissents.

Today’s opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Annex Books, Inc., et al. v. City of Indianapolis, Ind.
09-4156
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Affirms preliminary injunction of ordinance requiring adult bookstores to be closed certain hours. The single article introduced by Indianapolis didn’t support its argument and the evidence of arrest data near the plaintiffs’ store appears to support the plaintiffs.

United States of America v. Charles Suggs
09-2700
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge David F. Hamilton.
Criminal.  Affirms District Court’s application at sentencing of a four-level increase for using or possessing a firearm in connection with another felony offense after Suggs pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. The District Court could reasonably conclude that Suggs grasped the handgun while resisting officers, ignored their orders, and that his grasp on the handgun without telling officers about his gun implied an intent to bring it forth and use it in some manner.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Lawrence Terrell Davis v. State of Indiana
45A04-1002-CR-97
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class C felony auto theft, Class D felony resisting law enforcement, Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, and for being a habitual offender. Davis failed to show that the trial court failed to give him the required advisement that by waiving his right to a jury trial on the underlying offenses that he also waived his right to a jury trial in the habitual offender phase. Remands with instructions to enter a habitual offender enhancement that is consistent with the opinion.

Gary S. Moore v. State of Indiana (NFP)
47A01-1001-CR-31
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine.

Cory A. Waltmire v. State of Indiana (NFP)
44A03-1002-CR-103
Criminal. Affirms sentences following guilty plea to two counts of Class C felony reckless homicide.

Daniel L. Lannen v. State of Indiana (NFP)
57A03-1004-CR-221
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class B felony manufacturing methamphetamine.

Corey Stewart v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A05-1003-CR-139
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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