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Friday, April 08, 2005

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit posts four today

IFC Credit v. Bulk Petroleum Corp (ED Wis.) [10 pp.]

Before CUDAHY, KANNE and EVANS, Circuit Judges.
CUDAHY, Circuit Judge. Plaintiff IFC Credit Corporation (IFC) brought suit alleging that Bulk Petroleum Corporation (Bulk) and its CEO, Darshan Dhaliwal, breached a lease agreement under which Bulk leased gasoline tanks and other equipment from IFC with an option to purchase them at the end of the lease. Bulk claims that the lease agreement has been concluded through an accord and satisfaction executed with the assignee of IFC’s rights under the lease. The district court, through Magistrate Judge Aaron E. Goodstein, granted Bulk’s motion for summary judgment, ruling that a valid accord and satisfaction had taken place. IFC now appeals that ruling, and we affirm.

Joy, Lynn A. v. Hay Group Inc (ND Ill.) [6 pp.]

Before BAUER, POSNER, and KANNE, Circuit Judges.
POSNER, Circuit Judge. Lynn Joy, the plaintiff in this diversity breach of contract suit governed by Illinois law, appeals from the grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant, a consulting firm named Hay Group, Inc. (HGI). Joy is a former employee of HGI, and her principal claim is that her employment contract entitled her to one year’s base salary (which was $210,000) if she was terminated, provided she was terminated “for reasons other than cause,” a word not defined in the contract. * * *

USA v. Della Rose, Steven J (ND Ill.) [28 pp.]

Before POSNER, RIPPLE, and ROVNER, Circuit Judges.
ROVNER, Circuit Judge. A grand jury charged Chicago attorney Steven J. Della Rose with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and producing a false identification document in or affecting interstate commerce, alleging that Della Rose had arranged for an associate to obtain false identification in the name of Della Rose’s client and use that identification to fraudulently cash a settlement check made payable to that client and turn the proceeds over to Della Rose. A petit jury subsequently convicted Della Rose on these charges, although the district judge later granted him a judgment of acquittal on the false identification card charge. The judge ordered Della Rose to serve a prison term of 41 months. Della Rose appeals, contending among other things that the district judge erred in excluding so-called “reverse 404(b)” evidence that Della Rose’s associate had previously trafficked in phony identifications, which evidence was offered in part to show that it was the associate, rather than Della Rose, who was the likely perpetrator of the scheme. Fed. R. Evid. 404(b); see United States v. Wilson, 307 F.3d 596, 601 (7th Cir. 2002). Because the core of this evidence was hearsay not subject to any exception that would render it admissible, we conclude that the district judge did not abuse his discretion in excluding this evidence. Finding no other error sufficient to warrant a new trial, we affirm Della Rose’s conviction. However, we direct a limited remand of his sentence so that the district court may determine whether it would have sentenced Della Rose differently had it realized that the Sentencing Guidelines are advisory rather than mandatory. See United States v. Booker, 125 S. Ct. 738 (2005).

Cincinnati Insur Co v. Leighton, G. Timothy (CD Ill.) [21 pp.]

Before CUDAHY, ROVNER, and WILLIAMS, Circuit Judges.
ROVNER, Circuit Judge. The Cincinnati Insurance Company issued a financial responsibility bond guaranteeing that Dixie Management Group, Inc., would deliver to the State of Illinois taxes collected on sales of motor fuel at Dixie’s truck stops. Cincinnati surrendered the bond amount to the state after Dixie incurred a substantial tax liability and declared bankruptcy; Cincinnati then brought this suit in diversity seeking indemnity from Timothy Leighton, a former Dixie executive who signed Dixie’s bond application as an individual indemnitor for Cincinnati but was fired from Dixie four years before Cincinnati paid on the bond. On cross-motions from the parties, a magistrate judge, presiding by consent, entered judgment as a matter of law for Leighton, and later denied Cincinnati’s motion to vacate under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b). We affirm both decisions.

[page 20] WILLIAMS, Circuit Judge, concurring. [However, the two page "concurring opinion ends with] Therefore, I respectfully decline to join that part of the opinion that discusses this issue.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 8, 2005 01:38 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions