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Friday, July 09, 2010

Ind. Decisions - One Indiana decision today from the 7th Circuit, and a bankruptcy ruling

In Freddie L. Byers, Jr. v. Basinger (ND Ind., Sharp), a 17-page opinion, Judge Cudahy writes:

After a jury trial, the petitioner, Freddie Byers, Jr.,1 was convicted of two counts of first degree murder, one count of attempted murder and one count of robbery. The Supreme Court of Indiana affirmed on direct appeal, Byers v. Indiana, 709 N.E.2d 1024 (Ind. 1999), and, after the Indiana Court of Appeals denied his petition for post-conviction relief, 878 N.E.2d 542, 2007 WL 4531828 (Ind. App. Ct. Dec. 27, 2007), the Indiana Supreme Court denied transfer, 891 N.E.2d 41 (Ind. 2008). The district court denied Mr. Byers’ habeas petition, in which Mr. Byers argued that his trial counsel performed deficiently. Byers v. Superintendent, No. 3:08 cv 0240 AS, 2009 WL 537662 (N.D. Ind. Mar. 4, 2009). We granted Mr. Byers a certificate of appealability on the question whether he had been denied effective assistance of counsel. We affirm the district court’s denial because, even if Mr. Byers successfully exhausted his claim, it lacks merit.
In In the Matter of Luis E. Solis, a bankruptcy case, Judge Hamilton's 11-page opinion begins:
The legal profession has not treated debtor Luis Solis well. The secretary of an attorney who settled Solis’ workers’ compensation claim stole nearly half of the amount he was owed. Then a second attorney whom Solis had hired to recover the rest of the stolen settlement—appellant Joseph O’Callaghan—asserted an attorney fee claim for a percentage of the entire amount of the settlement, including the portion that Solis had already been paid before he hired that second attorney. The legal issue in this appeal is whether the second attorney “recovered” money for his client when he established the client’s entitlement to the sum of money already in the client’s possession. Appellant O’Callaghan insists that the answer is yes. We disagree. Under the terms of the contingent fee agreement in this case, O’Callaghan is entitled to a percentage of only the money he actually recovered from other parties, not a percentage of the money Solis had received earlier. We affirm the judgment of the district court.

This appeal comes to us from a bankruptcy proceeding in which the court resolved O’Callaghan’s claim for an attorney fee and costs on cross-motions for summary judgment.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 9, 2010 11:01 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions