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Monday, March 19, 2012

Vacancy on Supreme Court 2012 - Retirement ceremony details

Now available from the Court, a webpage with detailed information about CJ Shepard's retirement ceremony, including photographs and remarks.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Monday, March 19, 2012
Posted to Vacancy on Supreme Court 2012

Stage Collapse - "Trauma Doctors Weigh In On Stage Collapse Injuries"

Here is a WRTV 6 story, last updated March 16th:

INDIANAPOLIS -- The city’s top trauma centers are offering new insights on stage rigging collapses similar to the one that happened at the Indiana State Fair in August 2011.

Indiana doctors said the collapses are causing injuries that can be prevented, and they’re hoping to reduce mass casualty incidents at outdoor concerts.

Dr. Gerardo Gomez is in charge of the trauma center at Wishard Memorial Hospital. Since the State Fair, he and his colleagues have reviewed outdoor stage disasters and have concluded that Indiana’s incident was the most lethal on record.

“It shouldn’t have happened, when you have a collapse that was preventable,” Gomez said.

The study found that most injuries from stage accidents occurred above the waist, RTV6's Rafael Sanchez reported.

Dr. Jeffrey Browne with the Indiana University School of Medicine said the concern is that a massive number of those injuries could delay treatment because doctors specialized to handle specific types of emergencies could be outnumbered and overwhelmed.

“Typically, mass casualty injuries are distributed among the body equally,” Browne said.

Doctors said they hope their studies will spark changes at outdoor concert events.

The study calls for established evacuation procedures and command centers that include weather, engineering, police and health professionals to make coordinated decisions in the reassessment of outdoor stage construction.

“If we do a better job of preparing the structures to resist these winds, the chances of this happening again will be minimized,” Gomez said.

The results of the IU study are expected to be released to the public in the summer.

See also the accompanying video.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Monday, March 19, 2012
Posted to Stage Collapse

Ind. Decisions - Using Wikipedia as a source in your brief?

A Court of Appeals opinion today, Robert Hardin v. Carlotta Hardin, includes this footnote on p. 2:

We note that in Wife's Statement of the Issues, she criticized Husband's Statement of the Issues in a short argumentative paragraph before she stated her own version of the issues for our review. We advise counsel to reserve argument for the Argument section of the appellate brief. Further, as part of Wife's criticism, she explained some terminology by citing to Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia. See Appellee's Brief at 1 n.1. It is acknowledged on Wikipedia's home page that it is an encyclopedia that “anyone can edit.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page (last visited Feb. 16, 2012). Thus, we would caution against relying on Wikipedia as a source in an appellate brief, especially when there are other, more demonstrably reliable sources also available online.
See this Jan. 29, 2007 NYT article by Noam Cohen, headed "Courts Turn to Wikipedia, but Selectively," quoting Judge Posner:
“Wikipedia is a terrific resource,” said Judge Richard A. Posner of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in Chicago. “Partly because it so convenient, it often has been updated recently and is very accurate.” But, he added: “It wouldn’t be right to use it in a critical issue. If the safety of a product is at issue, you wouldn’t look it up in Wikipedia.”

Judge Posner recently cited a Wikipedia article on Andrew Golota, whom he called the “world’s most colorful boxer,” about a drug case involving the fighter’s former trainer, a tangent with no connection to the issues before his court. He did so despite his own experience with Wikipedia, which included an erroneous mention of Ann Coulter, a conservative lightning rod, as being a former clerk of his.

“I have never met Ann Coulter,” he said, but added that he was heartened that the friend who spotted the error could fix it then and there.

That friend was Cass R. Sunstein, currently a visiting professor at Harvard Law School. “I love Wikipedia, but I don’t think it is yet time to cite it in judicial decisions,” he said, adding that “it doesn’t have quality control” He said he feared that “if judges use Wikipedia you might introduce opportunistic editing” to create articles that could influence the outcome of cases.

He added, however, that he could not fault a use like Judge Posner’s, which “seems too innocuous for a basis of criticism.”

Many citations by judges, often in footnotes, are like Judge Posner’s, beside the main judicial point, appear intended to show how hip and contemporary the judge is, reflecting Professor Sunstein’s suspicion, “that law clerks are using Wikipedia a great deal.”

Prof. Sunstein, BTW, has moved on and is now a member of the Obama administration.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Monday, March 19, 2012
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions

Ind. Courts - More on: CJ Shepard approves judicial branch raises

Updating this ILB entry from March 16th, here is the Order approving the statutory adjustment, filed March 16, 2012.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Monday, March 19, 2012
Posted to Indiana Courts

Ind. Decisions - More on: Upcoming oral arguments this week and next

Lafayette attorney Doug Masson writes:

As if to underscore Judge Baker's concerns, the J.M. v. Review Board case to which you linked is actually not the one the Indiana Supreme Court is hearing on March 28. This was actually a case decided by the Court of Appeals on September 19, 2011.


ILB: Here is the ILB list of upcoming oral arguments posted earlier today. It includes this entry for March 28th:
9:45 AM - J.M. v. Review Board (93S02-1203-EX-138) - J.M. attempted to make up missed work time after having been told not to do so by his manager. J.M.’s employment was terminated and J.M. applied for unemployment benefits. The Review Board reversed an ALJ’s award of benefits, determining that the employer had just cause to discharge J.M. from his employment. The Court of Appeals reversed the Review Board. J.M. v. Review Board, No. 93A02-1102-EX-146 (Ind. Ct. App. 2011), vacated. The Supreme Court has granted a petition to transfer the case and has assumed jurisdiction over the appeal.

ILB: This was a Dec. 29, 2011 NFP opinion. In a concurring opinion Judge Baker writes: "I concur in the result reached by the majority but write separately to express my disagreement with the majority’s use of initials."

As you can see, the ILB erroneously linked to another J.M. v. Review Board, from Dec. 29, 2011, rather than the one correctly identified by Doug Masson, from Sept. 19, 2011.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Monday, March 19, 2012
Posted to Upcoming Oral Arguments

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 2 today (and 5 NFP)

For publication opinions today (2):

In In Re the Paternity of C.S.: M.R. (Mother) v. R.S. (Father), a 13-page opinion, Judge Darden concludes:

The trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding that C.S.’s physical and mental/academic maturation constituted a substantial change warranting modification of custody. The trial court did not misinterpret Indiana Code section 31-17-2-8 in the process of drawing conclusions from its findings. Finally, the trial court did not err in relying on the updated custody evaluation. Affirmed.
In Robert Hardin v. Carlotta Hardin , a 13-page opinion, Chief Judge Robb writes:
We conclude the trial court used an incorrect coverture fraction and thereby clearly erred in dividing Husband's pension. We also conclude the trial court did not commit clear error in awarding the entire survivor's benefit to Wife, but that the trial court failed to order Wife to pay the monthly cost of the survivor's benefit she will receive. Finally, we conclude Husband invited any error regarding consideration of tax consequences, and as a result he has waived this issue on appeal. Accordingly, we reverse and remand as to the trial court's division of Husband's pension, including the cost to Wife of the survivor's benefit, and affirm as to all other issues.

NFP civil opinions today (1):

Mark Wiley v. Midwest Poultry Services, LP (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (4):

Charles L. Eckard v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Juan Emerson v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Kelly Scott Thomas v. State of Indiana (NFP)

T.N.S. v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Monday, March 19, 2012
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court issues one, so far, today

In Jimmie E. Jones, Jr. v. State of Indiana, a 3-page, 5-0 opinion, Justice Sullivan writes:

We agree with Judge Bailey’s analysis and the result reached by the Court of Appeals. Having previously granted transfer, we now adopt the court’s opinion in full.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Monday, March 19, 2012
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions

Ind. Decisions - Transfer list for week ending March 16, 2012 [Updated]

[Search all the Transfer Lists: The ILB feature, "Search the ILB Transfer Lists," allows you to do just that, back to Feb. 2004. Check it out. Read the instructions. Note that the search is now current through the Feb. 24, 2012 list.]

Here is the Clerk's transfer list for the week ending Friday, March 16, 2012. It is three pages (and 27 cases) long.

Five transfers were granted last week, and at least two of them are bigees:

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Monday, March 19, 2012
Posted to Indiana Transfer Lists

Vacancy on Supreme Court 2012 - Ceremony for retiring CJ Shepard today at 1:30 PM

Watch live at 1:30 PM via Windows Media.

Some quotes from the news release:

Governor Mitch Daniels and American Bar Association President, William T. (Bill) Robinson will honor the public service career of retiring Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard on March 19, 2012. The event will allow state officials, the legal community and the public to show appreciation for Chief Justice Shepard’s twenty-seven years of service to Indiana.

The ceremony will also include remarks from Justice Brent E. Dickson, state and local bar associations and a former law clerk. Shepard’s wife, Amy W. MacDonell, and their daughter, Mattie Shepard will also be present at the ceremony.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Monday, March 19, 2012
Posted to Vacancy on Supreme Court 2012

Vacancy on Supreme Court 2012 - "Gov Daniels says he may name a new Supreme Court justice to replace retiring CJ Shepard this week"

So tweets Mary Beth Schneider of the Indianapolis Star.

That makes sense, as the Chief's last day is this Friday.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Monday, March 19, 2012
Posted to Vacancy on Supreme Court 2012

Catch-up: What did you miss over the weekend from the ILB?

Below is the answer to "What did you miss over the weekend from the ILB?

But first, didn't you check the ILB a lot last week? Then please make the move to supporting the ILB.

From Sunday, March 18, 2012:

From Saturday, March 17, 2012:

From late Friday afternoon, March 16, 2012:

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Monday, March 19, 2012
Posted to Catch-up

Ind. Decisions - Upcoming oral arguments this week and next

This week's oral arguments before the Supreme Court (week of 3/19/12):

Thursday, March 22nd

Next week's oral arguments before the Supreme Court (week of 3/26/12):

Wednesday, March 28th

Thursday, March 29th

Webcasts of Supreme Court oral arguments are available here.

This week's oral arguments before the Court of Appeals (week of 3/19/12):

Next week's oral arguments before the Court of Appeals (week of 3/26/12):

Thursday, March 29th

ONLY those Court of Appeals oral arguments presented in the Supreme or Court of Appeals Courtrooms will be accessible via videocast.

The past COA webcasts which have been webcast are accessible here.

NOTE: For a printable version of this list of upcoming oral arguments, click on the date in the next line. Then select "Print" from your browser.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Monday, March 19, 2012
Posted to Upcoming Oral Arguments