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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today

In US v. Laraneta (ND Ind., Lozano), a 21-page opinion, Circuit Judge Posner writes:

The defendant pleaded guilty to seven counts of violation of federal child pornography laws, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2251(d)(1), 2252(a)(1), (a)(2), (a)(4), and was sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment, to be followed by supervised release for the rest of his life, and also to pay restitution to two women, referred to pseudonymously as Amy and Vicky, in the amount of $3,367,854.00 and $965,827.64; pornographic images of them, as girls, were found in the defendant’s possession. The amount awarded Amy is identical to the amount she has requested, and usually been awarded, in literally hundreds of other criminal cases involving pornographic images of her. But the amount the judge ordered the defendant to pay Vicky subtracts the restitution that she has collected from other defendants. The appeal challenges the length of the defendant’s sentence and the amount of restitution that the judge ordered him to pay. The government defends the sentence but not the restitution award, and also challenges our allowing Amy and Vicky to intervene in this appellate proceeding; and let’s start there. * * *

To summarize: The defendant’s prison sentence is affirmed. The calculation of the crime victims’ losses is affirmed too, except that the judge must determine how much to subtract from Amy’s losses to reflect payments of restitution that she has received in other cases. The order of restitution is vacated and the case remanded for a redetermination of the amount of restitution owed by the defendant; that will require, besides the subtraction we just mentioned, a determination whether the defendant uploaded any of Amy’s or Vicky’s images. The defendant will not be permitted to seek contribution from other defendants convicted of crimes involving pornographic images of the two girls. And Amy and Vicky will not be permitted to intervene in the district court.

AFFIRMED IN PART, VACATED IN PART, AND REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions

Ind. Gov't. - "Critics boiling over at cost of Purdue's growing administration"

John Hechinger of Bloomberg News reported this long story posted this morning on the IndyStar website. It begins:

J. Paul Robinson, chairman of Purdue Universitys faculty senate, strode through the halls of a 10-story concrete-and-glass administrative tower.

"I have no idea what these people do," said Robinson, waving his hand across a row of offices, his voice rising.

The 59-year-old professor of biomedical engineering is leading a faculty revolt against bureaucratic bloat at the public university in Indiana. In the past decade, the number of administrative employees jumped 54 percent, almost eight times the growth of tenured and tenure-track faculty.

Purdue has a $313,000-a-year acting provost and six vice and associate vice provosts, including a $198,000 chief diversity officer. It employs 16 deans and 11 vice presidents, among them a $253,000 marketing officer and a $433,000 business school chief.

Administrative costs on college campuses are soaring, crowding out instruction at a time of skyrocketing tuition and $1 trillion in outstanding student loans. At Purdue and other U.S. college campuses, bureaucratic growth is pitting professors against administrators and sparking complaints that tight budgets could be spent more efficiently.

"We're a public university," Robinson said. "We're here to deliver a high-quality education at as low a price as possible. Why is it that we can't find any money for more faculty, but there seems to be an almost unlimited budget for administrators?"

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Posted to Indiana Government

Law - "Which Law & Order Characters Did Their Jobs Best?"

David Haglund, Katie Kilkenny, and Holly Allen have the answer in this article, complete with 5 graphs. It begins:

Two and a half years ago, Matthew Belinkie at Overthinking It announced a plan to “crowdsource a list of how all 456 episodes of Law & Order ended.” This morning, he produced the wonderful results: a big public database which lists the verdicts in every case tried by the hardworking district attorneys, detectives, et al, across 20 seasons of the beloved procedural. He also created several charts that help visualize the data, and encouraged others to mine the numbers as well.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Posted to General Law Related

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 2 today (and 0 NFP)

For publication opinions today (2):

In John Fox v. Nichter Construction Co., Inc., a 20-page, 2-1 opinion, in a case involving the Wage Payment Statute and the Wage Claims Statute, Judge Kirsch writes:

John Fox (“Fox”), the employee-claimant, appeals from the trial court’s denial of his motion to correct error from an order of dismissal with prejudice, contending that the trial court erred in dismissing his wage claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. * * *

The trial court erred by dismissing Fox’s claim with prejudice for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. We reverse the trial court’s order and remand this matter to the trial court with instructions to enter an order that Fox’s claim is dismissed without prejudice under Indiana Trial Rule 12(B)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, including the failure to name the real party in interest. Thus, Fox may proceed to refile his claim setting forth the reassignment by the DOL. “A dismissal without prejudice is not a determination of the merits of a complaint and does not bar a later trial of the issues.” Wood v. Zeigler Bldg. Materials, Inc., 436 N.E.2d 1168, 1170 (Ind. Ct. App. 1982).

Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.

NAJAM, J., concurs.
MAY, J., dissents with separate opinion. [which begins, at p. 19] I believe dismissal of Fox’s wage claim action was correct, and I therefore respectfully dissent. Fox’s case is not factually or legally distinguishable from Quimby v. Becovic Mgmt Group, Inc., 946 N.E.2d 30, 33-34 (Ind. Ct. App. 2011), reh’g denied, trans. denied, and thus Quimby controls. * * *

The amici’s explanation of the DOL’s intent is informative, and its recent changes are a helpful step toward clarifying the procedures by which a voluntarily-separated employee may pursue wage claims. But I do not think Quimby may be distinguished on those grounds.

In Clinton Couch v. State of Indiana, a 10-page opinion, Judge Bradford writes:

Couch ultimately pled guilty to five counts of Class A felony child molesting, Class C felony child exploitation, and Class D felony possession of child pornography, and the trial court sentenced him to an aggregate sentence of ninety-one years of incarceration. Couch contends that his sentence is inappropriately harsh and that the trial court abused its discretion in admitting, at sentencing, the testimony of two other alleged victims. We affirm.
NFP civil opinions today (0):

NFP criminal opinions today (0):

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions

Courts - "Purdue, IU pulling for Texas; affirmative action ruling could mean big changes"

That is the headline to Eric Weddle's long story today in the Lafayette Journal Courier. Some quotes:

Purdue and Indiana universities are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to tread lightly in how it reviews affirmative action on college campuses.

The court is deliberating whether race should continue as a factor in college admissions or be struck down, a change that could alter the makeup of colleges across the country, higher education experts said.

A decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin is not expected until spring, but if the court reverses a 2003 landmark case that endorsed the use of race as a factor at a Michigan college, it could affect the demographics of future freshman classes, said Ada Meloy, general counsel for the American Council of Education.

“If the Supreme Court would declare that the Michigan case was wrong, that would make most institutions, like IU and Purdue, forbidden to use race as one of the facts they consider in the holistic review of many factors for admissions,” she said. * * *

Officials at Purdue and Indiana universities would say little or nothing this week about the case and how it could alter admission policy. However, the two universities, as well as seven other research universities, signed on to an amicus brief that was submitted in support of the University of Texas. Dozens of other schools have filed their own briefs.

ILB: Here is the SCOTUSblog webpage on Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. Oral argument was held in this case on Oct. 10, 2012. Here is the 98-page transcript.

Here is the Brief amici curiae of Leading Public Research Universities, filed Aug. 13, 2012.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Posted to Courts in general

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court "upheld the University of Evansville's decision to fire a tenured professor accused of violating its sexual harassment policy"

Yesterday's Supreme Court decision in John Haegert v. University of Evansville (ILB summary here) is the subject of a story today by Colleen Flaherty in Inside Higher Ed.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions