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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ind. Law - More on: Do NCAA lawyers located in Indianapolis need to be licensed to practice law in Indiana?

Updating this ILB entry from earlier this afternoon, the ILB has received this note from "an attorney licensed in Indiana":

Answering your question about whether NCAA lawyers need to be licensed would focus on their duties.

According to the Roll of Attorneys, Abigail Grantstein is "Inactive in good standing." As an assistant director for enforcement, Grantstein's duties would not be legal in nature.

The NCAA Enforcement division is tasked with ensuring "that institutions abiding by NCAA legislation are not disadvantaged by complying with the rules;" essentially she works for the NCAA's internal police force. As has been noted before, the NCAA has no subpoena power and is not considered an arm of the state (NCAA v. Tarkanian, 488 U.S. 179 (1988)).

As someone enforcing internal rules within an organization, I don't see how Grantstein or any other enforcement official would be required to be licensed to practice law here. This is opposed to a lawyer with the NCAA who handles contracts or licensing, which are generally considered the practice of law.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Posted to Indiana Law

Ind. Courts - More on: Nominations open for the 1st District attorney member of the Judicial Nominating Commission

Yesterday the ILB reported that:

[T]he election results are now in for the attorney member who will represent the 1st District on the Commission for the next three years. This is the seat currently held by James O. McDonald of Terre Haute.

The certified results of the District 1 election show that the new commissioner, who will take office January 1st and serve for 3 years, is Stephen L. Williams.

Mr. Williams is also of Terre Haute. Commissioners are not eligible for successive reelection or reappointment.

A reader has just sent this note to the ILB:

Not sure, but hasn’t this seat been handed back and forth between these two for over 10 years now?
The ILB has checked, via this list it posted in 2010 (yes, it needs updating). Mr. McDonald served from 2010 through 2012, Mr. Williams served from 2007 through 2009. Mr. McDonald from 2004 though 2006. As of Monday's news, Mr. Williams will now serve from 2013 through 2015.

It appears both men may have been a year or two behind me at what was then IU-Indy Law.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Posted to Indiana Courts

Courts - Judges' cut-and-paste opinions under scrutiny in Canada

From a long story by Marty Klinkenberg of the Edmonton Journal reported on Nov. 18th:

The Alberta Court of Appeal has tossed out two related findings by an Edmonton judge because he copied large portions from the lawyers’ arguments, failed to provide meaningful analysis and obscured the reasons for his decisions. * * *

According to the ruling issued by justices Jack Watson, Frans Slatter and Patricia Rowbotham, [Justice Donald Lee of Court of Queen’s Bench] cut and pasted paragraphs from briefs filed by the parties and then had them retyped and designated as his “Reasons for Judgment.”

“Every one of the paragraphs in the reasons was extracted essentially verbatim, from the chambers briefs,” the justices wrote. “There is no independent authorship. Even spelling mistakes in the briefs are faithfully carried forward.”

They said that in one decision, Lee incorporated 74 of 84 paragraphs submitted by both sides, and incorporated all 79 paragraphs submitted by the parties in the other. That, and the absence of an explanation for his rulings, threaten the integrity of the proceedings, the panel wrote in its decision, calling it an “extreme” case of inadequate reasoning. * * *

“The compilation of passages from the chambers’ briefs does not disclose how the judge arrived at his decision,” the panel wrote. “Deciding between competing adversarial positions is at the core of judicial function. This fundamental obligation cannot be discharged without the judge conducting an independent analysis, and articulating it in the appropriate form.

“The decision must be reasonably intelligible to the parties, and provide the basis for meaningful appellate review.”

The Edmonton decision follows on the heels of a case argued on Tuesday before the Supreme Court
that asked when and under what circumstances a judge can copy the submissions of a party without attribution. * * *

[A]n appeal court ordered a new trial last year after two out of three judges on a panel ruled that Groves plagiarized 321 out of the 368 paragraphs in his own judgment — copying them almost word for word, without attribution, from the applicant’s written submission.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Posted to Courts in general

Ind. Law - More on: Lawyer Overhears Conversation About NCAA Probe of Hoops Star and Reveals Her Concerns

Question: Do NCAA lawyers located in Indianapolis need to be licensed to practice law in Indiana?

This question has come up before in the business world with in-house corporate counsel and as I recall, the answer was yes.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Posted to Indiana Law

Ind. Law - Lawyer Overhears Conversation About NCAA Probe of Hoops Star and Reveals Her Concerns

"Ind. Law" because the NCAA is headquartered in Indianapolis.

Debra Cassens Weiss of the ABAJournal has this entry today that links to several national stories. The LA Times story begins:

NEW YORK — The NCAA is investigating a conversation pertaining to UCLA basketball player Shabazz Muhammad that a Memphis, Tenn., attorney said she overheard on an Aug. 7 commuter flight.

The attorney, Florence Johnson Raines, said she heard a man who said he was dating "an NCAA attorney" loudly telling people around him that his girlfriend had said Muhammad would never play college basketball this season because he broke rules.

Raines emailed a letter to Dennis Thomas, then a member of the NCAA infractions committee, saying she was concerned that what should have been a confidential matter was being discussed in such a way.

From the NY Times column:
On Thursday, the day before the appeal ruling was due, a remarkable article appeared in The Los Angeles Times. Florence Johnson Raines, a Memphis lawyer, told a reporter that she had been on an airplane in early August and overheard a man bragging that his girlfriend “Abigail” was going to bring down Muhammad, whose family, he said loudly, was “dirty and they were taking money and she’s going to get them.” This indiscretion came only a week after the N.C.A.A. had asked for documents and three months before the N.C.A.A. declared Muhammad ineligible.

Is it a surprise that, the very next day, the N.C.A.A. restored Muhammad’s eligibility? Not after that revelation. Abigail, of course, was Grantstein [ NCAA assistant director of enforcement, Abigail Grantstein], and she had apparently breached the confidentiality the N.C.A.A. always insists on — indeed that she herself insists upon when she conducts interviews. Far worse, she appeared to have made up her mind about Muhammad’s guilt before conducting her investigation. The boyfriend’s seeming delight in Muhammad’s plight had offended Raines, which is why she spoke to The Los Angeles Times.

The N.C.A.A. now says it is investigating the overheard conversation because it wants to protect “the integrity” of its process. For those of us who never believed that N.C.A.A. investigations were conducted with integrity, however, it was a case of suspicions confirmed.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Posted to Indiana Law

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides two Indiana cases today

In US v. Lincoln Plowman (SD Ind., McKinney), a 15-page opinion, Circuit Judge Manion writes:

Lincoln Plowman was a local government official in Indianapolis, Indiana, when he accepted a bribe from an undercover FBI agent. Prior to trial, the government filed a motion in limine seeking to preclude Plowman from arguing an entrapment defense. The district court granted the motion. A jury then convicted Plowman of federal-funds bribery and attempted extortion under color of official right. Plowman appeals, and argues that the district court erred when it precluded him from arguing entrapment to the jury. We affirm Plowman’s conviction. * * *

The FBI conducted a standard sting operation that did not induce Plowman to accept a bribe. To argue entrapment to a jury, Plowman needed to provide sufficient evidence of both inducement and a lack of predisposition, but he failed to establish the first element. Because the district court did not err in granting the government’s motion in limine on the entrapment defense, we AFFIRM Plowman’s conviction.

In Shane A. Holloway v. Delaware Co. Sheriff (SD Ind., Magnus-Stinson), a 25-page opinion, Circuit Judge Flaum writes:
On September 29, 2009, Shane Holloway was arrested without a warrant and detained in the Delaware County Jail. Although Holloway had a probable cause determination the day after his arrest and an initial appearance in front of a judicial officer within three days of his arrest, he was detained for nine days without having any charges filed against him. During the time he spent in the Delaware County Jail, Holloway received care from the jail’s medical staff. Before his detention, Holloway had been taking prescribed Oxycontin and other medications to treat chronic pain caused by his Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome. The jail physician did not believe that Oxycontin was necessary to treat Holloway’s chronic pain and he instead prescribed non-narcotic pain medications and other medications to prevent narcotic withdrawal symptoms. After the prosecutor did not file charges against Holloway within the time allowed by the court, Holloway was released from the jail and was admitted to a hospital, during which time he resumed his regimen of Oxycontin. In August 2010, Holloway filed suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that the Delaware County Sheriff (“the Sheriff”) violated his rights by detaining him without charges for nine days and that the jail physician and two of his attending nurses violated his constitutional rights by acting with deliberate indifference as to his serious medical condition. The district court granted summary judgment in defendants’ favor. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 2 today (and 18 NFP)

For publication opinions today (2):

In Richard Troy Dunno v. Ronalee Rasmussen, a 9-page opinion, Judge Brown writes:

Dunno argues that the trial court improperly assessed attorney fees against him because Ind. Code § 34-26-5-9 allows for a trial court to order only a respondent to pay attorney fees. Dunno argues that “[a]llowing the trial court to award attorney fees against someone petitioning for a protective order would undoubtedly have a chilling effect and cause some victims of domestic violence to forgo making a legitimate plea for protection.” Appellant’s Brief at 7. Dunno also claims that the record does not support an attorney fee assessment under Ind. Code § 34-52-1-1(b). * * *

While Dunno failed to appear at the hearing and the court found that Rasmussen presented evidence that she was not the individual that caused Dunno to receive stitches, we cannot say that the record supports the conclusion that Dunno’s action was frivolous, unreasonable, or groundless, that Dunno continued to litigate after his claim clearly became frivolous, unreasonable, or groundless, or that he litigated the action in bad faith. Accordingly, we conclude that Dunno has made a prima facie showing that the award of attorney fees was improper. See Dorothy Edwards Realtors, Inc. v. McAdams, 525 N.E.2d 1248, 1253 (Ind. Ct. App. 1988) (concluding that appellant had made a prima facie showing on appeal that the award of attorney fees was inappropriate and should be reversed), reh’g denied.

In Cynthia L. Seleme v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, National Association, as successor by merger to Chase Home Finance, a 21-page opinion, Judge Brown writes:
Cynthia Seleme appeals the trial court’s order denying her motion for relief from judgment. Seleme raises one issue which we revise and restate as whether the court abused its discretion in denying her motion for relief from judgment following a complaint filed by Chase Home Finance LLC (“Chase”) to foreclose on her residential mortgage. We affirm.
NFP civil opinions today (8):

Todd Baker and Susan Baker v. Marathon Pipe Line, LLC (NFP)

Paulette Petkovich, et al. v. Prime Contractors Co., Inc. (NFP)

Carmel Lofts LLC and Keystone Construction Corp. v. Elbrecht Investments, LLC (NFP)

In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of B.T., C.K. and D.K.; D.K. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)

In the Matter of the Commitment of L.W. v. Wishard Health Services, Midtown Community Mental Health Center (NFP)

In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of J.R. and L.R.; and J.E. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)

Gerald E. Smith v. Ronda K. (Smith) Busch (NFP)

Edward Graveline v. Melina (Graveline) Peyovich (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (10):

A.M. v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Daniel R. Fuquay, Sr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Dennis Vermillion v. State of Indiana

Damian Ray Ramirez v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Jose Gonzalez v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Dequincy Lopez v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Ivan Calderon v. State of Indiana (NFP)

John R. Northern v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Dannie Engram v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Washaun Jones v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions

Ind. Courts - More on: Court of Appeals temporarily stays trial court order compelling newspaper discovery: Court orders hearing at 11 a.m. Tuesday in Supreme Court courtroom

Updating yesterday's ILB entry, here is the link to the oral argument. It starts at 11.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Posted to Upcoming Oral Arguments