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Monday, June 20, 2016

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit posts two Indiana opinions decided Friday

In U.S. v. Bloch (ND Ind. Miller), a 23-page opinion, Judge Kanne writes:

Defendant John W. Bloch III has had three sentencing hearings in four years. He now seeks a fourth. Bloch argues he is entitled to such relief because the district court committed error in imposing the length and conditions of supervised release.

The third time happens to be a charm in this instance though, as Bloch is not entitled to another sentencing hearing. The district court not only adequately explained its justi-fication for imposing a term of supervised release, it also adopted a “best practice” suggested by this court for provid-ing adequate notice to defendants of proposed conditions of supervised release and justification for the same. Therefore, we affirm the district court’s sentence.

In Bell v. Lantz (SD Ind., Pratt), an 11-page opinion, Judge Rovner writes:
This appeal concerns an award of attorney’s fees by the district court to Charles Lantz, who was the defendant in a suit brought by Richard Bell under the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 501 et seq., which was later voluntarily dismissed. Bell does not challenge the court’s decision to award fees, but contests the amount of fees awarded.

The original copyright infringement action was filed by Bell, a practicing attorney and professional photographer, against forty-seven defendants including Lantz. Bell had taken a photograph of the Indianapolis skyline (the “Indianapolis Photo”), and alleged that each of the defendants violated the Copyright Act in publishing his photograph on their websites. Lantz filed an answer denying all allegations of copyright infringement of the Indianapolis Photo. Through responses to interrogatories, Bell confirmed that Lantz had not infringed his copyright, and the district court granted Bell’s motion to voluntarily dismiss his copyright infringement claim with prejudice.

In light of that dismissal with prejudice, Lantz filed a motion as the prevailing party for costs and attorney’s fees under 17 U.S.C. § 505 of the Copyright Act. * * *

The evidence in the record therefore provides little support for the $410 figure. The district court never properly analyzed that evidence, however, because it appeared to be unaware of the sealed exhibits produced by Bell. As we have discussed above, that evidence deals a significant, and quite likely fatal, blow to Lantz’s argument that he is entitled to an attorney’s fee of $410 per hour as opposed to $250 per hour, and therefore a remand is required.

Accordingly, the award of attorney’s fees is VACATED and the case REMANDED for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 20, 2016 11:14 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions