ILNews

AG holds second civil, criminal justice summits

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller held his second annual Civil and Criminal Justice summits this week at Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis, focusing on financial protections for military service members and crime lab evidence in trials.

The focus of the civil summit Oct. 19 was protecting service members from financial scams. Speakers included Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden; Holly Petraeus, the federal director of consumer financial protection efforts for military service members; and Maj. Gen. Martin Umbarger, who is Adjutant General of the Indiana National Guard.

Summit participants received an overview of the consumer protections that protect military personnel from scams and addressed how to strengthen the legal assistance programs available to them. A number of consumer protections are provided under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and state law. The AG’s office recently launched www.indianaconsumer.com/military to give military families easy access to resources.

On Oct. 20, Zoeller focused on criminal law, taking a look at a recent ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States on the use of witness testimony when introducing crime lab evidence in criminal trials. New Mexico Attorney General Gary King joined Zoeller to discuss the case — Donald Bullcoming v. New Mexico — which originated in his state.

The 5-4 decision this summer found that the laboratory analyst who performed the analysis of evidence in the crime lab — such as tests for drug and alcohol in blood — must testify at a defendant’s trial for the results to be admissible. Zoeller said he had concerns that the ruling will create significant backlogs and burdens on the testing system and if the lab technician who performed the test is unavailable to testify, it could allow a defendant to go unpunished.

Speakers at the criminal justice summit also included Johnson Superior Judge Lance Hamner, St. Joseph County Prosecutor Michael Dvorak and Forensic Services Agency director Michael Medler.

Zoeller’s inaugural justice summits at the University of Notre Dame last year focused on mortgage foreclosure and death penalty costs.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  2. If the end result is to simply record the spoke word, then perhaps some day digital recording may eventually be the status quo. However, it is a shallow view to believe the professional court reporter's function is to simply report the spoken word and nothing else. There are many aspects to being a professional court reporter, and many aspects involved in producing a professional and accurate transcript. A properly trained professional steno court reporter has achieved a skill set in a field where the average dropout rate in court reporting schools across the nation is 80% due to the difficulty of mastering the necessary skills. To name just a few "extras" that a court reporter with proper training brings into a courtroom or a deposition suite; an understanding of legal procedure, technology specific to the legal profession, and an understanding of what is being said by the attorneys and litigants (which makes a huge difference in the quality of the transcript). As to contracting, or anti-contracting the argument is simple. The court reporter as governed by our ethical standards is to be the independent, unbiased individual in a deposition or courtroom setting. When one has entered into a contract with any party, insurance carrier, etc., then that reporter is no longer unbiased. I have been a court reporter for over 30 years and I echo Mr. Richardson's remarks that I too am here to serve.

  3. A competitive bid process is ethical and appropriate especially when dealing with government agencies and large corporations, but an ethical line is crossed when court reporters in Pittsburgh start charging exorbitant fees on opposing counsel. This fee shifting isn't just financially biased, it undermines the entire justice system, giving advantages to those that can afford litigation the most. It makes no sense.

  4. "a ttention to detail is an asset for all lawyers." Well played, Indiana Lawyer. Well played.

  5. I have a appeals hearing for the renewal of my LPN licenses and I need an attorney, the ones I have spoke to so far want the money up front and I cant afford that. I was wondering if you could help me find one that takes payments or even a pro bono one. I live in Indiana just north of Indianapolis.

ADVERTISEMENT