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Opinions Dec. 17, 2013

December 17, 2013
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Indiana Supreme Court
Indiana Gas Company, Inc. and Southern Indiana Gas and Electric Company, et al v. Indiana Finance Authority and Indiana Gasification, LLC
93S02-1306-EX-407
Agency action. Affirms the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s approval of a contract between Indiana Finance Authority and Indiana Gasification, LLC that obligates the state to purchase synthetic natural gas that would be produced at a coal-gasification plant in Rockport. A divided panel of the Court of Appeals had invalidated the contract, but justices agreed that the IURC’s decision should be affirmed because the parties modified the disputed portion of the contract.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Indiana High School Athletic Association, Inc. v. Gregory S. Schafer and Shane Schafer b/n/f Gregory S. Schafer
37A03-1303-CP-86
Civil plenary. Affirms award of more than $86,000 in fees to the Schafers for IHSAA’s unreasonable conduct in pursuing litigation after courts repeatedly called rules it sought to enforce to declare Schafer ineligible arbitrary and capricious. The trial court was within its discretion to hold IHSAA’s conduct unreasonable and consider multiple rulings against IHSAA in reaching the decision to impose fees.

Jason Young v. Hood's Gardens, Inc.
29A02-1303-PL-298
Civil plenary. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Hood’s that it was not secondarily liable for payment of workers’ compensation benefits to Young. Judge James Kirsch dissents, arguing Hood’s did not establish that the value of services provided by Young’s boss did not exceed $1,000.

Indiana Restorative Dentistry, P.C. v. The Laven Insurance Agency, Inc., and Proassurance Indemnity Company, Inc. f/k/a The Medical Assurance Company, Inc.
49A05-1212-PL-627
Civil plenary. Reverses grant of summary judgment in favor of Laven and Proassurance, holding that Laven had a special duty to procure full coverage based on its past dealings with IRD. Remands to the trial court to enter summary judgment to IRD with respect to Laven’s duty to advise and procure, and remands for proceedings regarding Proassurance’s vicarious liability.

Christopher D. Bunch v. State of Indiana (NFP)
79A02-1303-CR-227
Criminal. Affirms Bunch’s 80-year executed sentence for pleading guilty to five counts of child molesting, each as a Class A felony.

In the Matter of the Commitment of T.G. (NFP)
19A05-1306-MH-303
Mental health. Affirms regular mental health commitment order.

Kelly S. Craig v. State of Indiana (NFP)
63A05-1209-PC-494
Post conviction. Affirms denial of Craig’s petition for post-conviction relief.

Carl E. Ascherman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
15A01-1305-CR-237
Criminal. Affirms Ascherman’s 20-year executed sentence following a conviction for one count of attempted child molesting, a Class B felony, and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, Class A misdemeanors.

Ayanna Earls v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1304-CR-364
Criminal. Affirms conviction for battery, a Class A misdemeanor.

Christopher Turner v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1304-PC-168
Post conviction. Affirms denial of Turner’s petition for post-conviction relief.

Donald L. Deputy v. Connie S. Deputy (NFP)
30A04-1303-DR-108
Domestic relation. Affirms order that father pay for son’s college room and board. Reverses order that father maintain health insurance and health care costs on children and remands for the order to be amended that the duty to maintain health care coverage is contingent upon his children remaining enrolled in a post-secondary educational institution. Judge Elaine Brown concurs in part and dissents in part.  

Adam S. Fiers v. State of Indiana (NFP)
85A04-1306-CR-320
Criminal. Affirms revocation of Fiers’ probation and sentencing him to serve six months on work release for failing to meet the financial obligations of his probation.

The Indiana Tax Court posted no opinions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana opinions by IL deadline.

 

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  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.

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