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Opinions Feb. 11, 2014

February 11, 2014
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Indiana Supreme Court
Michael Inman v. State of Indiana
49S00-1207-LW-376
Life without parole. Affirms conviction and sentence to life imprisonment without the possibility for parole for murder, murder while committing or attempting to commit the offense of robbery, robbery, and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felony. Justice Mark Massa concurred in result but found the trial court’s instruction to the jury was harmless.  

Paul Stieler Enterprises, Inc., d/b/a Harbor Bay, et al. v. City of Evansville and Evansville Common Council; VFW Post 2953, et al. v. City of Evansville and Evansville Common Council
82S01-1306-CT-436 and 82S01-1306-PL-437
Civil. Strikes down an amended Evansville smoking ban that exempted the Aztar riverboat casino in a 3-2 decision. Chief Justice Brent Dickson and Justices Mark Massa and Steven David held that the exception violated Article 1, Section 23 of the Indiana Constitution because it conferred a privilege on the casino that wasn’t extended to similarly situated bars, taverns and clubs. Dissenting Justices Loretta Rush and Robert Rucker found the casino’s inherent characteristics of producing a large flow of revenue and attracting a mostly out-of-town clientele placed it in a distinct group from the tavern and club establishment that challenged the exemption.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Jeff Howell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1307-MI-634
Miscellaneous. Affirms denial of renewed motion for return of property.
 
Patricia A. Hampton and Joseph A. Hampton, individually as husband and wife; et al v. Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company (NFP)
02A04-1310-PL-509
Civil plenary. Affirms granting of Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Co.’s motion for summary judgment.

Mayson L. St. Clair v. State of Indiana (NFP)
35A02-1307-CR-577
Criminal. Affirms robbery conviction as a Class B felony.

Stephen T. Perosky v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1307-CR-255
Criminal. Affirms convictions and nine-year aggregated sentence for disarming a law enforcement officer as a Class C felony; two counts of battery as Class D felonies; and two counts of resisting law enforcement as Class D felonies.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of N.M., A.M. and H.M., minor children, and J.M. Father, J.M. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
48A05-1307-JT-327
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of J.M.’s (father) parental rights to his children N.M., A.M. and H.M.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of H.R. (Minor Child) and J.N. (Mother) and M.R. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
38A05-1305-JT-206
Juvenile. Affirms termination of J.N.’s (mother) and M.R.’s (father) parental relationship with their minor child, H.R. Judge John Baker wrote a separate opinion, concurring with the majority but finding the termination appeared to be about punishing the parents rather than protecting the child.

Richard Boylls v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A05-1306-CR-307
Criminal. Affirms conviction for dealing in methamphetamine as a Class B felony.

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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  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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