ILNews

Opinions March 24, 2014

March 24, 2014
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Indiana Supreme Court
The following opinion was issued Friday after IL deadline.

State of Indiana v. I.T.
20S03-1309-JV-583
Juvenile. Affirms juvenile court’s dismissal of a delinquency petition against I.T. that had been filed on the sole basis of a polygraph examination taken while he was receiving treatment as a condition of probation for a delinquency adjudication for what would be Class B felony child molesting if committed by an adult. Finds that the limited immunity in the Juvenile Mental Health Statute, I.C. § 31-32-2-2.5, provides a safe harbor that prevents the state from using statements during court-ordered therapy as the sole basis for juvenile delinquency petitions.  Concludes the state may appeal a juvenile court order that suppresses evidence, if doing so terminates the proceeding.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Purdue University v. Michael A. Wartell
79A02-1304-PL-342
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court order ruling that Purdue University should be equitably estopped from invoking attorney-client privilege and the work-product doctrine to prevent a chancellor from obtaining a copy of a report by an independent investigator looking into his claims of harassment and discrimination against former university president France Cordova. Concludes that the attorney hired to investigate the allegations was not Purdue’s legal counsel but rather an independent investigator; therefore the trial court rulings were not an abuse of discretion.

David Sesay v. State of Indiana
49A02-1305-CR-434
Criminal. Reverses conviction of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication, holding that the state failed to prove Sesay engaged in any conduct beyond intoxication that endangered his life.

Albert J. Purcell v. Theresa M. Purcell (NFP)
10A01-1309-DR-390
Domestic. Affirms trial court issuance of a qualified domestic relations order distributing funds from a profit-sharing account owned by the parties before a divorce.

Beatriz Morales v. Housing Authority of South Bend and Attorney General of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1308-SC-311
Small claims. Affirms trial court order of eviction in favor of the Housing Authority of South Bend.

Becky O'Neal v. Donald O'Neal (NFP)
55A04-1310-DR-484
Domestic. Affirms trial court’s denial of petition to modify parenting time.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court issued no opinions Monday before IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana opinions before 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.

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