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Opinions June 10, 2014

June 10, 2014
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Eric Grandberry v. Brian Smith, superintendent, Plainfield Correctional Facility
12-2081
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division, Judge William T. Lawrence.
Civil. Reverses discipline and revocation of 30 days of Grandberry’s good-time credits for unauthorized use of an electronic device. Remands with instructions to issue a writ of habeas corpus restoring Grandberry’s good-time credits. Library staff asked him to use the computer to fill out forms that he was not supposed to complete as head inmate law clerk.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Lora Hoagland v. Franklin Township Community School Corporation
49A02-1301-PL-44
Civil plenary. Affirms in part and reverses in part. Affirm the trial court’s conclusion that Hoagland is not entitled to legal relief, as there is no right of action for monetary damages under the Indiana Constitution. Concludes that the Indiana Tort Claims Act does not apply to Hoagland’s state constitutional claim, and reverses the trial court on that ground. Also concludes that Franklin Township acted unconstitutionally by discontinuing student transportation to and from school and by later contracting with
CIESC to provide that transportation for a yearly fee, and Hoagland is entitled to declaratory judgment. Remands with instructions.

West Bend Mutual Insurance Company and K.B. Electric, LLC v. MacDougal Pierce Construction, Inc., Amerisure Insurance Company, et al.
06A01-1304-CT-162
Civil tort. Affirms trial court judgment in all respects. Concludes that the trial court correctly granted summary judgment in favor of Amerisure and MacDougall. The parties’ rights and liabilities to each other were outlined contractually by the terms of indemnification. Once that determination was made, then the insurance coverage issues could be resolved. Thus, the trial court’s decision on indemnification was not premature, but in fact, necessary to prevent the hazards of circular litigation. The subcontract explicitly referred to the prime contract and other documents, incorporating their terms into the subcontract. That K.B. Electric obtained umbrella coverage from West Bend further evinces the understanding that K.B. Electric was required to do just that.

Kevin M. Barber v. State of Indiana (NFP)
53A01-1310-CR-464
Criminal. Affirms denial of motion to correct erroneous sentence.

Latoya C. Lee v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1310-CR-867
Criminal. Affirms conviction and sentence for Class B felony attempted aggravated battery but remands with instructions to correct error in the abstract of judgment.

Robert F. Petty v. State of Indiana (NFP)
72A05-1310-CR-538
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.

Michael A. Riley v. Oscar and Linda Sandlin (NFP)
32A01-1310-PL-453
Civil plenary. Affirms judgment in favor of the Sandlins on Riley’s action alleging conversion.

Ted Mueller, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A05-1305-CR-240
Criminal. Affirms convictions of murder and Class C felony conspiracy to commit robbery.

Dwayne Anderson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1309-CR-468
Criminal. Affirms conviction of possession of marijuana as a Class A misdemeanor.

Brandon Kincheloe v. State of Indiana (NFP)
03A05-1312-CR-640
Criminal. Dismisses appeal filed after Kincheloe’s probation was revoked.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no 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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