ILNews

Brother must prove why depositions should remain confidential

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A Porter County court erred in merging the issue of confidentiality for purposes of discovery with the issue of restricting public access to materials filed in court, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. It ordered a hearing at which a man involved in a lawsuit with his brother must prove why portions of his deposition should be restricted from public access under Administrative Rule 9.

In Constantinos P. Angelopoulos v. Theodore P. Angelopoulos, Neptunia Incorporated, Transmar Corporation, Didiac Establishment, Beta Steel Corporation, and Top Gun Investment Corporation, II., 64A04-1211-PL-594, Constantinos Angelopoulos turned to the Porter Superior Court in 2011 after the Greek courts held he is not entitled to a portion of the shares of Beta Steel Corp. as an heir under his late father’s estate. The Greek courts found his brother Theodore Angelopoulos to be the sole owner of Beta Steel, which has its main facility in Portage.

“By the clear language of the Greek court decision, Constantinos’s inheritance action resolved the issue of whether Panayiotis transferred ownership of the shares of Beta Steel to Theodore while Panayiotis was still alive or whether these shares were part of Panayiotis’s estate to which Constantinos is entitled to a share as Panayiotis’s heir. The Greek courts clearly rejected Constantinos’s claim on its merits. Pursuant to the doctrines of both comity and res judicata, Constantinos cannot now relitigate this issue in Indiana courts,” Judge Paul Mathias wrote.

The judges did order more proceedings on whether certain portions of Theodore Angelopoulos’ depositions should remain confidential. During litigation in Indiana, the trial court approved a protective order that some of the documents subject to discovery would contain trade secrets or other information that should remain confidential. Theodore Angelopoulos wants his depositions to remain confidential because he fears his brother will use the information in it in any future action he files in Greek court.
 
“Theodore claims that the deposition materials should have remained confidential because the trial court had already approved of the agreed-to protective order, which he claims would qualify as excludable from public access under Rule 9(G)(1)(c). Our supreme court implicitly disagreed with this position in Travelers, where despite a similar protective order, the court made no indication that this would constitute a specific court order for purposes of Rule 9(G)(1)(c),” Mathias continued. The trial court incorrectly presumed that the exclusion of the materials in question was “automatic” because of its earlier protective order, the court held.
 

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  2. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  3. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  4. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  5. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

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