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Justices order COA to consider man’s appeal

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A man’s appeal of his aggravated battery convictions should proceed to the Indiana Court of Appeals even though the issue of restitution remains unresolved, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

In a four-page per curiam opinion, the justices rejected the state’s claim that Bobby Alexander’s appeal should be dismissed because he appealed before the issue of restitution had been settled. The state sought around $96,000 in restitution for the medical expenses incurred by an uninsured battery victim. The trial court set the matter for a hearing to be scheduled in a “couple weeks” and then told Alexander if he wanted to appeal he had to file his notice within 30 days.

The restitution hearing was set for July 16; Alexander filed his notice of appeal July 11. The Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal as premature.

“[H]ere the trial court advised Alexander that any Notice of Appeal had to be filed within thirty days of the June 20 hearing and the trial court appointed appellate counsel a few days later. That advisement sufficiently put matters in a state of confusion about Alexander’s appeal deadline, we think, such that he is entitled to have his appeal decided on the merits now,” the opinion states.

The justices remanded the case to the Court of Appeals for consideration of the points raised in Alexander’s appellant’s brief.

The case is Bobby Alexander v. State of Indiana, 49S04-1308-CR-534.
 

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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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