Court opinions

Parental termination remanded over substitute magistrate’s findings

September 25, 2013
Dave Stafford
A father’s due process rights were violated when a juvenile court stripped him of parental rights based on findings of facts prepared by a magistrate who did not hear from and observe witnesses, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday. The magistrate took over the case after another magistrate, who had conducted the evidentiary hearing in his case, resigned.
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Jury rulings stand in U.S. Steel carbon monoxide poisoning case

September 25, 2013
Dave Stafford
A jury’s determinations in a case brought by a contractor who suffered severe carbon monoxide poisoning working at the U.S. Steel plant in Gary were affirmed Wednesday by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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COA affirms ruling clearing consulting doctor in death case claiming negligence

September 25, 2013
Dave Stafford
A trial court properly granted summary judgment to a doctor defending a negligence case brought by the estate of a man who died, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday, finding no doctor-patient relationship existed.
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Arbitrator's unavailability will not stop arbitration from starting

September 25, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals has found an arbitration agreement’s “plain language” trumps a woman’s attempt to stop the alternative dispute resolution process.
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Protective order reversed for lack of evidence

September 19, 2013
Dave Stafford
A divorcing woman’s protective order against her soon-to-be ex-husband was not supported by evidence, an appeals panel ruled Thursday in reversing the trial court’s order.
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Receipt from mom’s cab ride does not prove son was home alone

September 18, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it excluded an undated taxi cab receipt that a LaPorte County man tried to offer as proof he did not participate in a robbery spree, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled. 
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Workers’ comp not sole remedy against AT&T entity for fall causing injury

September 18, 2013
Dave Stafford
A worker injured in a fall when she tripped on snow-covered legs of a construction sign placed near the AT&T building where she worked may proceed with a claim against one of the company’s corporate entities.
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Arbitrator’s unavailability will not stop arbitration from starting

September 18, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals has found an arbitration agreement’s “plain language” trumps a woman’s attempt to stop the alternative dispute resolution process.
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Lack of transcript limits review of fire damages award on appeal

September 18, 2013
Dave Stafford
A panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected an appeal seeking full compensation after an Allen County fire in large part because the appealing party included no transcript of the trial court proceedings.
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Justices: Meth arrest of man at rental storage unit violated Fourth Amendment

September 18, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man’s conviction and 45-year sentence on a meth charge cannot stand because the police search at a rental storage unit that led to his arrest violated his Fourth Amendment protections, a majority of the Indiana Supreme Court ruled.
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COA rules serving time at home same as serving time in prison

September 17, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals remanded a case for a new sentencing order after a defendant successfully argued home detention counts as part of his executed sentence.  
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Tax Court rules against UPS reinsurer on case justices reversed, remanded

September 17, 2013
Dave Stafford
United Parcel Service and its reinsurance affiliates are obligated to pay about $650,000 in taxes from the years 2000 and 2001, the Indiana Tax Court held. The court previously ruled in UPS’s favor, but this opinion comes on remand from an Indiana Supreme Court reversal.
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Appeals court affirms judgment in family land-contract dispute

September 17, 2013
Dave Stafford
A trial court properly ruled that an insurance company owed no duty to a mother who sold property on contract to her son and daughter-in-law, but the son and daughter-in-law who collected proceeds from the policy do.
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Bridge complaint raises questions about governmental immunity

September 17, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals addressed conflicting caselaw about a government’s immunity from liability before siding with the older precedent and ruling that any move to overturn that case should be left to the Indiana Supreme Court. 
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Attorney fees affirmed in trucking dispute; COA declines to bar such awards

September 17, 2013
Dave Stafford
An appellate panel Tuesday affirmed an award of attorney fees under a standard industry agreement and declined an invitation to strip Indiana trial courts of the ability to enter such judgments.
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Instructions not to letter of the law, but no harm done

September 16, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A trial court’s failure to give jury instructions that strictly adhered to the language contained in the Indiana Code and Indiana Jury Rule was not grounds for the Indiana Court of Appeals to overturn a guilty verdict.
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Judge: Suit challenging Marion County judicial slating may proceed

September 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
A federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a state law that has given rise to the Democratic and Republican slating system under which Marion Superior judges are elected will go forward.
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Failure to register in Indiana opens door for state charges against Ponzi scheme mastermind

September 13, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A split Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a man at the center of an alleged Ponzi scheme that defrauded nearly 72 victims in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana will have to face state charges even though he pleaded guilty to a federal indictment.
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Reversal: Trust bears liability for builder’s nonpayment despite lien notice discrepancies

September 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
A trust that won summary judgment at the trial court against a supplier of building materials for construction of a home on Lake Michigan got the opposite result from an appeals court Friday. The trust is liable, even though it paid builders who failed to reimburse the supplier for materials provided on credit.
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Double jeopardy does not prohibit state from retrying defendant on lesser charge

September 12, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a man’s conviction was overturned, the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled he can still be retried on the same charge without violating double jeopardy prohibitions because “a rational jury” would have considered more than one element of the crime.
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Drunken driving conviction affirmed; tipster’s observations reasonable cause

September 12, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s conviction for Class C misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated Thursday, though one panelist wrote the court went deeper into the analysis of the defendant’s Fourth Amendment claim than it needed to do.
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Dispatcher fired after firecracker incident loses unemployment appeal

September 12, 2013
An appeals court panel Thursday affirmed denial of unemployment benefits for a Starke County sheriff’s dispatcher who took time off work after a firecracker exploded behind her at work and she was diagnosed with hearing loss, vertigo and tinnitus.
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Parental liability as co-signers on kids’ school loans subject to divorce decree

September 12, 2013
Dave Stafford
Student loan liabilities of parents who co-signed for their two children should have been a consideration in dividing property in a divorce proceeding, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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Insurer’s exclusion stands after bar fight

September 11, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A woman’s own description of a barroom brawl that left her with a broken arm was used against her in allowing an insurance company to deny coverage.
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Worker’s Compensation Act is only remedy for injured employee

September 11, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A construction worker injured on a job site will have to find remedy through the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act after the Indiana Court of Appeals denied his attempt to sue a subcontractor.
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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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