Courts

Judge reverses ATM fee class decertification; suggests any award go to charity

September 11, 2013
Dave Stafford
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals court didn’t exactly call an Indiana appeal a small-change case, but it suggested the few dollars each member of a class might receive could be more usefully given to charity.
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Embattled judge responds to suspension bid: ‘can and will learn’ from mistakes

September 11, 2013
Dave Stafford
A Marion Superior judge facing a 45-count disciplinary complaint responded today to a petition for her suspension by saying, “She is resolute that she can and will learn from what has been alleged, and that she will redouble her efforts to proceed.”
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Justices weigh $2.7 billion Rockport deal

September 11, 2013
Dave Stafford
A controversial, politically charged power plant proposal voided by an appellate court and later waylaid by the General Assembly and Gov. Mike Pence landed before the Indiana Supreme Court Sept. 5. Attorneys for and against the proposed plant pleaded that terms of the contract were on their side.
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Deadline looms for Indy judge

September 11, 2013
Dave Stafford
Marion Superior Judge Kimberly Brown faces suspension resulting from 45 counts including accusations of wrongful jailings and misconduct.
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7th Circuit: Recording of drug deal doesn’t taint conviction

September 10, 2013
Dave Stafford
A taped conversation between a suspected heroin dealer and a confidential informant in which a sentence was admitted into evidence was not fruit of the poison tree dooming a conviction that was supported by plenty of other evidence, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Old expungement law turns good luck to bad

September 10, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A man’s good luck at never being charged with a crime despite four arrests turned bad when he tried to get his record expunged.
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Lake County judge strikes down provision in Indiana’s right-to-work law

September 10, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
In a ruling that never used the popular term “right-to-work,” Lake Superior Court Judge John Sedia found a provision in Indiana’s 2012 labor law violated the state constitution’s ban on demanding services without just compensation.
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Molester’s imprisonment alone insufficient to bar contact with son

September 10, 2013
Dave Stafford
Serving 50 years in prison for conviction of eight counts of Class A felony child molesting, a count of Class C felony child molesting and Class C felony criminal confinement is insufficient by itself for a court to rule an incarcerated father may not have phone or mail contact with his child, a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Man extradited from Wyoming on many charges not denied speedy trial

September 10, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man who twice escaped incarceration in Indiana and was extradited to face a multitude of charges after he was convicted in Wyoming failed to convince appellate judges he had been denied a speedy trial.
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Vigo court too hasty in tossing killer’s pro se PCR petition, panel rules

September 10, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of murder who represented himself in his post-conviction relief proceeding was wrongly denied a chance to plead his case, a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. The court reversed an order by Vigo Superior Judge Christopher Newton summarily denying the petition.
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Justices to take up partial consecutive sentence case

September 10, 2013
Dave Stafford
Whether state law allows a criminal defendant to receive a partial consecutive sentence may be determined by the Indiana Supreme Court, which agreed to hear a case successfully argued by a pro se litigant to the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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AG seeks to reinstate misconduct charges against former IURC chief

September 9, 2013
IL Staff
The former head of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission could again face criminal charges in connection with his alleged actions surrounding Duke Energy’s Edwardsport power plant in 2010.
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7th Circuit cautions bare-bones recitation of Rule 403 insufficient

September 9, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A District Court’s failure to review evidence and provide a considered analysis for admitting that evidence drew an admonishment – but no reversal - from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Fake ID using own name not aggravated ID theft, 7th Circuit rules

September 9, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
An Indiana man who supplied a fake identification that used the recipient’s real name may not be subjected to the federal aggravated identity theft statute, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday in a unanimous en banc decision.
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Judges to use discretion – not checklists – when imposing sentences, 7th Circuit rules

September 6, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl

A defendant’s contention that the District Court should have considered all the mitigating factors during his sentencing was characterized by the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals as turning sentencing discussions into “checklist exercises.”

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7th Circuit reinstates mechanics’ claims of faulty trailer-support design

September 6, 2013
Dave Stafford
Complaints for damages from two mechanics that were injured by a semi trailer they were working on were partially reinstated Friday by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Justices: Judge facing suspension may respond

September 6, 2013
Dave Stafford
A Marion Superior judge facing suspension and a 45-count disciplinary complaint has until Wednesday to respond to the suspension request, the Indiana Supreme Court said in an order issued Friday.
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‘Appeals on Wheels’ takes teacher license suspension case to Franklin

September 6, 2013
IL Staff
Franklin College will host a traveling Court of Appeals oral argument Sept. 17 in which a teacher appeals the suspension of her license by a Department of Education administrative law judge.
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Man who alarmed police near Lauren Spierer site appeals gun seizure

September 6, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man whose 51 guns were ordered seized by a judge who determined him dangerous after his behavior alarmed Bloomington police near the site where missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer was last seen is asking the Indiana Supreme Court to return his firearms.
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Justices weigh contract dispute in $2.7 billion Rockport coal-to-gas plan

September 5, 2013
Dave Stafford
A controversial, politically charged power plant proposal voided by an appellate court and later waylaid by the General Assembly and Gov. Mike Pence landed before the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday.
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Innovative court programs get funding support from Indiana Supreme Court

September 4, 2013
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has awarded more than $450,000 in court reform grants for the 2013-2014 grant cycle.
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Justices grant new avenue for relief for killer claiming insanity

September 3, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man condemned for the 1997 rape and murder of an 18-year-old Franklin College student is entitled to a new avenue of post-conviction relief on his argument that he is not mentally competent to be executed, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
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7th Circuit declines to second guess co-defendant credibility in firearm sentence

September 3, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Contradictory testimony given in two plea agreements presented the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division, with the “classic choice” of whom to believe.
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Appeals court finds IU med student properly dismissed

September 3, 2013
Dave Stafford
A third-year student at Indiana University School of Medicine kicked out after the university concluded he cheated on an exam lost his appeal of the trial court’s summary judgment in favor of the university.
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Exclusion of money talk not a reversible error

September 3, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A trial court’s error in excluding explicit statements about money is not reversible and does not provide the grounds to overturn a drug conviction.
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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.

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