Justices/Judges

Judge dismisses civil forfeiture suit against state prosecutors

April 6, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A Marion Superior judge has tossed a lawsuit against 78 county prosecutors being accused of breaking the law by not turning over seized assets from criminals to a school construction fund. In doing so, the judge expressed concern about the lack of reasoning and consistency demonstrated by prosecutors throughout the state.
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Federalist Society to host national ethics expert for lecture

April 5, 2011
IL Staff
Edward Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., will lecture about “Lessons of the Sotomayor and Kagan Confirmation Processes: The Political Triumph of Judicial Conservatism,” from noon to 2 p.m. April 14. The lecture, hosted by the Indianapolis chapter of The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, will be at the Conrad hotel, 50 W. Washington St., Indianapolis.
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COA reverses judgment in title insurance issue

April 4, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has declined to extend to an insurance agent the duty of an insurer as declared by the state’s highest court. In doing so, the judges reversed the denial of a title insurance company’s motion for summary judgment.
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Legal analysts use media to educate public about issues

March 30, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
Lawyers and judges who eat, sleep, and breathe the law might find it easy to forget that not everyone understands the finer points of how the justice system works. This is where legal commentators – analysts of the inner workings of the legal system – come into play.
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Appellate court affirms arbitration on claims against college

March 29, 2011
Michael Hoskins
With one judge frustrated that Indiana residents and students may have been “hornswoggled” by a college’s advertisements about being accredited, the Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld an order compelling arbitration on a claim that three students were fraudulently induced to enroll because of misrepresentation about that accreditation.
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4 Indiana justices testify on state budget

March 29, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Four of the Indiana Supreme Court justices testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee Monday night, talking to lawmakers specifically about the need for an appellate case management system, more funding for public defense, and continued fairness in how judicial officers and prosecutors are paid throughout the state.
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7th Circuit upholds tax, fraud conviction against attorney, wife

March 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the finding that a Brownsburg attorney and his wife fraudulently withheld their 2001 income from the Internal Revenue Service through an elaborate shell game.
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COA: Township not required to pay for private school shuttle

March 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A school township in Marion County isn’t legally required to transport nonpublic school students to their private schools, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.
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Judges split on child support modification

March 25, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge dissented from his colleagues, finding their decision regarding child support promotes “formalism over fairness and legalism over common sense.”
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COA: State didn't meet burden for probation revocation

March 23, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has held – with a few exceptions – that a trial court may revoke probation for not satisfying a financial obligation only if the state proves by a preponderance of the evidence there is less than full payment and the probationer submitted that smaller payment recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally.
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COA upholds convictions of man who planned to kill attorney, judge, ex-wife

March 22, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has denied an appeal from a man who was convicted of planning to kill his ex-wife, her attorney, and a judge, ruling that amended charges did not negatively impact his rights and sufficient evidence existed to uphold the conviction.
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Judges reverse dismissal of workers' compensation claim

March 21, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal of a workers’ compensation claim, finding the worker’s deposition testimony didn’t support the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board’s finding that he admitted his condition stemmed from a single incident.
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Appeal questions 'enrollment,' self-supporting standards for emancipation

March 18, 2011
Michael Hoskins
In tackling a child support case involving a teenager’s emancipation, Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagree on what state statute defines as “enrolled” in college. One judge believes the majority wrongly reweighed evidence in this case to come to its decision.
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Judges split on whether 2 insurers must pay for damage

March 15, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge dissented from the majority’s holding that two insurers were financially responsible for the damages caused by a fractured storm pipe and subsequent flooding of a school. The judge believed that only one of the responsible party’s insurers had to pay for the property damage.
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Appeals court to hear arguments at Indy high school

March 14, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals will visit Pike High School in Indianapolis this week to hear arguments in a case in which a man appeals his drug dealing conviction.
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7th Circuit takes girls' basketball schedule case

March 11, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals will decide whether several Indiana school corporations discriminate against girls’ basketball teams by scheduling more of their games on weeknights as compared to the boys’ basketball games.
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Trial court should decide educational credit time

March 11, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court judge should be the one to determine whether a defendant who completes an educational degree before sentencing is entitled to educational credit time, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
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Comment sought on reappointment of magistrate judge

March 10, 2011
IL Staff
Members of the bar and the public are invited to comment as to whether United States Magistrate Judge Michael G. Naville of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division, should be reappointed to a new four-year term.
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Judges visit Jeffersonville for arguments

March 7, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals travels to southern Indiana Wednesday to hear arguments in a case involving credit time.
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7th Circuit denies petition to remove judge

March 4, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals denied a man’s petition for writ of mandamus to remove a federal judge from a case he is involved with that’s still pending in District Court. The man failed to intervene in the case and his interest in the case is too uncertain to give him the rights of a party automatically, the judges ruled Friday.
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Man still fighting dismissal of bar exam suit

March 3, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The man who sued the Indiana Supreme Court and state Board of Law Examiners because he wants to take the bar exam without going to law school wants a federal judge to reopen his case, arguing that he has no other legal recourse available and the court’s refusal to allow relief is contrary to established precedent.
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Judges uphold IATC’s issuance of alcohol dealer permits

March 3, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that an association comprised of retail package liquor stores isn’t entitled to injunctive relief preventing the state’s Alcohol and Tobacco Commission from issuing permits to stores in the same manner it has for the last 30 years.
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Porter County can't leave RDA

March 2, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A northwestern Indiana county can’t withdraw from a regional development authority created by lawmakers to facilitate economic development, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Court weighs needs when timing judicial suspensions

March 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
When deciding that a judge must be suspended and determining when that time off the bench should be, decision-makers must maintain a delicate balance.
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Disciplinary dividing line = R-E-S-P-E-C-T

March 2, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Two recent rulings by the Indiana Supreme Court send a message to any attorney who might be accused of misconduct and face disciplinary proceedings.
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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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