Legal News

Session wraps up, bills await governor’s signature

April 29, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana General Assembly completed its 2013 legislative session late Friday, passing a two-year budget that retroactively eliminates the state inheritance tax and increases funding for the Department of Child Services.
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SCOTUS declines church property dispute case

April 29, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Supreme Court of the United States will not take a case involving a dispute between churches over property.
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Bankruptcy filings drop in Indiana, U.S.

April 29, 2013
IL Staff
Bankruptcy filings are down 14.4 percent for the 12-month period ending March 31 as compared to the same 12-month period ending March 31, 2012, according to statistics from the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.
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2 Indiana teams competing Monday in the We The People finals

April 29, 2013
IL Staff
For the first time in Indiana history, both of the state’s We The People teams are in the top 10 of the We The People national finals.
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7th Circuit denies petitions seeking review of mine safety regulations

April 26, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Friday found that the Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration acted within its statutory and constitutional authority in demanding review of employee medical records to ensure mines were not under-reporting injuries or illnesses.
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Criminal code overhaul goes to Pence

April 26, 2013
IL Staff
The Indiana Senate Friday passed the legislation that is the first comprehensive reform of the state’s criminal code in more than 35 years. It now goes to Gov. Mike Pence for his signature.
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3 named as finalists for Allen Superior bench

April 26, 2013
IL Staff
The Allen Superior Court Judicial Nominating Commission announced Friday that Allen Superior Magistrate Judges Craig Bobay and Jennifer DeGroote, and Barrett & McNagny LLP attorney Michael Michmerhuizen have been selected as finalists for the judgeship that will be open as a result of Stephen Sims' retirement.
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Child support case presents issue of first impression

April 26, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was presented with an issue for the first time: whether a child support order should be reduced for the time a child is living on campus when a court has found that the child has repudiated the non-custodial parent, and on that basis refused to enter an educational support order.
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Court split over whether petition for review should be dismissed

April 26, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The dissenting judge in a case involving the dismissal of a company’s petition for judicial review of a decision by the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission believed the petition must be dismissed based on the language of the Administrative Orders and Procedures Act. The majority ordered resolution of the issue on the merits.
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Man entitled to benefits for injuries sustained on the job

April 26, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that a construction supervisor’s receipt of unemployment benefits didn’t preclude him from eligibility for temporary total disability benefits, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a total award of more than $61,000 to the injured worker.
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Community court organizes food drive to commemorate 12th anniversary

April 26, 2013
IL Staff
Indianapolis Community Court, the only community court in the state, will host a food and clothing drive April 27 for the David S. Moore Food Pantry located in Community Court in Fountain Square.
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Federal civil, bankruptcy fees to increase May 1

April 26, 2013
IL Staff
The fee for filing a civil case in federal court will increase from $350 to $400 May 1. The new $50 general administrative fee for filing a civil action, lawsuit or proceeding in a District Court was approved by the Judicial Conference of the United States in September 2012.
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Rat poison not yet linked to Shuai newborn death

April 25, 2013
Dave Stafford
Prosecutors acknowledged Thursday they could not currently provide a witness who would definitively testify that rat poison Bei Bei Shuai ingested was the cause of her newborn’s death, for which she stands charged with murder.
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COA: Glove not enough to convict man of burglary

April 25, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Worried that upholding a man’s conviction based solely on DNA presence on a glove found at a crime scene would create a precedent for criminals to frame someone else, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a burglary conviction out of St. Joseph County. 
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Governor signs bill adding county judges

April 25, 2013
IL Staff
Gov. Mike Pence signed Senate Enrolled Act 486 Wednesday, which will allow three counties to appoint additional magistrates or judges.
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7th Circuit rules for employer on fired worker’s claims

April 25, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
An Italian-born naturalized U.S. citizen who sued his former employer for religious discrimination and defamation after he was fired could not prove his claims before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Court affirms murder conviction of man who killed stepdaughter

April 24, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A southern Indiana man was not able to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that the court should overturn his convictions of murder and other charges for stabbing his stepdaughter.
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Habitual traffic violator’s conviction upheld

April 24, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Inaction by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to update a man’s driving record to reflect his lifetime suspended license is not enough to nullify a statutory requirement that his lifetime suspension be imposed, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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COA: Driving to avoid potholes isn’t enough to stop car

April 24, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the suppression of evidence in a man’s drunken-driving case, finding police did not have reasonable suspicion to pull the man over because he was driving left of center on a county road to avoid poor road conditions.
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Allen Superior judge applicant interviews Thursday

April 24, 2013
IL Staff
The Allen Superior Court Judicial Nominating Commission will interview eight applicants April 25 for Judge Stephen Sims’ spot on the Superior Court. Sims retires Friday.
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Justices focus on hazing, duty in Wabash fraternity case

April 24, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indiana Supreme Court justices on Tuesday quizzed attorneys about what constitutes hazing and whether Wabash College and a fraternity chapter owed a duty to protect a pledge injured when fraternity brothers placed him in a chokehold then dropped him.
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Women Lawyers Association to honor Rush, female jurists

April 24, 2013
IL Staff
The Lake County-based Women Lawyers Association will pay tribute to Indiana Justice Loretta Rush, the state’s second female justice, during a reception next month.
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Aid rises for those wrongly convicted

April 24, 2013
Dave Stafford
Prosecutors and police helped clear more than half of those exonerated in 2012, according to a report by the National Registry of Exonerations.
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Law students provide vital help to immigrants

April 24, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Law professors involved with immigration clinics agree that a change in the national immigration law could create more work for the clinics, especially if undocumented workers currently in the country had a path to citizenship.
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Mediation space key to resolution, even if it’s a getaway divorce

April 24, 2013
Dave Stafford
Just because a dispute might be ugly, it doesn’t mean the surroundings have to be.
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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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