Litigation

Laurin: Liquidated damages provisions: enforceable or a penalty?

April 6, 2016
When litigating the enforceability of liquidated damages provisions, the issue is almost always whether the provision is in reality an unenforceable penalty.
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Judge tells lawyers to fight GM instead of each other

February 11, 2016
 Bloomberg News
The judge overseeing lawsuits against General Motors Co. over a lethal ignition-switch defect denied a bid to remove the lead attorney for the injury and death cases, telling the lawyers to stop arguing with each other.
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COA strikes sentence about laughing jurors in footnote

December 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
That jurors laughed at times during a handwriting expert’s testimony in a case contesting probate of a will has been removed from the official court opinion. The Court of Appeals made the move in a rehearing opinion issued Wednesday.
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Justices affirm ruling for school in fired principal’s suit

December 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An elementary school principal whose administrator’s contract was canceled after school officials learned of his affair with a teacher received constitutional due process in his termination proceedings, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed Tuesday.
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High court: DirectTV can cut off class-action lawsuit

December 14, 2015
 Associated Press
The United States Supreme Court ruled Monday that satellite provider DirecTV can avoid a class-action lawsuit in California over early termination fees and force customers into private arbitration hearings instead.
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Court: It’s risky to take justice into your own hands

December 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Affirming an award of treble damages and remanding for appellate attorney fees, the Indiana Court of Appeals warned in a criminal conversion case Thursday that self-help remedies are perilous and potentially expensive, and it’s best to not take justice into your own hands.
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Company owner personally liable for unpaid phone book ads

December 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Reversing a Hamilton County trial court, an appellate panel found a company owner individually liable and remanded for a determination of damages, interest and attorney fees.
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COA split over inmate’s ability to sue for unpaid wages

December 9, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was divided Wednesday over whether an inmate who worked for a private company that contracted with the Department of Correction to employ offenders was allowed under Indiana statute to make a claim for unpaid wages.
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Paralyzed woman’s claim against security guard’s company proceeds

December 8, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Whether a security guard, who shot a woman during an argument while he was on duty, was acting to further his employer’s business when he shot her is a matter that should be decided by a judge or jury, the Indiana Supreme Court held Tuesday.
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Inside massive injury lawsuits, clients get traded like commodities for big money

October 23, 2015
 Bloomberg News
For all the black robes and ceremony, the American legal system often operates more like a factory assembly line than a citadel of individualized justice. Now a legal dispute within a plaintiffs' law firm that organizes massive torts is threatening to pull back the curtain on the mechanics of high-volume litigation.
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Justices: Commissioners may void county fire districts

September 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court held Tuesday in long-running litigation out of Brown County that county commissioners in Indiana have the authority to dissolve county fire districts.
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Business owner ordered to pay $643K for securities fraud

August 26, 2015
J.K. Wall
Indianapolis businessman Timothy E. Cook and two businesses he controlled must pay nearly $643,000 for defrauding investors, according to a ruling Monday by a federal court judge.
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DTCI: Use of multidistrict litigation continues to rise

August 12, 2015
Christopher Lee
The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation is charged with creating new MDLs by consolidating related cases pending in federal courts, transferring new cases to existing MDLs, and remanding old cases to their transferor courts once the transferee courts have completed their work.
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Cook deluged by blood-clot filter lawsuits

July 15, 2015
J.K. Wall
Patients from around the country have filed 100 lawsuits against Bloomington-based Cook, alleging that some of its blood-clot filters have broken apart, moved or poked through the blood vessel where they are implanted, the inferior vena cava, which brings blood from the lower body back to the heart.
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Court rules litigants are responsible for lawyers ‘asleep on the job’

July 8, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed the party of investors did have a “poor lawyer,” the panel declined to overturn the nearly $450,000 judgment against them, saying “legal bungling … does not justify reopening a judgment.”
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Foos: Forget the next big thing; focus on your existing technology

February 11, 2015
What we often forget is that the focus of legal-based technology is to increase the productivity of attorneys, paralegals and administrative staff. We’re focused on the next big thing when we should be identifying how to customize our existing technology to save time and increase productivity.
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Divided appeals panel affirms judgment over time-limit objection

December 16, 2014
Dave Stafford
A divided Court of Appeals Tuesday affirmed a trial court judgment for $175,000 in favor of a consultant who co-signed a mortgage in exchange for shares in a company and half-ownership in the real estate.
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Appeals panel offers direction to abusive pro se litigant

November 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals has heard about enough from pro se litigant Eddie G. Love.
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COA: Hip-replacement tort cases must be heard where implants were done

May 30, 2014
Dave Stafford

Plaintiffs from Mississippi and Virginia may not pursue litigation in Marion County over defective replacement hip devices manufactured in northern Indiana, the Court of Appeals ruled Friday.

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Law firms should be concerned about cybersecurity

May 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The real dollars are paid on the black market for inside details about possible mergers and acquisitions, new public policy, and information about cutting-edge technology. In short, the kind of private, confidential information that many law firms hold in their client files.
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ABA warns against 'liking' potential jurors

May 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Lawyers and judges say the opinion on the use of social media is needed.
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Noyes: A short phone call can change the dynamic of a case

May 7, 2014
Jon Noyes encourages attorneys to network in order to gain insight and litigation strategies.
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Foos: Microsoft Surface Pro for the mobile attorney

May 7, 2014
Robert Foos Jr. writes about how the Microsoft Surface Pro caught his eye as an alternative to the Apple iPad.
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Technology levels the legal playing field

November 6, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Attorneys find hardware and software make them more effective and efficient.
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Stevenson: Plane crash litigation may improve travel safety

July 31, 2013
Modern airliners are filled with technology that has made flying safer than ever. According to MIT statistics professor Arnold Barnett, in the last five years, the death rate for airline passengers in the United States has been one in 45 million flights. At that rate, a passenger could fly daily for an average of 123,000 years before being involved in a fatal crash. While technology such as GPS and auto-landing systems has minimized the chance for human error, especially in poor-visibility landing conditions, there is a drawback. Asiana Flight 214 is likely to become a prime example of how technology can actually cause aviation disasters instead of preventing them. Flight 214’s collision with the seawall just short of the runway at San Francisco International Airport demonstrates what can happen when technology does not work as intended.
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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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