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Judges uphold man's convictions, enhanced sentence

December 20, 2011
Michael Hoskins

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the convictions of and sentence for a man on multiple drug charges, finding that the Lake Superior judge didn’t err by enhancing the man’s sentence because he is a habitual offender.

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Federal Circuit hears judges' pay case

December 19, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A federal appellate court heard arguments Friday in a case that could ultimately decide if Congress has the authority to withhold judicial pay increases as it’s done in the past or whether cost-of-living adjustments are required.
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COA affirms arbitration opinion on rehearing

December 19, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Rehearing a case at the request of the appellant, the Indiana Court of Appeals reaffirmed its original opinion that trustees are not bound by an arbitration clause that was signed by predecessors.
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Appeals court sides with estate of contractor killed on the job

December 19, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled an employer was liable for the safety of a subcontractor who fell from a ladder and sustained a fatal injury.
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Justices grant transfer in 1 civil case

December 19, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has accepted a case asking whether a construction subcontractor on a public school project can be held liable for attorney fees under the state’s public records access laws applying to public agencies.
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Munster advances to national We the People competition

December 19, 2011
IL Staff
Students from Munster High School won the state championship in the We the People competition Sunday and will represent Indiana in the national competition next year.
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Job opening: Indiana Supreme Court justice

December 19, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Lawyers interested in becoming the next justice on the Indiana Supreme Court have until Jan. 27 to apply for the opening created by Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard’s upcoming retirement.
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Judge: Governor can be deposed

December 16, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels shouldn’t be excused from appearing for a deposition in a lawsuit challenging the cancelled multi-million dollar contract with IBM to modernize the state’s welfare system, according to Marion Superior Judge David Dreyer.
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AG wants justices to consider prosecutor disqualification

December 16, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Arguing that prosecutors must face an actual conflict of interest before they can be removed from a case, the Office of the Indiana Attorney General wants the state justices to take the high-profile case of a former state trooper being tried for murders that happened more than a decade ago.
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In first impression ruling, COA reverses trial court on illegal search

December 16, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that a police officer went one step too far when he opened a pill bottle he found in a man’s pocket.
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Governor names new general counsel

December 16, 2011
IL Staff
Gov. Mitch Daniels announced Friday that Anita Kolkmeier Samuel, assistant general counsel and policy director for the governor, has been named general counsel. Samuel replaces David Pippen, who has resigned to accept a position with Indianapolis law firm Bose McKinney & Evans.
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63 claimants will accept settlement in State Fair stage collapse

December 15, 2011
IL Staff
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General has heard from all 65 claimants who were offered settlements stemming from the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair in August, and 63 will accept the settlements.
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Justices rule man not disenfranchised under the Infamous Crimes Clause

December 15, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court hesitantly answered Thursday a certified question from the federal court as to whether misdemeanor battery is an “infamous crime” under Article II, Section 8 of the Indiana Constitution.
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IJA honors colleague and journalist

December 15, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
An Allen Superior judge and a Louisville journalist received the Community Relations Committee awards this year from the Indiana Judges Association.
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7th Circuit affirms dismissal of plaintiffs

December 15, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals could rule on the dismissal of multiple plaintiffs from a civil rights and breach of contract lawsuit, the appellate court had to determine if it had jurisdiction to rule on the plaintiffs’ appeal.
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Grand jury indicts 2 attorneys, real estate broker

December 14, 2011
Cory Schouten
A grand jury in South Bend has returned a 14-count criminal indictment against two attorneys and a real estate broker from central Indiana over a state lease deal in Elkhart.
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Woman loses appeal for overtime pay

December 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A sewing manager who sued her former employer to obtain overtime pay for work she did before her shift started lost her appeal because the employer didn’t know that she was working prior to her shift, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Evidence properly admitted under independent source doctrine

December 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found no plain error in a District Court’s decision to admit evidence of a telephone number on a defendant’s cell phone in 2007 at the man’s trial several years later.
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Judges reverse termination of parents' rights

December 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In a case filled with several errors and discrepancies, the Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed the termination of parental rights of a mother and two fathers because the Department of Child Services failed to meet the burden of proving that termination is in the best interest of the children.
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New St. Joe magistrate judge to begin duties Jan. 2

December 14, 2011
IL Staff
Elizabeth C. Hurley has been selected as the newest magistrate judge in St. Joseph Circuit Court. She replaces Magistrate Judge David T. Ready, who is retiring from the bench.
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Judge won't allow auto-dialer statute enforcement during appeal

December 13, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Balancing free speech rights with the public interest in preventing automated political calls from out-of-state entities, U.S. Judge William Lawrence in Indianapolis denied the state’s request to continue enforcing Indiana’s auto-dialer statute while a higher court is considering his ruling from two months ago that blocked enforcement.
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Justices: emotional distress actions not barred

December 13, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court held Tuesday that separate actions by parents seeking damages for emotional distress from experiencing the stillbirth of their child are not barred by the Indiana Child Wrongful Death Act or the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act.
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COA rules on right of first refusal issue

December 13, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that the right of first refusal set forth in a purchase agreement of land between neighbors could only be exercised between the two neighbors and didn’t apply to the sale of land by an estate.
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Court clarifies original ruling on spousal maintenance

December 13, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
On rehearing, the Indiana Court of Appeals addressed the issue of an ex-husband’s ability to pay incapacity maintenance to his spouse, but affirmed its original opinion in all respects.
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1.8M cases filed in Indiana in 2010

December 13, 2011
IL Staff
Nearly two million new cases were filed in Indiana courts in 2010, a 3 percent increase as compared to 2001, according to the annual Indiana Judicial Service Report released Tuesday.
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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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