ILNews

Turnip the root of a law firm scare

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2008
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A Fort Wayne law firm got a scare yesterday when it received a suspicious package from a disgruntled man included in a lawsuit filed by one of the firm's clients. The firm believed it could contain a bomb and called 9-1-1. It turns out it was only a turnip.

The firm Haller & Colvin called police around 3:15 p.m. Thursday after employees opened a package in a typical cardboard box addressed to the firm. The package contained a gift bag with tissue wrapping covering the contents, said Fort Wayne Police Department spokesman Michael Joyner, but no note or anything to indicate there was a bomb inside.

The law firm had reason to be suspicious - the sender of the package was an individual whom the firm didn't represent, but is party to a lawsuit to clean up the title to some real estate owned by one of the firm's clients. Mark Giaquinta, partner at Haller & Colvin, said this man has claimed to be financially ruined as a result of the real estate transaction and has demonstrated in the past that he's a volatile individual.

The firm had sent a letter to the man asking his help in removing his name from the real estate title; the man returned a letter with an obscenity written largely across the paper, Giaquinta said. Without his cooperation, the law firm had to include the man in the lawsuit. After doing so, the firm received the suspicious package.

Based on the law firm's concerns, the police followed protocol and called in the city's bomb unit and evacuated the building. The bomb unit used a robot to pick up the package and move it to the parking lot to take X-rays.

"Based upon the X-rays we took, the technicians felt comfortable saying there was no bomb inside that could do damage," Joyner said, adding the police decided to destroy the package because of the firm's concerns.

The robotic device was able to introduce a high-pressure stream of water onto the package, open it up, and show the contents inside. A technician found a turnip in a sandwich bag inside the gift bag.

Joyner said the police rendered the area safe at about 6 p.m.
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  1. Paul Ogden doing a fine job of remembering his peer Gary Welsh with the post below and a call for an Indy gettogether to celebrate Gary .... http://www.ogdenonpolitics.com/2016/05/indiana-loses-citizen-journalist-giant.html Castaways of Indiana, unite!

  2. It's unfortunate that someone has attempted to hijack the comments to promote his own business. This is not an article discussing the means of preserving the record; no matter how it's accomplished, ethics and impartiality are paramount concerns. When a party to litigation contracts directly with a reporting firm, it creates, at the very least, the appearance of a conflict of interest. Court reporters, attorneys and judges are officers of the court and must abide by court rules as well as state and federal laws. Parties to litigation have no such ethical responsibilities. Would we accept insurance companies contracting with judges? This practice effectively shifts costs to the party who can least afford it while reducing costs for the party with the most resources. The success of our justice system depends on equal access for all, not just for those who have the deepest pockets.

  3. As a licensed court reporter in California, I have to say that I'm sure that at some point we will be replaced by speech recognition. However, from what I've seen of it so far, it's a lot farther away than three years. It doesn't sound like Mr. Hubbard has ever sat in a courtroom or a deposition room where testimony is being given. Not all procedures are the same, and often they become quite heated with the ends of question and beginning of answers overlapping. The human mind can discern the words to a certain extent in those cases, but I doubt very much that a computer can yet. There is also the issue of very heavy accents and mumbling. People speak very fast nowadays, and in order to do that, they generally slur everything together, they drop or swallow words like "the" and "and." Voice recognition might be able to produce some form of a transcript, but I'd be very surprised if it produces an accurate or verbatim transcript, as is required in the legal world.

  4. Really enjoyed the profile. Congratulations to Craig on living the dream, and kudos to the pros who got involved to help him realize the vision.

  5. 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?

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