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Opinions April 16, 2013

April 16, 2013
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The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decisions were handed down after IL deadline Monday:

United States of America v. Ronald Zitt and Joshua Wampler
12-1277, 12-2865
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Rudy Lozano.
Criminal. In a consolidated appeal, affirms denial of Zitt’s motion for a mistrial. The District Court properly exercised its discretion in denying the motion. Dismisses Wampler’s appeal. Wampler pleaded guilty to two drug charges. Wampler waived his right to appeal as a condition of his agreement. Grants his counsel’s motion to withdraw and denies Wampler’s motion for substitute counsel.

Torray Stitts v. Bill Wilson, superintendent, Indiana State Prison
12-2255
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Larry J. McKinney.
Civil. Reverses denial of petition for writ of habeas corpus. Remands to the District Court to resolve the actual extent of trial counsel’s alibi investigation. If the District Court finds that the trial counsel performed no further investigation, then it should grant Stitts’ habeas petition. If the court finds that trial counsel did more, then it must determine de novo whether that investigation was reasonable under Strickland.

Tuesday’s opinions
7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Renee S. Majors v. General Electric Co.
12-2893
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Larry J. McKinney.
Civil. Affirms grant of summary judgment on Majors’ claims that GE violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when it denied her positions and that GE retaliated against her for filing EEOC charges of discrimination.

Robert Leimkuehler, as trustee of and on behalf of the Leimkuehler Inc. Profit Sharing Plan, and on behalf of all others similarly situated v. American United Life Insurance Co.
12-1081, 12-1213, & 12-2536
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson.
Civil. Affirms ruling that American United Life Insurance Co. was not a fiduciary of the Leimkuehler Inc. Profit Sharing Plan with respect to AUL’s revenue-sharing practices. Although very little about the mutual fund industry or the management of 401(k) plans can plausibly be described as transparent, agrees that AUL is not acting as a fiduciary for purposes of 29 U.S.C. § 1002(21)(A) when it makes decisions about, or engages in, revenue sharing. Finds it unnecessary to express any view on the question whether revenue sharing yields net benefits to individual 401(k) investors.

Indiana Court of Appeals
David Arnett v. Julia Arnett (NFP)
http://media.ibj.com/Lawyer/websites/opinions/index.php?pdf=2013/april/04161301par.pdf  
32A01-1208-DR-383
Domestic relation. Affirms dissolution of marriage.

Enrique Perez v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-1208-CR-419
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony robbery.

Herman P. Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1207-PC-606
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

David Delong v. Kim Delong (NFP)
43A03-1206-DR-299
Domestic relation. Affirms custody order, reverses order on support and regarding a parenting coordinator and remands for further proceedings.

Harold M. Bacchus, Jr. v. Fazia Deen-Bacchus (NFP)
02A03-1203-DR-119
Domestic relation. Affirms in part and reverses in part order finding the net worth of the marital property to be $1,405,763, and giving wife 55 percent and husband 45 percent. Remands with instructions.  

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court posted no decisions by IL deadline.
 

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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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