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Opinions Feb. 10, 2012

February 10, 2012
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals had issued no Indiana opinions by IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals

Commissioner of the Indiana Dept. of Insurance v. Tim Black, as Husband and Personal Rep. of Kay Black, Deceased
64A05-1104-CT-240
Civil tort. Reverses trial court’s denial of commissioner’s motion to dismiss but agrees with Black that because additional documentation had accompanied the commissioner’s motion, it should be treated as a motion for summary judgment, pursuant to Trial Rule 56. Holds that Black did not provide sufficient evidence of an agreement and a genuine issue of material fact exists. Remands for further proceedings.  

Westfield National Insurance Company v. Charlotte Nakoa, Warren E. Rigg, Steven L. Rigg, and Larry D. Rigg (NFP)
64A03-1108-PL-345
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of Nakoa, and on Nakoa’s cross-appeal holds that the trial court did not err in granting Westfield National’s motion to correct error by deducting $10,200 from the original judgment.  

Gregory J. Mills v. Dean Kimbley (NFP)
49A04-1105-CT-236
Civil tort. Affirms trial court’s denial of Mills’ contempt motion. On cross-appeal from Kimbley, reverses trial court’s determination that Kimbley was not entitled to attorney fees incurred while defending against the contempt action and remands to the trial court to calculate Kimbley’s attorney fees.

Robert O. Caruthers, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
10A01-1009-CR-514
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony dealing in cocaine, Class A felony dealing in cocaine, two counts of Class D felony possession of a controlled substance and Class C felony maintaining a common nuisance.

Indiana Tax Court and Indiana Supreme Court had issued no opinions at 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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