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Opinions July 28, 2010

July 28, 2010
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Jamarkus Gorman
09-3010
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Criminal. Affirms conviction of perjury after testifying falsely before a grand jury. There is ample evidence to support the finding Gorman perjured himself with regard to the possession of a Bentley. The evidence was properly admitted, albeit as direct evidence rather than inextricable intertwinement evidence, and its probative value was not substantially outweighed by any risk of unfair prejudice.  

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Adoption of H.L.W. Jr.; H.L.W. Sr. and IDCS v. L.M.D. and D.P.D.
71A03-0911-CV-516
Civil. Reverses grant of an adoption petition filed by L.M.D. and D.P.D. regarding H.L.W. Jr. The consent statutes of Indiana Code Chapter 31-19-9 enabled the trial court to consider the adoption proceeding despite the pending CHINS action. DCS met its burden of demonstrating by clear and convincing evidence that its withholding of consent to the adoption was in the child’s best interests.

Nelson Rios v. State of Indiana
49A02-0912-CR-1273
Criminal. Reverses order that Rios serve consecutive sentences for convictions of two counts of dealing in a lookalike substance as Class C felonies. The imposition of consecutive sentences based on incidents that were virtually identical and very close in time contravenes rulings in Beno and Gregory. Remands for a new sentencing determination.

Putnam County Sheriff v. Pamela Rice
60A01-0911-CV-551
Civil. Affirms order denying the sheriff’s motion to dismiss filed in the civil action brought by Price for damages resulting from a car accident. The sheriff, through its agent Deputy Wallace, owed a common law duty of ordinary and reasonable care to warn the traveling public of the known hazardous condition on the icy road.

Paul Komyatti, Jr. v. State of Indiana
52A04-1002-MI-74
Miscellaneous. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief that challenged the revocation of Komyatti’s parole. There are no genuine questions of fact with respect to Komyatti’s PCR petition and the state was entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

James Townsend v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A04-0912-CR-703
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for murder.

Gerardo Bensez v. State of Indiana (NFP)
03A01-0912-CR-611
Criminal. Dismisses appeal of conviction following guilty plea to Class B felony dealing in cocaine.

Marlinda Nunley v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-0912-CR-1177
Criminal. Affirms finding Nunley violated the terms of her probation and that she serve two years of her previously suspended sentence in the Department of Correction.

Thomas Eugene Ferrell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
46A03-0910-CR-471
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class B felony dealing in cocaine.

In The Guardianship of John Joseph Bortka, II (NFP)
88A01-0907-CV-343
Civil. Affirms order that John Jerald Bortka, former guardian of John Joseph Bortka and his estate, reimburse the guardianship estate in the amount of $12,034 and award of attorney fees to Paula Bortka Wells. Remands with instructions to calculate the amount of appellate costs Paula is entitled to from John Jerald Bortka.

Jeremy Culp v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1001-CR-11
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony theft.

Bruce Hatfield, et al. v. Area Plan Commission of Evansville (NFP)
82A01-0910-CV-502
Civil. Reverses trial court’s decision limiting Hatfield and others’ damages for an alleged taking.

Term. of Parent-Child Rel. of T.H.C.; T.C. & C.P. v. I.D.C.S. (NFP)
71A04-1001-JT-104
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.
 

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  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.

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  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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