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Opinions Nov. 13, 2012

November 13, 2012
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Indiana Supreme Court
D.C. v. J.A.C.
32S04-1206-DR-349
Domestic relation/modification of custody. Reverses Court of Appeals ruling that overturned a trial court modification of a custody order in favor of a child’s father. In a case involving a mother who was moving out of state, the Supreme Court held that the Court of Appeals erred by failing to apply a highly deferential standard of review to the trial court’s determination of a custody modification based on testimony regarding the best interests of the child.

John Haegert v. University of Evansville
82S01-1204-PL-235
Civil Plenary. Affirms trial court’s decision granting summary judgment in favor of the university after Haegert filed a complaint alleging defamation, tortuous breach of his employment contract and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The Court of Appeals reversed, finding the university failed to meet its burden of proof.  

Indiana Court of Appeals
Kevin Perry v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1204-CR-265
Criminal. Affirms conviction of robbery and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, both Class B felonies, and escape, a Class C felony. Concludes the detective’s opinion was properly admitted as that of a skilled witness, the evidence was sufficient to support Perry’s convictions and the state’s closing argument did not create a fundamental error.

Robin R. Gordon v. Benny B. Gordon (NFP)
92A05-1205-DR-279
Domestic relation. Affirms trial court’s order that mother and father share joint legal custody of minor child.

Joseph Ridge v. State of Indiana (NFP)
29A02-1112-CR-1168
Criminal. Affirms conviction of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a Class A misdemeanor. The COA found the trial court did not abuse its discretion in either denying Ridge’s request to hire an expert or in allowing Dr. Scott Kriger to hear the testimony of Hamilton County Sheriff’s Deputy Kent Mustain. The COA further concluded that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting Kriger’s expert testimony that Ridge was intoxicated on K2 at the time of the traffic stop.
 

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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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