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Opinions Oct. 29, 2013

October 29, 2013
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa. and Lexington Insurance Co. v. Mead Johnson & Co. LLC, et al.
12-3478, 13-1526
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division, Chief Judge Richard L. Young.
Civil. Reverses summary judgment in favor of the insurers in the lawsuit relating to the PBM Products LLC litigation against Mead Johnson for false advertising and remands for further proceedings. Affirms judgment in favor of National Union in the suit arising from the class action against Mead Johnson.

Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Rel. of: S.B., Ay.B., A.B. & K.G. (Minor Children), and K.G. (Mother) v. Marion County Dept. of Child Services, Child Advocates, Inc.
49A02-1303-JT-244
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights. Concludes that the termination order does not violate Indiana law because the relevant statutory section does not prohibit Magistrate Bradley to report factual findings and conclusions without having presided over the underlying evidentiary hearing. The order does not violate the mother’s due process rights because the underlying evidence was undisputed.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Rel. of I.P., Minor Child and His Father, T.P.: T.P. (Father) v. Child Advocates, Inc., and Indiana Dept. of Child Services

49A02-1303-JT-283
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights. The magistrate judge’s recommended order terminating parental rights did not violate trial rules or father’s right to due process even though he was not the magistrate who heard the evidence but issued findings and conclusions. Judge Vaidik concurs in result.

Constantinos P. Angelopoulos v. Theodore P. Angelopoulos, Neptunia Incorporated, Transmar Corporation, Didiac Establishment, Beta Steel Corporation, and Top Gun Investment Corporation, II.
64A04-1211-PL-594
Civil plenary. Affirms order dismissing Constantino Angelopoulous’ claims that he is entitled to shares of Beta Steel as an heir under his late father’s estate that was administered in Greece. The prior rulings of the Greek courts conclusively established that brother Theodore Angelopoulos is the sole owner of the company. Reverses order declaring the materials filed in court should have automatically remained confidential and remands for further proceedings on the issue of confidentiality and public access.

Shawn Telligman v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and Indiana Department of Workforce Development Unemployment Insurance Claims Adjudication

93A02-1304-EX-303
Agency action. Affirms ruling in favor of the IDWD’s claim that Telligman failed to disclose or falsified information to IDWD in order to receive unemployment benefits. The ALJ and review board did not err in finding that Telligman knowingly failed to disclose or falsified facts that would disqualify him from receiving benefits, reduce his benefits, or render him ineligible for benefits or extended benefits, and in finding him liable to repay IDWD the benefit overpayment amounts together with applicable penalties and interest. The board did not abuse its discretion in denying his request to submit additional evidence.

Jason E. Morales v. State of Indiana
82A05-1302-CR-72
Criminal. Grants rehearing to clarify that Morales did not apply for acceptance into a county forensic diversion program. Although Morales petitioned the trial court to be placed into the program and the probation department investigated whether he satisfied its criteria, this action is not the same as Morales applying directly to the program. Judge May would deny the petition for rehearing.

Gerald Clemons v. State of Indiana
http://media.ibj.com/Lawyer/websites/opinions/index.php?pdf=2013/october/10291301ebb.pdf
49A05-1210-CR-587
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony possession of cocaine entered as a Class A misdemeanor. The evidence is sufficient to support the conviction.

Michael Wayne Norred v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A01-1303-CR-94
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C misdemeanor panhandling.

P.A. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
33A01-1305-JV-196
Juvenile. Affirms awarding wardship of P.A. to the Indiana Department of Correction for housing in a correctional facility for children, with the recommendation he receive mental health treatment and medication management.

Rebecca Waggoner v. Robert Waggoner (NFP)
12A02-1303-DR-231
Domestic relation. Affirms denial of mother’s motion to modify custody and the split of guardian ad litem fees. Holds mother should not pay appellate attorney fees.

Chad Malone v. State of Indiana (NFP)
89A01-1302-CR-71
Criminal. Affirms denial of request for seventh continuance just before trial and 75-year sentence for two counts of Class A felony attempted murder.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court issued no opinions prior to 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.

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