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Opinions Sept. 2, 2011

September 2, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Gary Williams and Nancy Meehan v. Rohm and Haas Pension Plan
10-1978, 10-2175, 10-3713
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division, Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Affirms $180 million settlement and approval of $43.5 million in attorney fees. The District Court adequately addressed the expected value of the early retirees’ claims. The District Court did not abuse its discretion by not creating a separately represented subclass of early retirees. The 7th Circuit sees no reason to disturb the District Court’s assessment of attorney fees.

United States of America v. Jake Richardson III
11-1205
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, Judge Jon E. DeGuilio.
Criminal. Richardson has not shown that the District Court erred by admitting the physical evidence found on him after a traffic stop or by admitting evidence of the statements Richardson volunteered to police.

Indiana Supreme Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

Indiana Court of Appeals
James Daher v. Mark Sevier
52A04-1103-MI-150
Miscellaneous. Affirms dismissal of prisoner Daher’s request for a temporary restraining order. Daher’s complaint about the jumpsuits falls so far below the Eighth Amendment threshold of cruel and unusual punishment that it can be fairly characterized as a trivial complaint in that context.

Kirby D. Edwards v. State of Indiana
18A02-1102-CR-118
Criminal. Affirms determination that Edwards is a sexually violent predator. The trial court, after weighing the doctors’ reports and testimony, considering the presentence investigation report, and finding that Edwards also had a lack of remorse, did not abuse its discretion in determining he should be classified as a SVP. Also, Ind. Code 35-38-1-7.5(e) does not require that the doctors who evaluate a defendant conduct the evaluations separately.  

Visitation of P.V.D. and P.I.D.; P.M. v. K.B.
45A03-1102-JM-79
Juvenile. Reverses denial of mother P.M.’s request that the trial court set aside its previous order granting maternal grandmother K.B. visitation with P.M.’s minor children. The trial court erroneously denied P.M.’s request for relief from the default judgment. Lake County was not the proper venue for the grandmother’s petition. Remands with instructions to rescind the previous order granting K.B. visitation with the children under the Grandparent Visitation Act.

Anthony Wheeler v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1101-PC-22
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

Anthony W. Dalton v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A03-1101-CR-26
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class C felony battery and Class B misdemeanor public intoxication.

Indiana Tax Court had posted 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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