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Opinions Sept. 25, 2013

September 25, 2013
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Steven Harper and Rose Harper as Co-Personal Representatives of the Estate of Steven Harper, Deceased v. Gerry Hippensteel, M.D.
42A04-1302-MI-95
Miscellaneous/medical malpractice. Affirms trial court grant of summary judgment in favor of Dr. Gerry Hippensteel, concluding that he did not owe a duty to Steven Harper Jr. on the basis of a Collaborative Practice Agreement the doctor signed with a nurse practitioner who provided care. Because Hippensteel took no affirmative action with regard to Harper, he is entitled to summary judgment because no doctor-patient relationship existed or was imposed by the agreement.

Robert Fechtman, as Guardian of the Estate of Roberto Hernandez v. United States Steel Corporation, Zurich North America
45A04-1209-CT-474
Civil tort. Affirms jury findings in awarding damages of $4.65 million to the estate of Hernandez, who suffered carbon monoxide poisoning as a contractor working at the U.S. Steel plant in Gary, and its determination that U.S. Steel was 15 percent at fault, resulting in a judgment of $698,668 against U.S. Steel. Rejects Zurich North America’s cross-claim as moot. The trial court did not err in refusing to provide Hernandez’s tendered jury instruction regarding strict liability for an abnormally dangerous activity.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of D.P., Minor Child, and her Father, D.P.; D.P. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services and Child Advocates, Inc.

49A02-1303-JT-245
Juvenile. Reverses termination of parental rights, finding that Father D.P’s due process rights were violated when a judge ruled on findings of fact prepared by a new magistrate who prepared findings based on the results of a hearing conducted by a magistrate who resigned. Remands to the juvenile court for a new evidentiary hearing.

In Re The Marriage of: David L. Fendley v. Misty L. Converse f/k/a Misty L. Fendley (NFP)
20A05-1212-DR-662
Domestic relation. Reverses former husband David Fendley’s motion to set aside a judgment against him for $128,104, holding that a prior agreement between him and ex-wife Misty Converse abated his obligation in 1994.

Brian L. Marchand v. State of Indiana (NFP)
87A01-1209-CR-431
Criminal. Affirms on interlocutory appeal two orders denying Brian Marchand’s motions for discharge under Indiana Criminal Rule 4(C).

Brian McGill v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1211-CR-934
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class B felony aggravated battery and finding of habitual offender.

Indiana Surpeme Court and Indiana Tax Court issued no opinions by IL deadline. U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana opinions by 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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