Technical difficulties snag high-profile appeal arguments

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After a hiccup in the state judiciary’s online access to oral arguments, Indiana Court of Appeals Chief Judge John Baker borrowed some words from television broadcasters of the past: “Please stand by.”

Responding to technical difficulties that prevented a high-profile appeal from being listed on the online calendar and then from being viewed live Monday afternoon, the chief judge assured the public and legal community that webcast arguments should be working fine now after the issues surfaced earlier in the week.

A three-judge Indiana Court of Appeals panel heard arguments Monday in Paula Brattain, et al. v. Richmond State Hospital, et al., No. 49A02-0908-CV-718, which involves a class action suit where Marion Superior Judge John Hanley last year ordered the state to pay $42.4 million in back pay to past and present state employees. The state is appealing that judgment, believed to be the largest ever class action judgment against the state.

But the state judiciary didn’t list that argument in its online calendar. Later, technical difficulties led to the arguments not being broadcast live Monday afternoon.

Finding out about the issues, Chief Judge Baker released a statement that was posted on the judiciary’s website today, noting that the oral argument was “inadvertently not Web cast simultaneously with the argument.”

His explanation notes that the court’s webcasting equipment failed and had to be reconfigured, and that the IT staff resolved those issues. The system should permit real-time viewing for all future webcasts, the chief judge said. The entry for Brattain can be found online.

“The Web casting effort attempts to integrate new-age technology and centuries-old legal tradition,” Chief Judge Baker said. “The Court is striving to provide the public with opportunities to witness fine appellate advocacy and provide a better understanding of the role of courts of review within the judicial system.”


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.