ILNews

ISBA awards money for former attorney's actions

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A South Bend man is receiving $15,000 from the Indiana State Bar Association to compensate for losses he suffered from the dishonest acts of a former attorney.

Darious E. Easton received the money as a result of actions by former attorney Paul Bruno Kusbach, who resigned in 2002. Kusbach was sentenced in April 2004 to federal prison for four years and nine months for stealing money from clients; he was ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution to 26 separate clients.

This was the maximum amount that could be awarded by the Clients' Financial Assistance Fund, which has been around since 1962 and helps uphold the integrity of the Indiana Legal Profession by covering some losses suffered by clients of dishonest Hoosier attorneys. Money was last awarded in March to three individuals - each award was less than $5,000, meaning the board of governors did not have to approve the amounts.

Fund Committee Chair Jon Pactor, a sole practitioner in Indianapolis, describes this fund as a method not very well known throughout the Indiana legal community.

"These acts are often theft-related and don't happen very often so aren't on attorneys' radar screens," he said. "This is a way to help restore dignity to the bar or collectively say, 'This is wrong,' and it's a last effort to get compensation for someone. We recognize our professional obligation to do that."
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  1. Paul Ogden doing a fine job of remembering his peer Gary Welsh with the post below and a call for an Indy gettogether to celebrate Gary .... http://www.ogdenonpolitics.com/2016/05/indiana-loses-citizen-journalist-giant.html Castaways of Indiana, unite!

  2. It's unfortunate that someone has attempted to hijack the comments to promote his own business. This is not an article discussing the means of preserving the record; no matter how it's accomplished, ethics and impartiality are paramount concerns. When a party to litigation contracts directly with a reporting firm, it creates, at the very least, the appearance of a conflict of interest. Court reporters, attorneys and judges are officers of the court and must abide by court rules as well as state and federal laws. Parties to litigation have no such ethical responsibilities. Would we accept insurance companies contracting with judges? This practice effectively shifts costs to the party who can least afford it while reducing costs for the party with the most resources. The success of our justice system depends on equal access for all, not just for those who have the deepest pockets.

  3. As a licensed court reporter in California, I have to say that I'm sure that at some point we will be replaced by speech recognition. However, from what I've seen of it so far, it's a lot farther away than three years. It doesn't sound like Mr. Hubbard has ever sat in a courtroom or a deposition room where testimony is being given. Not all procedures are the same, and often they become quite heated with the ends of question and beginning of answers overlapping. The human mind can discern the words to a certain extent in those cases, but I doubt very much that a computer can yet. There is also the issue of very heavy accents and mumbling. People speak very fast nowadays, and in order to do that, they generally slur everything together, they drop or swallow words like "the" and "and." Voice recognition might be able to produce some form of a transcript, but I'd be very surprised if it produces an accurate or verbatim transcript, as is required in the legal world.

  4. Really enjoyed the profile. Congratulations to Craig on living the dream, and kudos to the pros who got involved to help him realize the vision.

  5. 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?

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