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Blomquist: Supporting our Legal Community Through Good Times and Bad

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blomquist-kerryAt the July meeting of the IndyBar Board of Directors, the board approved both the description and the structure of the IndyBar HEAL Committee. If you don’t know it yet, the HEAL Committee stands for “Helping to Enrich Attorneys Lives” and its mission is clear: to assist Indianapolis area legal professionals in times of personal or professional crisis. Under the leadership of Rusty Denton of Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP, the HEAL Committee has defined its program and laid out its plan to offer assistance to legal professionals at their time of need.

The purpose of the HEAL Committee and program is to assist lawyers, judges and paralegals in the Indianapolis metropolitan area who are experiencing a serious personal or professional crisis as a result of health or other challenges, to the extent possible given available resources. HEAL is meant to serve all legal professionals practicing in the Indianapolis area and is not exclusive to IndyBar members.

The program is available to those legal professionals personally experiencing a crisis or affected by the crisis of someone close, such as a spouse or professional colleague. The beauty of the program, in my opinion, is its ability to respond individually to need—not everyone wants involvement at a critical time. This committee also works hard to respect the privacy of those in crisis.

The hard work is done. We’re now working to put the structure in place. I welcome your thoughts about this program. If you know of someone who is dealing with a major life crisis or setback, and you think HEAL can help, please let us know.

The mission of the IndyBar is to serve its members, promote justice and enhance the legal profession. We can think of no better way to do this than to offer our help to our colleagues at their time of need. Watch for more information, including a HEAL-specific page on the IndyBar website, coming soon as we work to serve our legal community through the good times and the bad.•

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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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