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Court reporters make push for licensing

Dave Stafford
September 19, 2013
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Court reporters will make a case to a legislative commission this week that the state should set minimum standards and licensing criteria for professionals who record and compile the transcripts of judicial proceedings.

The Commission on the Courts’ agenda for its meeting Tuesday includes discussion about licensing court reporters. There currently are no minimum standards for the profession in Indiana, according to Vickie Dudeck, president of the Indiana Shorthand Reporters Association.  

“We feel that litigants, attorneys, and the general public should be assured that they are getting capable and quality service every time they are involved in a situation where the record needs to be captured or memorialized in a state court matter (in courts or in discovery), similar to the standards and rules established for all federal court cases,” Dudeck said. “The fact that it is a lower court matter shouldn't automatically mean that it's a crap shoot when it comes to the quality of the record.”

Dudeck said the group will present to the commission Tuesday to discuss how a licensing or certification system in Indiana would benefit courts. She said more than 20 states have minimum standards for court reporters, and the lack of such standards would improve the quality of transcripts and foster ethics in the profession.

“What we are proposing is not that we dictate the method of capturing the record (steno, digital recording, or voice writing), but instead we establish some standards in Indiana,” she said.

Also before the commission Tuesday will be discussion of whether there is a need for more than one court-appointed psychiatrist when a defendant raises the issue of insanity.

The commission meets at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Room 431 of the Statehouse, 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis. The meeting is open to the public, or may be viewed via online webcast at http://www.in.gov/legislative/2441.htm.
 

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  • Court Reporter Certification
    It is admirable to seek state certification. But it won't happen. The cost of running a state board is expensive. If Indiana does implement state licensure no less than 50% oof all steno reporters will leave Indiana as they will not be successful candidates to pass both speed and general knowledge requirements. If they are granfathered in, then what is achieved? The same people are still responsible. Nothing is really gained in the short run. Besides, let's face facts. Certainly steno court reporting is a dying art. Within 7 years 50% of all stenos will be retiring and there will be no steno to replace them. So what's to be achieved in the long run. The best insurance policy for Indiana to secure 100% accuracy in taking down, recording, playback, transcribing, not just for Indiana, but for every state is to introduce DAR in every courtroom and make it the official record AND still use court reporters / transcribers who can produce a transcript that is timely, verifiable and always accessible. A steno certification in today's Digital Age is meaningless.

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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