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Court video pilot project will last through 2013

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The pilot project announced this summer by the Indiana Supreme Court that includes using video transcripts in three trial courts as the official court record will run through Dec. 31, 2013.

Chief Justice Brent Dickson signed an order Sept. 18 that provides detail as to how the video project will work and why the court decided to institute it. Marion Superior Court, Criminal 6 (major felony), Tippecanoe Superior Court 3 (juvenile) and Allen Superior Court (civil) are participating in the pilot, which began in August. Those courts were chosen because they will generate diverse cases for appeal – major felony convictions, termination of parental rights, and civil rulings.

Appellate Judges Cale Bradford, Melissa May and James Kirsch will spearhead the project and participate in the review of the selected cases.

During the pilot project, the participating courts, clerks, court reporters and parties shall comply with the Indiana Rules of Appellate and Trial Procedure, with exceptions noted in the order. The court will have to keep a trial event log to indicate where specific portions of the hearing – such as voir dire and jury instructions – begin and end.

Within 30 days of filing the notice of appeal, two copies of the audio/visual recording must be certified by the court reporter and filed with the trial clerk. The order also outlines brief and other filing deadlines.

The order became effective July 1, 2012. Dickson also notes that the project could be extended by further order of the court. The project is officially designated the "Indiana Court Reporting Pilot Project for Audio/Visual Recordings."

Using video transcripts as the record for appeal is just one of three pilot projects that started this summer. The other two projects will cut the transcript filing time from 90 days to 30 days as well as involve electronic filing of the appellate record.

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  5. I whole-heartedly agree with Doug Church's comment, above. Indiana lawyers were especially fortunate to benefit from Tom Pyrz' leadership and foresight at a time when there has been unprecedented change in the legal profession. Consider how dramatically computer technology and its role in the practice of law have changed over the last 25 years. The impact of the great recession of 2008 dramatically changed the composition and structure of law firms across the country. Economic pressures altered what had long been a routine, robust annual recruitment process for law students and recent law school graduates. That has, in turn, impacted law school enrollment across the country, placing upward pressure on law school tuition. The internet continues to drive significant changes in the provision of legal services in both public and private sectors. The ISBA has worked to make quality legal representation accessible and affordable for all who need it and to raise general public understanding of Indiana laws and procedures. How difficult it would have been to tackle each of these issues without Tom's leadership. Tom has set the tone for positive change at the ISBA to meet the evolving practice needs of lawyers of all backgrounds and ages. He has led the organization with vision, patience, flexibility, commitment, thoughtfulness & even humor. He will, indeed, be a tough act to follow. Thank you, Tom, for all you've done and all the energy you've invested in making the ISBA an excellent, progressive, highly responsive, all-inclusive, respectful & respected professional association during his tenure there.

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