General Assembly’s website looks nice, but is troublesome

January 6, 2014
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I alluded in my blog Friday to the redesign of the Indiana General Assembly’s website. I have high hopes for the site, as it seems like it will make following the Legislature easier. But right now, it’s got some kinks to work out.

I hoped those kinks would have been worked out before the legislators reconvened for the 2014 short session. During the session, we at Indiana Lawyer visit the General Assembly’s website daily to keep up on legislation and committee hearings. Under the old site, you could search for bills by legislator or subject. You will be able to do that on the new site – eventually. Those options are there, but they are not working, or working to their full potential. Click on “By Legislator” and you get a haphazard listing of legislators. There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to why Rep. Casey Cox is listed first, followed by Sens. Lonnie Randolph, Mark Stoops, Karen Tallian, etc. The dropdown box that allows you to search specific representatives is listed in alphabetical order by last name, so that helps.

Right now, nothing shows up under the “By Subject” listing, a helpful tool for those seeking to find bills of interest to the legal community, such as on court functions, criminal laws or changes to probate law.

Searching for bills is also problematic. Type “trust” in the generic search bar, and you get 792 results, which you can whittle down on the left side to take you to the bills this session that contain the word trust. But trying to use the “Bills” tab of the search bar renders no results for the word trust.

I’m looking forward to what the new website will be, as it will make keeping up with the General Assembly easier. I just hope that the site reaches its full potential before the session is over.

You can check out the redesign site at http://iga.in.gov .
 

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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.

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