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IBA: Indianapolis Lawyers Release Results of Judicial Candidate Peer Evaluation

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In order to assist voters in electing qualified and effective judges in the November 8 election, the Indianapolis Bar Association’s Judicial Excellence Political Action Committee has released the results of its 2012 judicial candidate peer evaluation. The Democratic and Republican Party ballots will each feature twelve candidates vying for ten Marion Superior Court judgeship opportunities on the November ballot.

“This evaluation by the candidates’ professional peers confirms for the public that we have a variety of qualified candidates from which to choose. We hope voters take into consideration the thoughts of those interacting professionally with the candidates and elect the qualified judiciary Marion County needs and deserves,” said C. Joseph Russell, chair of JEPAC.

The survey was sent to members of the Indianapolis Bar Association, attorneys in the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office and the Marion County Public Defender’s Office, as well as any other attorney who had entered an appearance in Marion County courts in the last three years. The respondents were asked to verify that they had had professional contact with the candidates they evaluated and if they had, the evaluating lawyers were to rate their experience with the candidate(s) regarding each candidate’s; (1) demonstration of sufficient legal experience to be an effective judge; (2) efficiency as an office administrator; (3) conduct appropriate for a judge; (4) knowledge of rules of evidence, procedure and substantive law; and (5) ability to be unbiased, independent and impartial. Complete details are posted at www.indyjudges.org.

The sole purpose of JEPAC is to conduct and publicize non-partisan evaluations of Marion County judicial candidates to promote the fair and effective selection of qualified judicial candidates in Marion County. The JEPAC is a bipartisan group assisted by bipartisan counsel.•

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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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