ILNews

IBA: Celebrate Ask a Lawyer's Ten Year Anniversary

Back to TopE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

By Julie M. Armstrong

In November, 2000 then Indianapolis Bar Association President Karen Turner, Indiana Supreme Court Justice Ted Boehm, and Indianapolis lawyer Patty McKinnon teamed up to make the Indianapolis Bar’s first Ask a Lawyer a reality. The brainchild of the late Hon. Paul H. Buchanan, Jr., Ask a Lawyer was created to give all Indianapolis citizens the opportunity not just to gain free access to an attorney, but to personalize the profession.

Judge Buchanan thought that if more people knew a lawyer, really had an opportunity to sit and talk with a lawyer, it would be more difficult to think the worst of those who practice law. He knew how highly he regarded the people he encountered in practice and wanted to share them with those in need. From that desire Ask a Lawyer began.

Armed with Judge Buchanan’s vision and monetary support, IBA President Karen Turner began seeking key volunteers to turn the vision into a reality. First on board was Justice Boehm who agreed to oversee the creation of The Commonly Asked Questions About Indiana Law, which still serves as the handbook for Ask a Lawyer volunteers.

Patty McKinnon joined the team to shape the recruitment plan for the 100 volunteer attorneys needed to make the program a success. Within a few short months sites were secured, all volunteer spots were filled, and the handbook was complete. Ask a Lawyer was born.

Since that time Ask a Lawyer has continued to be held twice each year averaging service to over 350 central Indiana residents per session. That’s over 3,500 people getting to know a lawyer, not just asking a lawyer. Judge Buchanan must be proud.

Play a role in celebrating our tenth year by volunteering to assist with our October 12, 2010 session. Attorneys are needed to staff the following Marion County Library locations from 2-4 p.m. or 4-6 p.m.:

Brightwood

East Washington

East 38th

Shelby

Southport

To volunteer please contact IBA Pro Bono Coordinator Caren Chopp at cchopp@indybar.org.•

Julie Armstrong has been on staff at the Indianapolis Bar since 1991, serving as Executive Director of the Association and Foundation since 1995.

ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  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.

ADVERTISEMENT