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Indiana judges to present at pro bono event

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Indiana Supreme Court Justice Frank Sullivan, appellate Judge Nancy Vaidik and lawyers and judges from Pro Bono District One will be among the presenters at a daylong event July 22 at Valparaiso University School of Law. The event, “A Potpourri of Timely Topics,” is co-sponsored by the law school and NWI Volunteer Lawyers.

Topics on the agenda include prosecution of domestic battery, judicial perspectives on handling pro se parties, and updates on workers’ compensation and family law. Michael Witte, chair of the Disciplinary Commission, will speak about ethics.

Justice Sullivan will present “Apprendi to Present – The Development of Criminal Law Sentencing in the last 20 Years,” during a working lunch, which is included in the cost of admission. Judge Vaidik will present “Courtroom: Evidentiary Foundations for Newfangled Communications: emails, tweets, text messages, etc.”

Other presenters scheduled to speak so far include Judges William Boklund, David Chidester, Elizabeth Tavitas and Julia Jent; attorneys Jim Sarkisian, Rich Wolter, Adam Tavitas, and Deb Dubovich; Kerry Hyatt Blomquist, executive director of the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence; and Ivan Bodensteiner, professor at Valparaiso University School of Law.

Judy Stanton, executive director of NWI Volunteer Lawyers, said she is still seeking law firms who are interested in underwriting the event, which is a fundraiser for Pro Bono District One. Current sponsors are Hoeppner Wagner & Evans, Rhame & Elwood, and Kenneth Allen & Associates.

Registration is $200, but Stanton said anyone who registers by July 8 and mentions Indiana Lawyer will receive a discounted registration of $175. The event is approved for up to five hours of CLE/2.5 hours of ethics. For registration information, contact Judy Stanton at probono@hotbartlaw.net or 219-942-3404.•

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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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