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IndyBar: Go Green…and Save Green!

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iba-green-logo.jpgSaving the planet feels good…but does it feel as good as saving money? It turns out you can do both at the same time, according to IndyBar member Rick Mann, who heads up his own small firm in Indianapolis. Richard A. Mann PC was recognized for its outstanding efforts to go green in 2012 through the IndyBar’s Green Legal Initiative, which encourages firms, agencies and legal departments to adopt greener business practices.

“There are things that people can do that will save them money,” says Rick, who notes that he does have greater flexibility because he owns his own building. Several measures, though, can be applied from a big firm down to a solo practitioner.

Here are just a few ways Rick does it:

Cutting down on paper use not only saves trees, it saves on thousands of dollars spent on cups, plates and paper. Rick’s office uses ceramic or glass dishware, and they have dramatically cut down on paper usage by duplexing copies, using sheets that have been printed on only one side for scrap paper, and transmitting electronic files to and from clients by using an online service called YouSendIt. The result? They’re buying just 20-percent of what they used to purchase in paper.

There’s another benefit to online file storage and electronic file transmission—there’s no need to pay for additional space for storage of hard copies, plus postage costs have been reduced dramatically.

Going green can mean increasing efficiency: Because files are stored on the office server, there’s no need for staff to pull and replace files all day, saving on payroll costs.

You know that turning the lights off can reduce your electricity bill, but did you know that low energy/high efficiency lightbulbs emit less heat, reducing the strain on your air conditioner? Rick notes that he’s doubled the size of his office, yet the electricity bill is still less than it was in the 90s, thanks to energy saving measures.

Are you inspired by Rick’s planet—and cost-saving measures? Get your firm or business Green Legal Certified by visiting http://www.indybar.org/resources/go-green to access information about the program and applications for 2013. Don’t delay! Applications are due September 15, 2013. Participating firms will be recognized at the bar’s Recognition Luncheon on November 14.•

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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