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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. 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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