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IndyBar: Green by Example – Going Green Starts at the Top

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Going green isn’t something that happens overnight – but Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor David Stippler says it doesn’t take much longer than a night to see the changes adding up. “At the end of a few days, at the end of a week, you really start to see how much you’re saving,” Stippler said.
 

iba-stippler-dave.jpg David Stippler

The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) is one of the organizations that has committed to IndyBar’s Green Legal Initiative this year. As a government agency, the OUCC has more regulations than the average law firm, but that hasn’t stopped them from making environmentally friendly changes. Stippler said there are a few keys to effectively becoming a greener organization.

“It has to start at the top,” Stippler said. He said that having leadership that sets the tone and drives home awareness of green efforts is an important first step. He also noted that, “It’s important to lead by example.”
iba-green-logo.jpg At the OUCC, the changes have been incremental but have added up. They have a water cooler with washable cups for employees and also installed a dishwasher so employees could reuse utensils. There are numerous recycling receptacles in the office that employees are strongly encouraged to use, and they have also transitioned to virtual filing for cases, which has saved them “millions of pages.” Double-sided printing has also helped to cut down on paper waste.

“Take simple steps that become big strides as you move along,” Stippler said. “If everybody does their share, those steps add up.”

While leading by example from the top is important, Stippler has found that office challenges help engage employees. At the OUCC, they challenged staff to reduce color printing and presented a bar graph each month showing the progress. Stippler found that it helped motivate others to see tangible results from their efforts. He also said that recognizing employees for helping to make a difference created a positive office environment.

Stippler said he hopes employees take the green strategies home and that the benefits will extend into the community. He notes that the practices not only help the environment but are also a way to reduce costs, and ultimately those savings come back to the employees.

“We walk the talk and we do that every day,” Stippler said. “We are committed to living by those principles.”

To get your firm or business Green Legal Certified and join the OUCC’s efforts, visit indybar.org/gogreen to access information about the program and applications. Applications are due Sept. 13. Participating firms will be recognized at the bar’s Recognition Luncheon Nov. 13.•

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  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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