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IndyBar: Pro Bono in the Fast Lane!

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In the mood for meaningful pro bono service without the long-term commitment? Check out two one-day-only pro bono opportunities coming up soon with the IndyBar!

Mediation Day: Sept. 26

The IndyBar ADR Section Executive Committee is pleased to announce that it will host its fifth annual Mediation Day Friday, Sept. 26, 2014, at Barnes & Thornburg (11 South Meridian Street). Through Mediation Day, the section provides a service to the courts and community by volunteering time to mediate several screened cases for litigants who qualify for modest means mediation. Barnes & Thornburg has generously volunteered its downtown office to provide ample conference facilities for this joint endeavor.

To make this event a success, 10 volunteers who are registered domestic mediators and have experience mediating paternity cases are needed. Judge Sheryl Lynch in Paternity Court is screening non domestic violence cases and will have 10 cases for volunteers to mediate Sept. 26th. Each volunteer mediator would agree to mediate one case starting at either 8 a.m. or 1 p.m. Volunteers can bring a laptop to assist with drafting agreements, and lunch will be provided. There will also be a judicial officer on site to approve the mediated agreements.

If you wish to volunteer, please email ADR Section Chair Phyllis Armstrong at parmstrong@mede8.com with a desired start time (8 a.m. or 1 p.m.).

Ask a Lawyer: Oct. 14

Ask a Lawyer, the IndyBar’s largest pro bono effort, is accomplished only through the assistance of scores of lawyers and paralegals who manage sites (paralegals ) and provide free face-to-face legal advice (attorneys) to members of the community at locations throughout the city.

Volunteers are being sought for one of two shifts (2 to 4 p.m. or 4 to 6 p.m.) at 13 library/community center locations in Indy Tuesday, Oct. 14. To volunteer, contact Caren Chopp at cchopp@indybar.org.•

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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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