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Judge, others honored around Law Day

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The Evansville Bar Association recognized a judge and others in the legal profession during two annual events that take place near Law Day.

The association honored Vanderburgh Superior Judge J. Douglas Knight April 23 with the James Bethel Gresham Award at the annual Law Day dinner hosted by the organization. The past president of the EBA and past co-chair of the Volunteer Lawyer Program of Southwestern Indiana has served as chief judge of the Vanderburgh Superior Court; supervisor of the Misdemeanor Traffic Court and Small Claims Court; and as court technology supervisor. Prior to becoming a judge in 1987, he worked in private practice and as a deputy prosecutor.

"Judge Knight's guidance, insight, and countless hours of dedicated work serves as an example to all of us of the importance of opening the courts and encouraging attorney pro bono service," said Shawn M. Sullivan, president of the EBA, in a statement.

Judge Knight is a member of the Indiana Supreme Court's Records Management Committee, Task Force on Public Access to Court Records and Privacy, the Protection Order Committee, and the Evansville/ Vanderburgh County Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence.

On April 21, the EBA and Volunteer Lawyer Program of Southwest Indiana recognized attorneys P. Michael Mitchell and R. Scott Wylie; legal secretary Teresa Koch; and paralegal Lauren Hall Jones other attorneys and legal staff.

Mitchell, of Bamberger Foreman Oswald and Hahn, received the EBA and Volunteer Lawyer Program of Southwest Indiana's Susan K. Helfrich Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Service.

He presented it for "the attorney or law firm whose actions exemplify a true commitment to making justice accessible to all individuals, regardless of economic ability," according to an EBA statement. "Mitchell donated over 50 hours of pro bono service in 2009, often taking cases that he believed the person was being treated unfairly."

Wylie who works for the Volunteer Lawyer Program of Southwest Indiana, received the Doran Perdue Service Award for his service to the EBA. Wylie helped implement a law clinic for pro se litigants with family law issues. That clinic is considered to be a model for other counties.

Wylie is also an active member of the Boards of Centro Latino for Literacy, the Legal Aid Society of Evansville, Families Thru International Adoption, Lampion Center, Vanderburgh Community Foundation, New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art, Hoosier Salon and Gallery, and USI/New Harmony Foundation.

Koch, who works at Bamberger Foreman Oswald and Hahn, received the Florence Britzius Award, which recognizes legal secretaries who have shown outstanding commitment to the profession and the legal community. Koch helped organize, prepare, and revise a number of exams for legal secretaries in Indiana, and encourages others to become certified.

Jones received the EBA Outstanding Paralegal Award, which was established in 2009. Jones is currently a member and holds leadership positions on a number of national and state paralegal associations.

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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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