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IBA: Make Time to Pause for Professionalism

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Civility and professionalism — and often the lack of it — have become increasingly discussed subjects in judicial opinions and between lawyers. To recognize and advance the importance of civility and professionalism in the legal profession, several years ago the Indianapolis Bar Association founded a Professionalism Committee. This Committee has undertaken several projects, most of which are driven by the “Standards of Professionalism” adopted by the Committee. Those standards can be found at www.indybar.org/resources/professionalism.

We are all aware of the Rules of Professional Conduct, the Indiana Rules For Admission To The Bar And The Discipline Of Attorneys, the Rules For Alternative Dispute Resolution, and the Code of Judicial Conduct. Those rules spell out the formal parameters that govern our conduct as lawyers and judges. A new program from the Indianapolis Bar Association seeks to quickly and easily add some practical insight about how those rules apply in daily practice.

Over the last year, the Professionalism Committee and numerous preeminent members of the Indianapolis Bar Association and the Judiciary have worked on a new initiative entitled, “Pause for Professionalism.” The purpose of this program is to provide members of the Bar Association with quick (no more than 5 minutes) and easy to access (just “click”) videos that are delivered to your in-box. The presenters are highly respected judges and lawyers who give a succinct presentation on the practical application of topics dealing with civility, professionalism, and/or ethics. You can look forward to seeing videos from Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, Magistrate Judge Tim A. Baker, Chief Judge Margret Robb, Judge Gerald Zore, Melissa Avery, Bob Hammerle, Wayne Turner, Melissa Proffitt Reese, and John Van Winkle. The subjects include civility in family law, discovery, criminal law, appeals, mediation, business transactions, and more.

Beginning in March, please keep your eye open for the “Pause for Professionalism” link within the IndyBar weekly e-bulletins. The Professionalism Committee encourages you to click on these videos and take no more than five minutes of your time to “Pause for Professionalism.” New videos will be distributed every other month; following their debut each will be available for viewing anytime on the IndyBar website at http://www.indybar.org/resources/video-gallery.php.•
 

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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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