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Pilot project to use transcript-preparing companies, cut filing time

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Two companies will be hired to transcribe court records on an expedited schedule in a pilot program in selected courts, according to a Supreme Court order.   

Transcripts will be required to be filed within 30 days of a notice of appeal under the pilot, which will collect 20 cases for expedited transcript preparation, four each from courts in Hamilton, Lake, Madison, Tippecanoe and Vanderburgh counties.

An equal number of transcripts will be prepared by two companies named in the order, AVTRANZ, based in Phoenix, and New Jersey-based eScribers. The order spells out the procedure for how judges or court administrators in those counties may identify the cases. Cases selected for participation in the pilot will require service to the parties.

The pilot joins another pilot initiated in August in which video cameras and recording equipment were installed in three Indiana courtrooms where the audio/video record will form the official court transcript on appeal in a total of 45 cases.

According to the Supreme Court order on using professional transcription experts on appeal, appellant briefs will be filed no later than 45 days after notice of completion of transcript. Appellees then will have a like time to file responses.

The pilot program will run through at least through 2013, according to the order.
 

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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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