SOUTH BEND - Indianapolis-based court reporting firm Stewart Richardson & Associates has acquired Michiana Reporters in South Bend. The additional office brings the total number of Stewart Richardson employees to nearly 60 throughout the state.

Stewart Richardson has offices in Indianapolis, South Bend, Fort Wayne, Evansville, Carmel and Valparaiso. President Thomas Richardson says "we are proud and happy to join with the owners of Michiana Reporters, Tammy Vandervort, Melody Goodrich, and their entire staff. Together we will continue to provide the highest-quality service - now with extra benefits, including increased availability and 24/7 access to our online document repository."

The combination, which includes retaining the Michiana Reporters staff, involves a new office with conference rooms, technology improvements and HD Videoconferencing. Vandervort says "our clients have always been our number one priority. We have grown exponentially over the past several years, and when looking to the future, we knew our capacity to fulfill the demand of our clients was beyond our ability to keep the standard of service our clients deserve." Goodrich adds "we believe the joining of our firms will bring new life to the court reporting field in the city of South Bend. South Bend will now have 'big city' services, while still retaining the small-town charm."

The companies say the rates at the new office will stay the same.