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Indiana attorneys help Haiti

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Attorneys around Indiana with connections to Haiti are helping with that country's relief efforts following an earthquake that registered as a magnitude 7 that destroyed countless buildings and injured and killed still unknown numbers of people in an already impoverished country.

Christopher Stevenson of Wilson Kehoe & Winingham in Indianapolis traveled to LaMare, Haiti, in March 2009 with other members of Evangelical Covenant Church of Lafayette. That trip was affiliated with Covenant World Relief, which his firm has chosen to support. An Indiana Lawyer article, "Attorneys are on a mission," included Stevenson's experience on that trip.

"Covenant is currently using funds to provide emergency relief kits that will be distributed through World Relief International. The kits include food, water, and blankets," Stevenson said via e-mail.

While the village he visited was not hit as hard by the earthquake as other parts of the country, he said he had contact with many people in Port-au-Prince and spent some time there when he was visiting.

To support Covenant World Relief, Wilson Kehoe & Winingham will donate $25 per employee, plus whatever employees decide to give.

Another attorney who has recently been to Haiti, Jeffrey J. Newell of Ball Eggleston in Lafayette, has been working on a network of Catholic churches with sister churches in Haiti.

A week before the earthquake, Newell had returned to Indiana from his 12th trip to St. Joseph Church of Pendus, about 120 miles from Port-au-Prince and about 10 miles northwest from Gros Morne. He was among about a dozen others with experience in Haiti who realized it would be better to have one large organization than about 60 individual churches figuring out what to do.

Newell helped start Indiana Haiti Earthquake Relief Organization, or Indiana HERO, to organize donation drives for money, supplies, and to help coordinate medical teams who will travel to Haiti when it is possible.

More information about earthquake relief is available on the Web site for Newell's church.

The Law Office of Bryan K. Bullock in Merrillville has supported relief efforts in conjunction with the Salvation Army. That firm is soliciting donations of food, water, clothing, and toiletries to send to Haiti.

Bryan Bullock said via e-mail. "I will accept donations until Feb. 14, 2010. As you know, time is of the essence. Please participate in this effort. I cannot accept monetary donations, but I encourage each of you to make donations to the International Red Cross and World Vision."

While Bullock said he's never been to Haiti, he's had an interest in the country for a long time and sees the need to help. He also helped solicit donations for other natural disasters in Haiti, such as a 2005 hurricane.

Contributions can be made to the law office, 7863 Broadway, Suite 222, Merrillville, IN 46410. The Salvation Army will coordinate deliveries of the items. For more information, contact the law firm at (219) 472-1546.

A more in-depth look at what Indiana attorneys are doing for Haiti will appear in the Feb. 3-16, 2010, edition of Indiana Lawyer.

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  1. He TIL team,please zap this comment too since it was merely marking a scammer and not reflecting on the story. Thanks, happy Monday, keep up the fine work.

  2. You just need my social security number sent to your Gmail account to process then loan, right? Beware scammers indeed.

  3. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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