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Hickey: State of the Bar Association

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IBA-Hickey-ChristineIt is hard to believe, but the year is officially half over. Reflecting on the first six months, it has been a very productive, very good time for the Bar. The State of the Bar is indeed very good.

Membership. In June, volunteer Bar leaders personally called lapsed or prospective IBA members during the first-ever “membership week”. At a time when other volunteer organizations have suffered unusually high rates of attrition, the IBA boasts a membership stronger than ever. Current membership stands at 4,585.

E-Filing Task Force. The Marion County Circuit and Superior Court Electronic Filing Pilot Project is underway and members are using the system. According to recent figures, approximately 20% of filings are currently electronic. The Task Force is soliciting comments via email to iba@indybar.org. All input is encouraged. The Task Force will meet with the Marion County judges this fall to share feedback on the project.

Legal Services Advisory Committee. Lawyer Referral Service is on the verge of launching a new online referral management system thanks to the hard work of the LSAC Committee and IBA staff. Panel members will find the web-based referral and reporting system both efficient and user-friendly. Referrals to panel members this year total 10,454.

Website. The current IBA website will be a thing of the past in months to come. The IBA has contracted with a website design and development firm and is working diligently on the creation of a new website that is as amazing functionally as it is visually appealing. The projected launch date is late fall.

Solo-Small Firm. This Section is planning a “Boot Camp” aimed at practical tips for sole practitioners and small-firm attorneys on everything from vendor relations to the day-to-day running of a law practice, with a focus on younger lawyers. Being held in conjunction with the Professionalism Committee Surviving and Thriving Program, save the date on October 8, 2010 for a not-to-be-missed event.

Bar Leader. In May, the Bar graduated 25 attorneys from the seventh class of its kind, unveiling an impressive array of community projects. Applications have been accepted for the next class which will begin in September and the Bar Leader Steering Committee is already in the planning stages for another successful program.

Bench Bar. In June, the Bar had a record number of first-time attendees at the Bench Bar Conference in Louisville. A first-ever special reception to welcome these attendees was hosted by the Membership Committee. Overall, registration for the conference exceeded 300, there was exceptional CLE programming, and the networking opportunities were plentiful. The conference was a success in all respects and volunteers are already in the planning stages for Bench Bar 2011.

Meetings of Members. Our members have come out to these monthly events, from luncheons to evening cocktail hours. As a Bar, we have met with lawyer-legislators, celebrated paralegals, had cocktails with opposing counsel, and there are many more to come.

Professionalism. This committee has created a resume bank for displaced/unemployed lawyers. Resumes for those who are interested can be emailed to cchopp@indybar.org.

Programs. The IBA has presented 91 programs so far this year, including social events and continuing legal education. The remainder of the year has a calendar packed with additional program offerings.

Bar Review. The Summer 2010 session of IndyBar Review was sold out and has just concluded.

Destination CLE. The Bar is taking the show on the road to Las Vegas. On November 18-19th, save the date to travel with friends and colleagues for an impressive line-up of programs, speakers, and fun while getting CLE on a trip to the strip. Be on the look-out for details in coming issues of the Indiana Lawyer and the IBA EBulletin.

Leadership. An organization is only as good as those who belong and those who lead. IBA Board members are working hard on your behalf. Board meetings are monthly, and each member has taken on a project or initiative for the IBA. Section, Division, and Committee Chairs and volunteers likewise are responsible for all of the great things happening at the Bar. IBA Staff has guided every project and daily continues to insure that the State of the Bar is and continues to be not just good, but better than ever. And that is the State of the Bar.•

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  2. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  3. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  4. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  5. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

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