ILNews

Long-time legal aid leader stepping down

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Indiana Legal Services executive director Norman Metzger has announced he will retire March 31, 2015, ending a tenure at the nonprofit that stretched more than four decades.

“Norman has been and remains a committed defender of the legal rights of the poor and vulnerable,” said Mary Fondrisi, president of the ILS board of directors and a partner with Smith Carpenter Fondrisi & Cummins in Jeffersonville. “Through his leadership of ILS, Norman has both personally and indirectly improved the lives of individuals and families throughout Indiana.”

The board of directors has hired Management Information Exchange to conduct a national search for a new executive director to lead ILS.

Metzger has guided what was then known as Legal Services Organization of Indianapolis, Inc. since 1970. Under his leadership, the nonprofit expanded beyond Marion County into central and southern Indiana communities like Bloomington, Evansville, Muncie, Richmond and Terre Haute.

In 2000, at the urging of the organization’s parent, the national Legal Services Corp., Metzger negotiated a merger with the Legal Services of Northwest Indiana, Inc. in Gary to create Indiana Legal Services. The following year, the Legal Services Program of Northern Indiana, Inc. in South Bend and Lafayette joined the organization.

Today, ILS is the largest poverty law firm in Indiana, serving clients in all 92 counties.

A native of Larwill, Metzger graduated from Manchester University and the University of Michigan Law School.

He is credited with helping to pioneer special legal practices in poverty law by assigning experienced attorneys to focus on frequently recurring legal issues in certain disadvantaged populations. The resulting special projects started in the 1980s by tackling the legal problems facing farmers and prison inmates. The projects soon expanded to include special initiatives for AIDS victims.

Currently, ILS has nine special legal projects that respond to complicated legal matters involving housing, consumer rights, health care, immigration and language rights, seniors, the homeless, low-income taxpayers, migrant farm workers and military veterans.
 
The agency has posted the job announcement on its website and requests résumes by Sept. 12. Anyone interested in applying for the position can find more information by visiting www.indianalegalservices.org.


 
 

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  1. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  2. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  3. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  4. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  5. I totally agree with John Smith.

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