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IndyBar: Fellows Demonstrate Community Commitment at Service Events

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By Carolyn Clay Hall, Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP

The Indianapolis Bar Foundation (IBF), the charitable arm of the Indianapolis Bar Association, chooses a new class of Distinguished Fellows each year. Fellows commit to contributing financially to the IBF, but there is also a service component that helps the Fellows give back to the community in a non-legal way.
 

iba-vols-15col.jpg IBF Fellows help prepare meals during the 2013 Fellows service project at Indy’s Second Helpings. (IL Photo/ Aaron P. Bernstein)

The idea to add a service component to each Fellows class began several years ago. In 2011 and 2013, two Fellows classes provided assistance to Second Helpings by preparing food for distribution to those in need. Second Helpings plays an important role in the community by accepting donated food to prepare meals for children and adults, then distributing those meals free of charge through local social service agencies in Indianapolis and surroundings areas.

In addition to each Fellows class volunteering for a particular organization, there are service projects available for all Distinguished Fellows and Senior Fellows throughout the year, regardless of class. For several years, Distinguished and Senior Fellows have volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House by preparing meals for the families of the children staying at Riley Hospital. In 2013, three separate volunteer events gave Fellows meaningful opportunities to participate while spending time with colleagues and family.

Distinguished and Senior Fellows are continuing their service efforts in 2014 with two volunteer events—one at Gleaners Food Bank and another at the Ronald McDonald House—planned so far. At the most recent event on July 23 at Gleaners Food Bank, approximately 20 lawyers and judges along with family members joined forces to pack 1,854 bags with nutritional food and snacks for children. These “Backsacks” are provided to local schoolchildren on Friday afternoons to ensure their access to healthy food over the weekend.

Next up, the Fellows will join together after work on the evening of September 30 at the Ronald McDonald House. Volunteers can either pitch in that night and help provide a full dinner for 35 to 40 houseguests, or they can donate items most commonly needed by the organization, including paper products, plastic ware, and other necessities needed when away from home. An invitation to Fellows will be sent soon asking for volunteers.•

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  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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