RebeccaBerfanger

Rebecca Berfanger joined the Indiana Lawyer staff in 2006. She typically covers law schools, bar associations, pro bono and social justice issues, and interesting things lawyers do when they're not working.

She reported for legal publications in Boston from 2001 to 2004, and earned her MSJ in magazine publishing from Northwestern University in 2005. She has taught magazine publishing as an adjunct professor at her alma mater Ball State University, where she majored in French and journalism and graduated with honors in 2000.

The Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has honored her work annually since 2006. In 2008, she received the ACLU of Indiana's Media Defender of Liberty award.

She has also written for non-legal publications while living in Indianapolis, Boston, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.

Recent Articles

Attorneys discuss pros and cons of practicing in 2 states

April 13, 2011
Attorneys in Indiana know that they must meet certain ongoing requirements to maintain their law licenses: CLE hours, and staying abreast of procedural changes. Why, then, would anyone want to be licensed in two states?
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Protective Order Pro Bono Project offers training

March 30, 2011
For the last 10 years, volunteer attorneys and students in central Indiana have been helping domestic violence victims obtain protective orders, but before embarking on this process, volunteers must be trained on various matters.
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Girl Scouts learn law, bar offers scholarships

March 30, 2011
Girl Scouts from Indiana recently learned about the law and legal careers. Also, the Johnson County Bar Association is offering scholarships to local students.
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Law School Briefs - 3/30/11

March 30, 2011
Two Indiana law schools ranked in the top 20 of U.S. News & World Report's annual list of top graduate schools. The American Bar Association has recognized Valparaiso University School of Law.
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Legal analysts use media to educate public about issues

March 30, 2011
Lawyers and judges who eat, sleep, and breathe the law might find it easy to forget that not everyone understands the finer points of how the justice system works. This is where legal commentators – analysts of the inner workings of the legal system – come into play.
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Law school dean on NFL Network as legal analyst

March 16, 2011
If you watch the NFL Network, you may have recognized a familiar name among the commentators. Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis Dean Gary R. Roberts has been serving as an on-air legal analyst for the network discussing the current labor dispute between NFL owners and players.
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Bar Crawl - March 16, 2011

March 16, 2011
The Evansville Bar Association will celebrate Law Day 2011 in late April. On April 28, mock trials and a student lunch will take place; Applications for an October 2011 to October 2013 term on the Indiana State Bar Association board of governors are due April 1.
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Law School Briefs; March 16, 2011

March 16, 2011
The third annual Equal Justice Works dinner at Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis will take place April 9 at 6 p.m.; Research by the Indiana University Maurer School of Law’s Center on the Global Legal Profession was featured in an ABA Journal cover story titled “What Lawyers Earn”; Students at Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis, along with students from other schools in central Indiana, have started a program to provide free legal services to residents of Indianapolis.
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Loan repayment assistance now available

March 16, 2011
Applications for the John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program are due March 31 to the Office of the Indiana Attorney General.
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Insider's look at FBI

March 16, 2011
To continue to improve community relations, the Indianapolis office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation has expanded its Citizens’ Academy programs. Sessions around the state offer individuals the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at the federal law enforcement agency.
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Recent Blog Posts

Do parades and other big events interrupt your work?

March 17, 2011
Has today being St. Patrick’s Day been a cause for celebration or inconvenience, especially if you’re office is on or near a parade route?
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We the People seeks support

March 14, 2011
To express their concerns over proposed budget cuts eliminating the We the People civic education program, a group of that program’s alumni from Indiana have started a Facebook petition to tell Congress to continue the program’s funding.
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Museum focuses on justice system

March 7, 2011

Museum offers response to dramatization of crime and punishment using history, artifacts of crimes and criminals throughout U.S. history, and simulators used to train police.

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Happy Valentine's Day

February 14, 2011
The Marion County Clerk’s Office has raised more than $5,500 for American Heart Association since 2007 from its “Chapel of Love” event on Valentine’s Day. This year’s event had 35 couples who reserved a spot to say “I do.”
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Observations of immigration bill hearing

February 10, 2011
A reporter’s observations about the Senate Committee on Pensions and Labor hearing on Senate Bill 590, an immigration bill, from the hallway outside of the Senate Chamber.
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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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