3 dozen TTALT sites around the state

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Bar Crawl

Bar Crawl is Indiana Lawyer’s section highlighting bar association news around the state. We try to include bar association news and trends in our regular stories, but we want to include more news from specialty and county bars. If you’d like to submit an update about your bar association or a photo from an event your bar association has hosted to Indiana Lawyer, or if you have questions about having your bar association news included in the newspaper, please send it to Rebecca Berfanger,, along with contact information for any follow-up questions at least two weeks in advance of the issue date.

  3 dozen TTALT sites around state

While some attorneys got a day off of work Jan. 17 when courts, government offices, banks, and many businesses were closed to honor the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., more than 200 lawyers volunteered to spend two hours answering legal questions from the public as part of the Indiana State Bar Association’s 10th annual Talk to a Lawyer Today event.

This year, the event included three dozen walk-in sites around Indiana along with a handful of call-in sites, including two in Indianapolis where attorneys answered questions in both English and Spanish from callers throughout the state.

In the past, callers have asked about issues concerning family law, particularly child support and custody; criminal law; and consumer law, such as bankruptcy and other debt issues.

One of the TTALT’s organizers involved since planning began for the first TTALT event in 2002, Indianapolis attorney Patricia McKinnon, said more than 200 volunteers participated this year. She said more than 1,000 attorneys have volunteered since the program started.

All but two pro bono districts set up TTALT call-in or walk-in sites this year, McKinnon said.

However, she added, attorney and State Sen. Randall Head, R-Logansport, helped facilitate two call-in sites in District 5, one of the two districts. One call-in site was the office of Miami Superior Judge J. David Grund, and the other was the office of Rochester attorney Danny Seitz.

Most participating districts had one or two walk-in or call-in sites. However, District 1 had about a dozen walk-in sites run by volunteer attorneys in the district that serves northwest Indiana counties, and District 6 had walk-in sites in Delaware, Grant, Henry, and Madison counties.

Compared with the early years of the program, McKinnon said in recent years she has noticed an increase in the number of attorneys who volunteer.

In fact, Laurie Beltz Boyd, plan administrator for Heartland Pro Bono Council, said that this year she started a waiting list for volunteers. Heartland coordinates volunteers for the call-in site at the ISBA offices in Indianapolis.

McKinnon thanked ISBA president Jeffry Lind for his help in promoting the event, which included a 6:30 a.m. interview on WISH-TV in Indianapolis. She said he drove from Terre Haute to downtown Indianapolis for the interview, then headed back to Terre Haute to get to work.

“This year, more than ever, attorneys needed to step up and help out the public reeling from the economic blow of the last few years. And they did so,” she said.•

– Rebecca Berfanger

Serving Seniors

Charles Bush Charles E. Bush, a law student at Valparaiso and Indiana State Bar Association Young Lawyer Section Council member, participated in the “Young Lawyers Serving Hoosier Seniors” service project Jan. 15. (Photo submitted)

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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.