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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, rberfanger@ibj.com, 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. Please I need help with my class action lawsuits, im currently in pro-se and im having hard time findiNG A LAWYER TO ASSIST ME

  2. Access to the court (judiciary branch of government) is the REAL problem, NOT necessarily lack of access to an attorney. Unfortunately, I've lived in a legal and financial hell for the past six years due to a divorce (where I was, supposedly, represented by an attorney) in which I was defrauded of settlement and the other party (and helpers) enriched through the fraud. When I attempted to introduce evidence and testify (pro se) in a foreclosure/eviction, I was silenced (apparently on procedural grounds, as research I've done since indicates). I was thrown out of a residence which was to be sold, by a judge who refused to allow me to speak in (the supposedly "informal") small claims court where the eviction proceeding (by ex-brother-in-law) was held. Six years and I can't even get back on solid or stable ground ... having bank account seized twice, unlawfully ... and now, for the past year, being dragged into court - again, contrary to law and appellate decisions - by former attorney, who is trying to force payment from exempt funds. Friday will mark fifth appearance. Hopefully, I'll be allowed to speak. The situation I find myself in shouldn't even be possible, much less dragging out with no end in sight, for years. I've done nothing wrong, but am watching a lot of wrong being accomplished under court jurisdiction; only because I was married to someone who wanted and was granted a divorce (but was not willing to assume the responsibilities that come with granting the divorce). In fact, the recalcitrant party was enriched by well over $100k, although it was necessarily split with other actors. Pro bono help? It's a nice dream ... but that's all it is, for too many. Meanwhile, injustice marches on.

  3. Both sites mentioned in the article appear to be nonfunctional to date (March 28, 2017). http://indianalegalanswers.org/ returns a message stating the "server is taking too long to respond" and http://www.abafreelegalasnswers.org/ "can't find the server". Although this does not surprise me, it is disheartening to know that access to the judicial branch of government remains out of reach for too many citizens (for procedural rather than meritorious reasons) of Indiana. Any updates regarding this story?

  4. I've been denied I appeal court date took a year my court date was Nov 9,2016 and have not received a answer yet

  5. Warsaw indiana dcs lying on our case. We already proved that in our first and most recent court appearance i need people to contact me who have evidence of dcs malpractice please email or facebook nathaniel hollett thank you

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