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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. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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