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Jennifer Nelson
Jennifer Mehalik
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We don’t publish rumors

Jennifer Mehalik
January 5, 2009
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Today's blog is from IL managing editor Betsy Brockett: Day after day, we read stories in the National Law Journal and other legal publications about how the tumultuous economy has hit the legal profession again and again. Even close to home,...
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New Year’s resolutions

Jennifer Mehalik
December 30, 2008
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It’s the time of year when we reexamine the past and look to a new year with hope and excitement in terms of bettering ourselves with resolutions. Exercise more; eat less; travel more; stop smoking. Many people make personal resolutions, but...
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Complaint reignites debate

Jennifer Mehalik
December 19, 2008
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At the end of October, I wrote  about Indianapolis defense attorney Bob Hammerle filing a complaint with the Disciplinary Commission regarding television ads run by Attorney General Republican candidate Greg Zoeller. Hammerle has since heard back and I thought you’d like...
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What’s in a name?

Jennifer Mehalik
December 17, 2008
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After reading the comments on our last post, I wanted to expound on my previous post on law firm name changes. Firm names evolve with the addition or departure of partners. That’s the nature of the business. It’s when we lose...
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Mergers end Indiana names

Jennifer Mehalik
December 15, 2008
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Sommer Barnard – gone. Locke Reynolds – gone beginning next year. Yes, the attorneys and staff remain in Indiana, but the names have changed or soon will change. Their new names come from firms based outside of the state. It’s just...
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More law firm job cuts

Jennifer Mehalik
December 12, 2008
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Is it harder on the psyche of the legal community to hear of cuts and mergers from a large firm as opposed to a smaller one? That thought popped into my head after learning about the 22 staff cuts at Baker...
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Support staff spread thinner

Jennifer Mehalik
December 10, 2008
Comment(1)
Let’s keep this blog’s discussion about law firm staff cuts going and talk about support staff cuts today. The National Law Journal has an article about paralegal, secretary, and other support staff cuts at firms. Firms are looking to cut costs...
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Marketing cuts “dumb”

Jennifer Mehalik
December 8, 2008
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Here’s a little more on the topic of law firm marketing cuts. Reporter Michael Hoskins spoke to an expert at Altman Weil, a legal consulting firm, last week for a story on a different topic and the two also briefly discussed...
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  1. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  3. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  4. 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.

  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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