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Firms focus on agriculture, energy, climate policy

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Two Indianapolis firms are forming new practice groups to focus on agriculture, energy, and climate-policy issues.

Baker & Daniels is assembling an energy and climate policy group of about 10 attorneys with experience in legal areas such as anti-trust, Securities and Exchange Commission, intellectual property, and tax law, according to attorney Terry Hall who will head the group with a colleague in Washington, D.C.

The firm has been working for about 18 months on forming the group, and its creation comes at a time when issues are arising and the field is ripe for new policy, Hall said.

This new practice group comes as another Indianapolis firm, Ice Miller, announced its formation of an agricultural law initiative. The group includes about 14 attorneys and industry specialists, and Ice Miller has brought on Beth Bechdol, former deputy director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, to help the initiative led by former co-managing partner Melissa Proffitt Reese.
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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

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  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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