One bar’s rates going down

February 11, 2010
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The current economy can make businesses cut fees in hopes of attracting more customers or raise fees to cover increasing costs and hope it doesn’t drive people away.

The American Bar Association took the first approach this week and voted to retool their dues structure in order to make it more affordable for all types of attorneys to join or continue to be members.

Solo practitioners will see their dues drop up to 50 percent; government lawyers, judges, and attorneys working for nonprofit legal services, who already receive a discount, will have their dues slashed by up to 25 percent.

The ABA will also bill lawyers in installments instead of needing the years’ worth of dues in one lump sum. A release from the ABA says it understood there wasn’t a one-size fits all approach for attorneys who practice law.

It’s not cheap for attorneys or the law firms/offices that pay for their attorneys to join various bar associations and sections. It’s nice to see the ABA recognizes that many lawyers are struggling in this economy and is trying to address the situation to allow people to maintain memberships or join at lower costs. But for smaller bar associations, it may not be economically possible to lower rates for everyone, or even just some members.

The Indiana State Bar Association voted in November to increase rates by more than 20 percent, the first rate hike in eight years. Those increases take effect in May.

Because of the ISBA’s decision and the economy, the St. Joseph County Bar Association decided to delay the 2010 rate increase, said executive director Amy McGuire. Last year, members saw a $25 increase in SJCBA dues; rates were supposed to increase another $25 dollars this year.

Some bar associations, like the Allen County or the Evansville Bar associations, have not changed dues in the last couple of years.
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  1. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  2. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  3. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

  4. Why do so many lawyers get away with lying in court, Jamie Yoak?

  5. Future generations will be amazed that we prosecuted people for possessing a harmless plant. The New York Times came out in favor of legalization in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.

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