Rule changes miss important update

October 15, 2010
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I’m happy that Indiana has finally entered the 21st century with its lawyer advertising rules and modernized the approach. The last time the rules had been touched, I was watching cartoons on Saturday mornings. That’s a long time ago.

While the rules touch on important subjects, including “ambulance chasers,” they don’t address a pressing issue with lawyers. There isn’t a review panel in place right now for lawyer advertising. Attorneys who want to advertise know what the guidelines are, but if they have questions, there’s no guarantee they’ll get an answer from the Disciplinary Commission.

A 2008 article in Indiana Lawyer about this topic points to inconsistencies in handling advertising that violates Rules of Professional Conduct. One way to fix this would be to create a review system for pre-approval of ads, but that’s never gotten steam. Research showed expenses ranged from $200,000 to $600,000 for this type of system. In a cash-strapped time, it’s not seen as a high priority.

That’s unfortunate because a lawyer’s credibility is on the line. Any lawyer that wants to advertise should educate himself or herself on the applicable rules and seek answers if they are unsure of something. It’s a shame that the commission that regulates the advertising can’t provide concrete answers on advertising on a consistent basis. While there may be some attorneys trying to skirt the line with their advertising, others appear to just make genuine mistakes. And if you’re caught breaking the rules, you’ll most likely be disciplined.

Even $200,000 right now is too much to spend, but if the Supreme Court or Indiana State Bar Association or other organization can come up with a way to fund a review system for pre-approval of lawyer advertising, I think it’s a good step to take.
 

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  1. The $320,000 is the amount the school spent in litigating two lawsuits: One to release the report involving John Trimble (as noted in the story above) and one defending the discrimination lawsuit. The story above does not mention the amount spent to defend the discrimination suit, that's why the numbers don't match. Thanks for reading.

  2. $160k? Yesterday the figure was $320k. Which is it Indiana Lawyer. And even more interesting, which well connected law firm got the (I am guessing) $320k, six time was the fired chancellor received. LOL. (From yesterday's story, which I guess we were expected to forget overnight ... "According to records obtained by the Journal & Courier, Purdue spent $161,812, beginning in July 2012, in a state open records lawsuit and $168,312, beginning in April 2013, for defense in a federal lawsuit. Much of those fees were spent battling court orders to release an independent investigation by attorney John Trimble that found Purdue could have handled the forced retirement better")

  3. The numbers are harsh; 66 - 24 in the House, 40 - 10 in the Senate. And it is an idea pushed by the Democrats. Dead end? Ummm not necessarily. Just need to go big rather than go home. Nuclear option. Give it to the federal courts, the federal courts will ram this down our throats. Like that other invented right of the modern age, feticide. Rights too precious to be held up by 2000 years of civilization hang in the balance. Onward!

  4. I'm currently seeing someone who has a charge of child pornography possession, he didn't know he had it because it was attached to a music video file he downloaded when he was 19/20 yrs old and fought it for years until he couldn't handle it and plead guilty of possession. He's been convicted in Illinois and now lives in Indiana. Wouldn't it be better to give them a chance to prove to the community and their families that they pose no threat? He's so young and now because he was being a kid and downloaded music at a younger age, he has to pay for it the rest of his life? It's unfair, he can't live a normal life, and has to live in fear of what people can say and do to him because of something that happened 10 years ago? No one deserves that, and no one deserves to be labeled for one mistake, he got labeled even though there was no intent to obtain and use the said content. It makes me so sad to see someone I love go through this and it makes me holds me back a lot because I don't know how people around me will accept him...second chances should be given to those under the age of 21 at least so they can be given a chance to live a normal life as a productive member of society.

  5. It's just an ill considered remark. The Sup Ct is inherently political, as it is a core part of government, and Marbury V Madison guaranteed that it would become ever more so Supremely thus. So her remark is meaningless and she just should have not made it.... what she could have said is that Congress is a bunch of lazys and cowards who wont do their jobs so the hard work of making laws clear, oftentimes stops with the Sups sorting things out that could have been resolved by more competent legislation. That would have been a more worthwhile remark and maybe would have had some relevance to what voters do, since voters cant affect who gets appointed to the supremely un-democratic art III courts.

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