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Free CLE offered for TTALT volunteers

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Bar Crawl

Bar Crawl is Indiana Lawyer’s new section that will highlight 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.

The Indiana State Bar Association will offer its ninth annual free CLE session to prepare for the Talk to a Lawyer Today program from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 11 at Barnes & Thornburg in downtown Indianapolis.

The event primes attorneys for the Jan. 17, 2011, Talk to a Lawyer Today call-in site at the ISBA offices. Attorneys who attend the training program can receive six hours of CLE, including one hour of ethics, in exchange for taking a two-hour shift on the Martin Luther King federal holiday and for accepting at least one pro bono case.

As in year’s past, government attorneys who are unable to handle pro bono cases may still receive the free CLE in exchange for volunteering for a two-hour shift and will pay a nominal registration fee of $25. Those who attend the CLE but do not take a pro bono case and do not participate in TTALT will pay $200 for the CLE. Pro bono districts around the state will host video replays of this CLE. Those CLE credits are also free in exchange for a commitment to a TTALT event and a pro bono case in that district. Contact local district plan administrators for more information about when those sessions will take place and to volunteer for TTALT in areas of the state outside of Indianapolis. Their contact information is available at http://courts.in.gov/probono under “Information for Indiana attorneys.”

Each year, the training sessions for the ISBA call-in include different legal topics for the volunteers. At the end, they each receive a reference book of updated answers to commonly asked questions that callers may ask; the book is provided in part by the Indianapolis Bar Association. Seminar attendees in other districts also receive this book for participating.

This year, the sessions will address new child support guidelines, mental health law, adoption law, Social Security disability, financial reform legislation, and ethics. During the 2010 TTALT event, all 14 pro bono districts had at least one walk-in and/or call-in site for lawyers to answer questions from members of their communities for free. More than 300 members of the legal community, most of them attorneys, participated in some way. At the ISBA site alone, 26 lawyers talked to 322 callers, up from 266 in 2009, according to Laurie Beltz Boyd, district plan administrator for Heartland Pro Bono Council.

While the ISBA event typically includes attorneys who work in District 8 - Boone, Hamilton, Marion, Hendricks, Hancock, Johnson, Morgan, and Shelby counties – the calls are from around the state. The ISBA has also maintained a statewide helpline for Spanish-speaking callers during the event. To register for the CLE seminar or for more information about the upcoming ISBA Talk to a Lawyer Today event, contact Boyd at Heartland Pro Bono Council, 151 N. Delaware, Suite 1800, Indianapolis, IN 46204; Laurie.Boyd@ilsi.net; (317) 631-9410, ext. 2267. The registration form is on the ISBA’s website, www.inbar.org.•

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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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