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Ask a Lawyer Volunteers Needed

Attorneys are needed to assist the public with legal guidance during the Fall 2010 Ask A Lawyer program on Tuesday, October 12. Volunteers are being sought for for one of two shifts, 2 to 4 p.m. or 4 to 6 p.m., at the program’s Brightwood, East Washington, East 38th Street and Shelby library locations. To volunteer, contact Caren Chopp at cchopp@indybar.org or call her at 269-2000.

Need to Prep for MPRE?

Don’t miss the IndyBar’s MPRE Review Course on Friday, October 29. This course is open to both attorneys and students. Go to www.indybar.org to learn more or to register.

Get Great IU Football Discounts for Law Day!

Enjoy a day of football at Indiana University as the Hoosiers take on Arkansas State on October 16. This date will mark “Law Day” at Memorial Stadium, and IndyBar members can snag great discounts on adult and youth tickets for this game. Look elsewhere in this issue for an order form or log on to www.indybar.org. Ticket requests must be made by October 8.

Pro Bono Award Nominations Sought

Each year the Indianapolis Bar Association recognizes the extraordinary volunteer efforts of its members through the presentation of Pro Bono Awards. Nominations are currently being accepted for this year’s awards. The Pro Bono Award will be presented at the Recognition Luncheon on Wednesday, November 10 at The Conrad Hotel. The award recipient needs to be a member of the IBA, and you are encouraged to consider actively practicing lawyers, retired lawyers, in-house and corporate counsel, law firms, law students and paralegals who have made outstanding contributions toward delivering volunteer legal services to the poor and disadvantaged. All IBA members, in the various facets of the legal profession, can be considered for the award. The deadline for nominations is Wednesday, October 13. Nominations or questions about the award can be directed to Caren Chopp at cchopp@indybar.org.

Solo and Small Firm Practitioners: This Program is for You!

Through the upcoming Surviving and Thriving program on Friday, October 8, the IndyBar’s Solo/Small Firm Section and Professionalism Committee are proud to provide solo and small firm practitioners—whether newly graduated, seasoned pros or those transitioning to the solo/small firm world—with the tools, information and connections to not only survive, but thrive in the practice of law. In just one day you’ll get practical advice, answers to questions and important tips on how to build a successful business. Relevant programming combined with respected local speakers make Surviving and Thriving an essential and cost effective program for all solo and small firm practitioners. 6.0 hours of CLE credit are available in the full day program. To view the agenda and to access online registration go to indybar.org!•

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  2. 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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  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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