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IBA Frontlines - 8/17/12

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Don’t Miss Out: IndyBar Scholarships Available

Two scholarships are currently available through IndyBar sections. See below for details, and apply today!

Government Practice Section Law Student Scholarship – The IndyBar Government Practice Section is pleased to announce the availability of an annual scholarship in the amount of $1,000 to be awarded to a second or third year law student with an interest in government practice. All application materials are due by August 24, 2012. The scholarship will be awarded by August 31, 2012. Visit indybar.org to view additional information about the scholarship and to access the scholarship application.

Appellate Practice Section AJEI Summit Scholarship – One scholarship to attend the Appellate Judges Education Institute 2012 Summit, to be held November 15-18 in New Orleans, is being offered by the IndyBar Appellate Practice Section. The annual AJEI Summit provides a lively and highly informative continuing legal education program designed by and for appellate judges, appellate lawyers and appellate staff attorneys. The scholarship will be in the amount of $1,000 and will cover the conference registration fee as well as a portion of travel and lodging expenses. Applications are due by September 10, 2012. Visit indybar.org to view additional information about the scholarship and to access the scholarship application.

Volunteers Needed for 2012 Mediation Day

Don’t miss out on an opportunity to volunteer for the third annual Mediation Day, hosted by the IndyBar Alternative Dispute Resolution Section. Volunteers at Mediation Day, scheduled for September 21, 2012 at Faegre Baker Daniels, provide a service to the courts and community by volunteering time to mediate several screened cases for litigants who qualify for modest means mediation. Each volunteer mediator agrees to mediate one case starting at either 8 a.m. or 1 p.m. A judicial officer will be on site to approve the mediated agreements. This volunteer opportunity is open to all IndyBar members, though ADR section members will be given preference. All volunteers must be registered mediators. Interested? Contact Phyllis Armstrong at parmstrong@med8.com and indicate your desired start time (8 a.m. or 1 p.m.). Visit indybar.org for more information.

Do You Love to Network?

The IndyBar is excited to launch the Indy Attorneys Network, a brand new group within the bar dedicated solely to facilitating networking between bar members across all practice types and areas, in 2013. A committee is currently being formed to plan the group’s launch and activities for the upcoming year. If you are interested in volunteering for this committee, please contact Chuck Schmal at cschmal@uspatent.com. An organizational meeting for the committee will be held in late August.

Calling All Writers!

The IndyBar is seeking members who are interested in contributing to the bar’s various publications, including the IndyBar website, IndyBar blog and IndyBar pages within the Indiana Lawyer. Writing opportunities are flexible and have the potential to be ongoing or simply one time commitments. Interesting in contributing? Contact Mary Kay Price at mprice@indybar.org, including information on what type of content you feel comfortable contributing.

Old Electronics Gathering Dust?

Recycle them for free with the IndyBar! The IndyBar’s Go Green Committee is sponsoring a Drive-Thru E-Cycling event open to IndyBar members and the public, on Friday, August 24, 2012, from 8 a.m. to noon, at Computer Experts, 101 E. Michigan Street. IndyBar volunteers will accept business and household electronic waste—computers, scanners, printers, cell phones, microwaves, VCRs, DVD players, game systems, and other recyclables—for recycling by RecycleForce. Visit indybar.org for additional details.•

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  1. 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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  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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