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IBA Frontlines - 9/28/12

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Don’t Miss Surviving & Thriving

The IndyBar’s Surviving & Thriving event is a must-attend program for any local solo or small firm practitioners. In just one day you’ll get practical advice, answers to questions, education on various substantive law topics 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, plus registration includes a free post-seminar cocktail reception at Adobo Grill! Go to www.indybar.org to view the agenda and to access online registration

Rule Change Orders Issued

The Indiana Supreme Court has issued several orders that amend the rules of court. Amendments include changes to the Rules of Appellate Procedure, the Indiana Admission and Discipline Rules, Indiana Administrative Rules and Indiana Rules of Criminal Procedure and Trial Procedure. To view the orders, which take effect January 1, 2013, go to www.in.gov/judiciary/2784.htm.

Nominate a Colleague for an IndyBar Recognition Award

Do you know of a deserving IndyBar member who has worked hard for his or her community? Nominate him or her for an IndyBar award! Nominations are being accepted for the following IndyBar awards: the Dr. John Morton Finney Jr. Award for Excellence in Legal Education and the IndyBar Pro Bono Awards, which are presented in five categories: Practicing Attorney, Aiding Individuals; Practicing Attorney, Aiding Entities; Law Firm; Law Student and Paralegal. Go to www.indybar.org for a nomination form. Nominations are due October 5, 2012. The awards will be presented at the Recognition Luncheon on Thursday, November 8.

Judge Martha Wentworth Named Chair of Pro Bono Commission

Indiana Tax Court Judge Martha Blood Wentworth has been appointed by the Indiana Supreme Court as Chair of the Pro Bono Commission. In addition, the Supreme Court also appointed the Honorable David Avery, of the Allen Superior Court as Vice-Chair of the Commission. Each will serve a three-year term, which will end in 2015.

New Rules Proposed for Marion County Small Claims Courts

The comment period is open for new rules proposed for Marion County Small Claims Courts. Go to http://goo.gl/Ms74W to access the proposed rules. Comments can be made through October 5. The new rules will be adopted, modified or rejected by October 12. If adopted, the rules will take effect on January 1.

Law Student Division Seeking Executive Board Members

The nomination period for the 2012-2013 Indianapolis Bar Association Law Student Division Executive Board has begun. There are a total of eight At-Large positions available. This is a unique and exciting opportunity for students to be involved with the planning and implementation of many IndyBar student educational and networking functions as well as an opportunity to enhance leadership skills. Applications and statements of interest are due October 15. Visit www.indybar.org for more information

The IndyBar Legal Directory is Here!

Pre-ordered legal directories are available for pickup at the IndyBar office during normal business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). If you selected to have your legal directory shipped, watch your mailbox. Shipped orders will begin arriving September 3. Forget to order your copy? Go to www.indybar.org/store to place your order today. Directories are $55 plus tax and shipping, if applicable.

Need Your APC Credit?

The IndyBar has the Applied Professionalism Course for you. Featuring esteemed presenters and interactive sessions, the IndyBar’s Applied Professionalism Course on Thursday, November 1 is the perfect way to satisfy this credit requirement for attorneys in their first three years of practice...PLUS, registration fees for this day-long program are even lower now than in past years! Access the full agenda and online registration at www.indybar.org.•

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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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