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IBA Frontlines 1/30/13

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Comments Invited on Proposed Changes to Indiana Bar Examination

The Indiana State Board of Law Examiners is proposing changes in the subjects that are tested on the Indiana essay portion of the Indiana Bar Examination. A description of the proposed changes and instructions on how to submit comments can found on the Board of Law Examiners’ website at www.in.gov/judiciary/ble. Interested parties will have until May 31, 2013, to submit comments. Members of the bar are also encouraged to contact Chris Hickey, chair of the IndyBar Review Steering Committee, at ch@rubin-levin.com to voice any feedback or concerns.

IndyBar Unveils the Attorney Apprentice Program

The IndyBar’s Lawyers Helping Lawyers Task Force has taken a proactive approach to provide substantive knowledge and practical experience to new and less experienced attorneys with the creation of the Attorney Apprentice Program. The Attorney Apprentice Program is designed to provide hands on training to new and less experienced attorneys and those looking to expand their practice. The program features a core curriculum aimed at developing attorney business and marketing skills as well as substantive programming in a legal track of the participant’s choice—Civil Litigation, Transactional Practice or Criminal Practice and Procedure.

Interested in attending but unsure of whether you can afford registration fees? The Indianapolis Bar Foundation has graciously funded scholarships for this valuable training. Visit www.indybar.org to learn more about the program and to register online.

Monthly Meetings of Members are Back!

Escape from your office to enjoy an hour with your colleagues and engaging programs and speakers at this year’s lineup of IndyBar member gatherings. February’s luncheon on Thursday, Feb. 21 will feature special guest speaker Allison Melangton of the Indiana Sports Corporation. Go to www.indybar.org to register and view the full schedule of member gatherings.

Thank You, Legal Line Volunteers!

Thank you to the following O’Koon Hintermeister attorneys who graciously volunteered their time to staff Legal Line, the IndyBar’s monthly call-in legal advice program, in January: James Bolen, Anna Buschmann, Steve Gottlieb, Jeff Hintermeister, Vicki Merriman, Adina Teska, Joel Thorp, Linda Villegas and Martin Weiser. These volunteers took 66 calls from members of the public seeking free legal guidance.

Weekly IndyBar Bill Watches Available

As a service to all IndyBar members, the Legislative Committee reviews pending legislation and, with the approval of the IndyBar Board of Directors, monitors progress. Each week, a new summary of legislation being monitored by the committee is made available to members and posted online at http://www.indybar.org/news/bill-watch.php.

It’s Dues Renewal Time!

Don’t miss out on a great year with the IndyBar: renew for 2013 today! Convenient online renewal is available at www.indybar.org. Make sure to check out and take advantage of the IndyBar’s great new offerings for 2013, including the new Indy Attorneys Network section and the Plus CLE Pilot Program!

Giving Thanks: Pay it Forward by Offering Your Expertise

Through the Low Asset Wills Program, Indianapolis Bar Association attorneys draft wills for free as a service to the community. Qualified individuals can meet privately with an attorney who will draft a last will & testament and advance directives for them. For more information on the program and how to get involved, visit www.indybar.org or contact Caren Chopp at cchopp@indybar.org.•

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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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