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IBA Frontlines - March 16, 2011

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Bill Watch for the Bar

Bill Watch is a service of the IndyBar Legislative Committee. During each week of the legislative session, the IndyBar distributes an updated report to its members that indicates the progress and recent actions taken on the bills being monitored by the association. To view this week’s report, go to www.indybar.org for Bill Watch.

Attorneys: We need you for Take a Law Student to Lunch!

With such an enthusiastic response by law students to Take a Law Student to Lunch, we need more attorneys to host students at this great annual event! This is the perfect opportunity for attorneys and students to network and socialize while enjoying lunch at the Conrad. The event will be held from noon to 1 p.m. on Thursday, March 24 at the Conrad Indianapolis. Attorneys should register online at www.indybar.org. Student registration is now closed.

2011 Bench Bar Scholarship Applications Available

The Indianapolis Bar Association, in conjunction with the Indianapolis Bar Foundation, is now accepting scholarship applications for the 2011 Bench Bar Conference to be held June 16-18 at the French Lick Springs Resort & Casino. Named for an exceptional lawyer and Past President of the IndyBar, the Neil E. Shook Bench Bar Conference Scholarships are available to attorneys with preference given to those individuals demonstrating interest in active Indianapolis Bar Association and/or Indianapolis Bar Foundation participation AND to those in practice five year or less. The scholarship includes waiver of Friday Arrival Full Conference registration and Friday night lodging (a $430 value). Multiple scholarships are available. Application forms are available at www.indybenchbar.org and are due by May 1. Notifications will be made by May 5.

A New Lawyer Needing APC Credit?

The IndyBar has the Applied Professionalism Course for you. Featuring esteemed presenters and interactive breakout sessions, the IndyBar’s Applied Professionalism Course on April 28 is the perfect way to satisfy this credit requirement for attorneys in their first three years of practice. Register on the Bar’s website, www.indybar.org

Registration Open for POPBP Training

Interested in helping low-income women caught up in domestic violence? The next training session for Protective Order Pro Bono Project Volunteers will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, April 15 at the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s office at 1915 W. 18th St. View additional details and register online at www.icadvinc.org. The training is free to those who take one case; 4 hours CLE credit, including 1 hour ethics, is available.•

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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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