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Volunteers Needed for Naturalization CeremoniesTwice a month, a ceremony at the U.S. Courthouse welcomes newly naturalized American citizens. It’s an awe-inspiring ceremony, and you can be a part of it during 2011. We are looking for IndyBar attorney members to volunteer to participate in the naturalization ceremonies by handing out a booklet containing the U.S. and Indiana constitutions and presenting brief remarks. The ceremonies are typically held on Thursdays twice a month at 10 a.m. in a courtroom of the U.S. District Court downtown. To volunteer, please e-mail cchopp@indybar.org.

Guardian Ad Litem Training for Juvenile Delinquent Cases

Attorneys, law students, and paralegals are encouraged to volunteer as guardian ad litem for the Marion County Juvenile Court. Training for those interested should plan to attend training at the Marion County Juvenile Court, Muster Room on Thursday, January 27 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Those interested should contact Ryan Hakes at Juvenile Court at rhakes@indy.gov.

Modest Means Panel

Looking for modest income and a high degree of satisfaction for serving those in need? The Bar’s Modest Means Panel is in need of attorney’s to assist in the area of family law. Client referrals are made from Indianapolis Legal Aid Society, Inc. and Indiana Legal Services Organization, Inc., and the referred individuals have an income that falls between 125% and 175% of the Federal Poverty Level.

To participate an attorney must agree to the following rate structure for Modest Means cases: $25 maximum charge for initial 30-minute consultation; $50 per hour maximum hourly rate; and $500 maximum retainer.

Those interested should contact Chris Lacey at clacey@indybar.org or (317)269-2000.

Lawyer Assistance Program

You don’t have to deal with your problems alone. The IndyBar Lawyer Assistance Program provides information, assistance and support for attorneys and those who are aware of attorneys who are struggling with depression, temporary disability, alcohol & substance abuse, gambling addiction and other issues. Contact the IndyBar Executive Director Julie Armstrong at jarmstrong@indybar.org or 317-269-1900 or Ed Hopper at ehopper@bfwlawyers.com or 317-261-4740x321 for help. *All communications are confidential under Supreme Court Rule 31.

Holiday Closings

The IndyBar office will be closed Thursday, November 25; Friday, November 26; Friday, December 24; and Friday, December 31 for the holidays. 11th Hour CLE Video Replays will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. December 28-30.•

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  2. 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.

  3. 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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