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IBA: It's Safe to Ask for Help

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Whether you are a sole practitioner or an attorney in a 200 attorney law firm, you have probably had a question at some point in your career that you struggled to answer – or perhaps you simply wanted a second opinion. Members of the Indianapolis Bar Association’s Senior Counsel Division Executive Committee have walked in those shoes, and as a result they offer a Safe Ask program.

The purpose of the Safe Ask program is to provide an option for IndyBar attorney members to seek confidential guidance and information from members of the IndyBar’s Senior Counsel Division (SCD) online or by phone. The sole goal of the program is to assist IndyBar members in providing high quality and ethical legal services to their clients.

“I recently fielded a Safe Ask from a young lawyer who had been put in a very tough spot by another member of his firm. He was very appreciative of the ability to talk confidentially with someone about the situation and praised the program,” said Jeffrey Meunier, a member of the Senior Counsel Division and Safe Ask Panel Member.

Since the practice of law is an art, there is usually no one “best” method to resolve a legal issue. Therefore, the assistance given by members of the IndyBar’s Senior Counsel Division should be considered as a recommended approach and not as a guarantee that it will obtain the desired results. Users of the program are advised to exercise their independent judgment in deciding upon their course of action.

Meunier noted, “Though we don’t get a high volume of calls, it is obviously provides an extremely valuable service.”

All communications remain confidential to the extent there is not a violation of the Rule of Professional Conduct (see Rule 8.3 of the Rules of Professional Conduct). To utilize the Safe Ask program IndyBar members simply telephone or e-mail a member of the Safe Ask panel. If e-mailing, please type IBA Safe Ask in the subject line of the e-mail. Those serving on the panel are Raymond Good, John Herrin Jr., Paul Kortepeter, Claire Lewis, John Render, Robert York, and Jeffrey Meunier. The full listing with contact information may be found on the IndyBar website, www.indybar.org.

If there is a concern about a Rule 8.3 violation, attorneys are encouraged to instead address those concerns to the highly capable members of the Indiana State Bar Association Ethics Committee.•

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