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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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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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