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IBA: Lawyer Referral Service to Reduce Fees and Upgrade Services

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Last week the Indianapolis Bar Association’s Board of Directors approved a plan that provides for a reduction in Lawyer Referral Service member fees while increasing marketing efforts and adding online reporting of referrals made. Believing that the Lawyer Referral Service provides the highest return on investment of any practice development tool available, effort is being directed at making the service more accessible to today’s attorney.

Effective immediately, those attorneys participating in the service will pay a flat rate of $250 compared to the average fee of $267 previously paid. Attorneys in practice less than three years will only pay $175. Participation in the service requires proof of $1 million in professional liability insurance and membership in the Indianapolis Bar.

Each year an average of 18,000 central Indiana residents are provided with an attorney referral through the Indianapolis Bar Association. Much about the process of promoting the services and the methods used to provide referral information has remained unchanged for over 15 years. That’s also about to change.

The Legal Services Advisory Committee that oversees the operation of the LRS is in discussion to begin television advertisements to promote the service. “We are excited to begin a new era of the Lawyer Referral Service. Our upcoming advertising campaign promises to increase call volume and quality. Our hope is that this service will provide our Panel members with an extremely economical means to gain new clients and build their practice,” said Jeff Meunier, chair of the committee.

New webpages are in development to guide online users, and the Bar is reviewing other methods for improving the quality of referrals made.

Make no mistake. These changes are not being made because LRS use is declining. On the contrary, in 2009 the number of referrals made slightly higher than the previous year, LRS attorney membership remained steady, and those participating generated nearly $1.4 million in total income from cases referred.

Keep an eye on the LRS. Good things are happening.•

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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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