IBA: Volunteer Needed to Coordinate IndyBar Hospice Program

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Want to provide legal help to dozens of terminally ill people in their last days without ever leaving your office? The IndyBar is searching for an attorney volunteer to coordinate its Hospice Program.

This volunteer will not perform direct pro bono services with clients, but will be the point of contact with Wishard Hospital, Methodist Hospital and St. Francis Hospital. The coordinator must be readily available to receive fax or email referrals from the hospitals and pass them along to the attorney volunteers. The coordinator briefly reviews the referral to make sure it is appropriate to the program before passing it to the volunteer. Based on the patient’s health, some referrals require immediate turn-around, so the coordinator should have support staff to assist if they have a job that takes them out of the office on a regular basis.

The coordinator will work closely with and be supported by IndyBar staff and the Pro Bono Standing Committee, but does not need to be a member of the committee. Twice a year, the coordinator will create a six month schedule of the volunteers’ weekly assignments. The Coordinator (with staff assistance) will keep a current “database” or spreadsheet with volunteers’ contact information and track how many hours were donated to each case.

The new coordinator will be orientated by the retiring Hospice Coordinator and if secured by Dec. 17, will help create the volunteer schedule for January through June 2013. The outgoing coordinator will also introduce the new coordinator to the hospital contacts.

The number of referrals per week varies, but is typically less than three. Most referrals are able to be handled by the assigned pair of attorneys, so weekly time on the coordinator’s end is minimal. For more information, please contact Caren Chopp, Pro Bono and Legal Services Coordinator, at

About the IndyBar Hospice Program

The IndyBar Hospice Program volunteers assist hospice patients through consultations and offering limited representation (primarily with end of life concerns and forms), through Wishard, Methodist, St. Francis and the Abbie Hunt Brice Home. Volunteer pairs address all hospital referrals made during their assigned calendar week (typically three hours of service) and are assigned two to four weeks per year. Training is available via DVD.

Attorney volunteers can comfort hospice patients in so many ways with just a little bit of time. Answering questions, executing powers of attorney or simple wills, or transferring a car title can relieve the mental anguish from which a patient suffers. Some attorneys learn that within hours of their consultation, a patient passes with their affairs in order. With a few phone calls, one attorney volunteer helped unravel a 20-year-old matter that was preventing a cancer patient from receiving Medicaid assistance for chemotherapy and pain medications.

Our generous volunteers touch more people than they expect. Recently an attorney accepted a referral and met with a patient regarding a health care power of attorney. As he and the patient were executing the documents, the patient’s roommate asked if the attorney could help her as well. She had documents prepared and was in need of notary assistance. With an extra five minutes, this volunteer positively affected another struggling, sick and low-income terminal patient.

Interested in getting involved with the Hospice Project or any of the IndyBar’s other pro bono programs? Contact Caren Chopp at•


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  1. This new language about a warning has not been discussed at previous meetings. It's not available online. Since it must be made public knowledge before the vote, does anyone know exactly what it says? Further, this proposal was held up for 5 weeks because members Carol and Lucy insisted that all terms used be defined. So now, definitions are unnecessary and have not been inserted? Beyond these requirements, what is the logic behind giving one free pass to discriminators? Is that how laws work - break it once and that's ok? Just don't do it again? Three members of Carmel's council have done just about everything they can think of to prohibit an anti-discrimination ordinance in Carmel, much to Brainard's consternation, I'm told. These three 'want to be so careful' that they have failed to do what at least 13 other communities, including Martinsville, have already done. It's not being careful. It's standing in the way of what 60% of Carmel residents want. It's hurting CArmel in thT businesses have refused to locate because the council has not gotten with the program. And now they want to give discriminatory one free shot to do so. Unacceptable. Once three members leave the council because they lost their races, the Carmel council will have unanimous approval of the ordinance as originally drafted, not with a one free shot to discriminate freebie. That happens in January 2016. Why give a freebie when all we have to do is wait 3 months and get an ordinance with teeth from Day 1? If nothing else, can you please get s copy from Carmel and post it so we can see what else has changed in the proposal?

  2. Here is an interesting 2012 law review article for any who wish to dive deeper into this subject matter: Excerpt: "Judicial interpretation of the ADA has extended public entity liability to licensing agencies in the licensure and certification of attorneys.49 State bar examiners have the authority to conduct fitness investigations for the purpose of determining whether an applicant is a direct threat to the public.50 A “direct threat” is defined as “a significant risk to the health or safety of others that cannot be eliminated by a modification of policies, practices or procedures, or by the provision of auxiliary aids or services as provided by § 35.139.”51 However, bar examiners may not utilize generalizations or stereotypes about the applicant’s disability in concluding that an applicant is a direct threat.52"

  3. We have been on the waiting list since 2009, i was notified almost 4 months ago that we were going to start receiving payments and we still have received nothing. Every time I call I'm told I just have to wait it's in the lawyers hands. Is everyone else still waiting?

  4. I hope you dont mind but to answer my question. What amendment does this case pretain to?

  5. Research by William J Federer Chief Justice John Marshall commented May 9, 1833, on the pamphlet The Relation of Christianity to Civil Government in the United States written by Rev. Jasper Adams, President of the College of Charleston, South Carolina (The Papers of John Marshall, ed. Charles Hobson, Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2006, p, 278): "Reverend Sir, I am much indebted to you for the copy of your valuable sermon on the relation of Christianity to civil government preached before the convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Charleston, on the 13th of February last. I have read it with great attention and advantage. The documents annexed to the sermon certainly go far in sustaining the proposition which it is your purpose to establish. One great object of the colonial charters was avowedly the propagation of the Christian faith. Means have been employed to accomplish this object, and those means have been used by government..." John Marshall continued: "No person, I believe, questions the importance of religion to the happiness of man even during his existence in this world. It has at all times employed his most serious meditation, and had a decided influence on his conduct. The American population is entirely Christian, and with us, Christianity and Religion are identified. It would be strange, indeed, if with such a people, our institutions did not presuppose Christianity, and did not often refer to it, and exhibit relations with it. Legislation on the subject is admitted to require great delicacy, because freedom of conscience and respect for our religion both claim our most serious regard. You have allowed their full influence to both. With very great respect, I am Sir, your Obedt., J. Marshall."