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IBA: Where the Legal Jobs Are: Litigation to Offer Greatest Opportunities in 2013

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Challenges Finding Top Talent Reported

Which specialty areas are predicted to yield the most prospects for legal job seekers in the year ahead? Almost one-quarter of lawyers recently interviewed by Robert Half Legal expect litigation will generate the greatest number of job opportunities in 2013. General business/commercial law and health care ranked an equal second, with each practice area receiving 19 percent of the response. Legal professionals with expertise in high-demand practice areas may have employers vying for their attention: More than half (57 percent) of survey respondents cited at least some challenge in finding legal talent.

“As law firms expand their teams to meet client requests and enhance service offerings, competition for highly skilled legal professionals is rising,” said Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal. “Although the market for entry-level associates should remain conservative, lawyers with five-plus years of experience, solid business development skills and client contacts in the hottest practice areas will likely see lateral opportunities increase at small and midsize firms in 2013.”

Volkert noted that corporate legal departments also are seeking experienced lawyers and paralegals to handle more commercial transactions, litigation and employment-related matters in-house, and to contain outside counsel costs. “With a growing number of law firms and companies looking to hire from the same talent pool, many employers are bolstering their retention efforts to avoid losing valued staff members to other organizations,” said Volkert.•
 

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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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