ILNews

ICLEF gives $100,000 to Indiana Bar Foundation

Back to TopE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum’s governing board is giving $100,000 to the Indiana Bar Foundation, which is struggling financially because of low interest rates that have hit IOLTA accounts and created problems in funding pro bono and related programs statewide.

At the Indiana State Bar Association’s House of Delegates meeting this morning, ICLEF president Linda Meier announced the donation was approved by the board of directors on Thursday. She said the money is unrestricted, meaning it can be used on any of the IBF initiatives such as pro bono or civil education programs and services.

IBF’s executive director Chuck Dunlap thanked the ICLEF for its generosity, in light of the financial woes in the past year. IOLTA revenue is the primary funding source for the IBF.

“It’s no surprise what interest rates are these days and what that means to IOLTA, and that hurts,” he said, referring to the nation’s historically low rates.

An annual report submitted today at the House of Delegates meeting shows that IOLTA income in 2008 was approximately $3 million, but dropped by half to $1.5 million in 2009 and that for this past year it’s been $670,000.

That translates to a drastic reduction in what the state’s Pro Bono Districts can operate on, according to the report. Grants totaled $1.69 million last year and for 2010 they totaled $1.57 million. The 2011 requests initially were $1.41 million, but have been scaled back to about $1 million. However, only $427,000 is available to distribute from IOLTA revenues, the report shows.

Any shortfall must be addressed by the IOLTA reserve fund of $1.9 million, but the Indiana Supreme Court has set a guideline limiting use of the fund in any given year to 20 percent of the balance. The organization leadership met with Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard to request exceeding that amount so that 25 percent of the reserve balance could be used, providing for about $175,000 in additional funding. The Supreme Court approved the 25 percent request on a one-time basis. Even with this increase and the new ICLEF donation, the IBF would still face a shortfall but it would only be about $75,000 and that could be better covered by carry-over funding from some of the districts.

These funding issues come on the heels of action last year by the state’s highest court, which in October 2009 agreed to step in and offer $25,000 to the IBF’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program for Indiana (LRAP-IN), as well as creating a matching program for any money raised by the bar foundation up to $170,000.

The IBF expects that it will request reconsideration in July 2011 if interest rates improve, but the IBF does expect some “unavoidable reductions” in personnel because of the economic picture.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

ADVERTISEMENT