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ICLEF gives $100,000 to Indiana Bar Foundation

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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.
 

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  1. Major social engineering imposed by judicial order well in advance of democratic change, has been the story of the whole post ww2 period. Contraception, desegregation, abortion, gay marriage: all rammed down the throats of Americans who didn't vote to change existing laws on any such thing, by the unelected lifetime tenure Supreme court heirarchs. Maybe people came to accept those things once imposed upon them, but, that's accommodation not acceptance; and surely not democracy. So let's quit lying to the kids telling them this is a democracy. Some sort of oligarchy, but no democracy that's for sure, and it never was. A bourgeois republic from day one.

  2. JD Massur, yes, brings to mind a similar stand at a Texas Mission in 1836. Or Vladivostok in 1918. As you seemingly gloat, to the victors go the spoils ... let the looting begin, right?

  3. I always wondered why high fence deer hunting was frowned upon? I guess you need to keep the population steady. If you don't, no one can enjoy hunting! Thanks for the post! Fence

  4. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  5. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

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