Indiana State Bar Association to produce more CLE

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On Jan. 17, the board of directors for the Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum bid farewell to four board members. Three were Indiana State Bar Association delegates; one was the Indiana Bar Foundation delegate.

But leaders from all three organizations say it’s nothing personal – no bad blood, no hard feelings.

“This is not anything we sprung on them at the last minute or anything, this is the result of discussions that have been going on informally for at least two years,” said ICLEF president Mark McNeely.

ISBA president C. Erik Chickedantz explained that the change in ICLEF’s board leadership is not an acrimonious split.

chickedantz-erik-mug.jpg Chickedantz

“I don’t think there’s a dispute, a rift or anything like that,” Chickedantz said. “I think both boards have decided we’re not going to be as connected as we were in the past.”

Changing priorities

Last fall at its annual meeting, the ISBA board voted to change its policies to allow sections and committees of the state bar more freedom to produce their own CLE programs.

mcneely-mark-mug.jpg McNeely

Until October 2011, the ISBA had an unwritten policy, Chickedantz explained, requiring sections that produce CLE programs that were three hours or longer to first offer the opportunity to produce the program to ICLEF. “If ICLEF wanted to, they took it over, and if they didn’t, the sections did it on their own,” he said.

With the policy change, sections and committees no longer have to give ICLEF the first shot at producing CLEs that are three hours or longer.

Chickedantz said the state bar also previously had an unwritten policy that in its publication Res Gestae, it would not accept advertisements from ICLEF competitors. That also changed in October.

Scott King, program director for ICLEF, said the state bar did inform ICLEF leadership of the impending change.

“That surprised us, and quite frankly, we were disappointed to see they wanted to move into CLE in that fashion,” King said.

New relationship

In January, the state bar announced it had hired a new CLE director, an indication of the state bar’s intention to produce more of its own CLE programs, McNeely said.

“They issued a letter to us in September saying we are competitors at this point, and it’s hard to have competitors be on your board of directors,” he said. Since that time, ICLEF had planned to eliminate those board positions.

“And in October, we gave them the opportunity to do this gracefully, and they declined,” McNeely

Carissa Long, assistant director of communications for the ISBA, said that the state bar felt that until ICLEF changed its bylaws, the state bar delegates had a fiduciary duty to attend ICLEF board meetings.

Charles Dunlap, executive director of the Indiana Bar Foundation, said he understood the rationale behind ICLEF removing the foundation’s delegate to the board.

“We haven’t taken this as a slap in the face,” he said, adding that ICLEF is housed in the same building and is the bar foundation’s largest tenant. “From our standpoint, this didn’t really affect our relationship.”

King said he could not predict how the ISBA’s decision to produce more of its own CLE would affect ICLEF revenue. The two organizations, King said, have not shared in profits or revenue and are financially independent of each other.

“Obviously, we’ll still support ICLEF. They are the primary CLE provider in the state of Indiana, and I’m assuming they’ll continue to be,” Chickedantz said.•


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  1. Especially I would like to see all the republican voting patriotic good ole boys to stop and understand that the wars they have been volunteering for all along (especially the past decade at least) have not been for God & Jesus etc no far from it unless you think George Washington's face on the US dollar is god (and we know many do). When I saw the movie about Chris Kyle, I thought wow how many Hoosiers are just like this guy, out there taking orders to do the nasty on the designated bad guys, sometimes bleeding and dying, sometimes just serving and coming home to defend a system that really just views them as reliable cannon fodder. Maybe if the Christians of the red states would stop volunteering for the imperial legions and begin collecting welfare instead of working their butts off, there would be a change in attitude from the haughty professorial overlords that tell us when democracy is allowed and when it isn't. To come home from guarding the borders of the sandbox just to hear if they want the government to protect this country's borders then they are racists and bigots. Well maybe the professorial overlords should gird their own loins for war and fight their own battles in the sandbox. We can see what kind of system this really is from lawsuits like this and we can understand who it really serves. NOT US.... I mean what are all you Hoosiers waving the flag for, the right of the president to start wars of aggression to benefit the Saudis, the right of gay marriage, the right for illegal immigrants to invade our country, and the right of the ACLU to sue over displays of Baby Jesus? The right of the 1 percenters to get richer, the right of zombie banks to use taxpayer money to stay out of bankruptcy? The right of Congress to start a pissing match that could end in WWIII in Ukraine? None of that crud benefits us. We should be like the Amish. You don't have to go far from this farcical lawsuit to find the wise ones, they're in the buggies in the streets not far away....

  2. Moreover, we all know that the well heeled ACLU has a litigation strategy of outspending their adversaries. And, with the help of the legal system well trained in secularism, on top of the genuinely and admittedly secular 1st amendment, they have the strategic high ground. Maybe Christians should begin like the Amish to withdraw their services from the state and the public and become themselves a "people who shall dwell alone" and foster their own kind and let the other individuals and money interests fight it out endlessly in court. I mean, if "the people" don't see how little the state serves their interests, putting Mammon first at nearly every turn, then maybe it is time they wake up and smell the coffee. Maybe all the displays of religiosity by American poohbahs on down the decades have been a mask of piety that concealed their own materialistic inclinations. I know a lot of patriotic Christians don't like that notion but I entertain it more and more all the time.

  3. If I were a judge (and I am not just a humble citizen) I would be inclined to make a finding that there was no real controversy and dismiss them. Do we allow a lawsuit every time someone's feelings are hurt now? It's preposterous. The 1st amendment has become a sword in the hands of those who actually want to suppress religious liberty according to their own backers' conception of how it will serve their own private interests. The state has a duty of impartiality to all citizens to spend its judicial resources wisely and flush these idiotic suits over Nativity Scenes down the toilet where they belong... however as Christians we should welcome them as they are the very sort of persecution that separates the sheep from the wolves.

  4. What about the single mothers trying to protect their children from mentally abusive grandparents who hide who they truly are behind mounds and years of medication and have mentally abused their own children to the point of one being in jail and the other was on drugs. What about trying to keep those children from being subjected to the same abuse they were as a child? I can understand in the instance about the parent losing their right and the grandparent having raised the child previously! But not all circumstances grant this being OKAY! some of us parents are trying to protect our children and yes it is our God given right to make those decisions for our children as adults!! This is not just black and white and I will fight every ounce of this to get denied

  5. Mr Smith the theory of Christian persecution in Indiana has been run by the Indiana Supreme Court and soundly rejected there is no such thing according to those who rule over us. it is a thought crime to think otherwise.