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Indiana to raise attorney registration fees

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Annual registration fees for Indiana attorneys will increase nearly 25 percent, the Indiana Supreme Court announced in an order issued Monday.
 
The registration fee for active attorneys will increase from $145 to $180, and fees for lawyers whose status is inactive will rise from $72.50 to $90. The annual registration period opens Aug. 1, and the fees are due by Oct. 1 each year.

“The members of the Supreme Court reviewed the budgets and made the determination that the increase is needed to sustain our programs and agencies,” spokeswoman Kathryn Dolan said.

Fees were last raised in 2011, and Dolan said the state’s current fees are among the lowest in the country.

Registration fees paid by attorneys fund the operation of the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission, Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program and the Commission for Continuing Legal Education.

Delinquent fees also will increase by $35 for those who register after the Oct. 1 deadline. The penalty will rise from $95 to $130 for those who pay by Oct. 15; from $145 to $180 for those who register from Oct. 15 to Dec. 31; and from $295 to $330 for those who register after Dec. 31.

Regarding fees compared to other states, “Indiana is so low that whether we’re counted as lowest or second-lowest is negligible,” Dolan said. That analysis is tricky, though, she said, because some states include mandatory state bar fees or other fees that Indiana doesn’t.

Even among voluntary bar states, Indiana’s fees are below average, Dolan said.

Indiana State Bar Association President Jim Dimos said increases are never popular, but the registration dues remain low compared to states that don’t include mandatory bar fees.

“From our experience at the state bar, the court seems to administer things relatively modestly,” Dimos said. “While no one’s happy about paying more fees, we’re confident the court thought long and hard about this and believes they need these resources to continue to provide services to lawyers in the state of Indiana.”

The court relied on a July 2013 attorney registration fee survey from the Office of Attorney Ethics of New Jersey that showed Indiana’s fees ranked 50th compared to the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Maryland’s fee of $130 was lowest; Oregon’s fee of $3,722 – which includes a mandatory malpractice fee – was highest.

Indiana is among 18 voluntary bar states whose registration fee does not include a portion shared with state bar organizations. Of those states, Indiana’s fees also are second-lowest, the New Jersey survey found. The average registration fee in those states is $255, with Connecticut charging the highest, $675 annually.

In 2011, registration fees increased $15 after increasing by a like amount the prior year. The 2011 increase coincided with introduction of the online registration portal, http://appealsclerk.IN.gov.

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  2. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  3. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  4. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  5. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

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