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ISBA awards money for former attorney's actions

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A South Bend man is receiving $15,000 from the Indiana State Bar Association to compensate for losses he suffered from the dishonest acts of a former attorney.

Darious E. Easton received the money as a result of actions by former attorney Paul Bruno Kusbach, who resigned in 2002. Kusbach was sentenced in April 2004 to federal prison for four years and nine months for stealing money from clients; he was ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution to 26 separate clients.

This was the maximum amount that could be awarded by the Clients' Financial Assistance Fund, which has been around since 1962 and helps uphold the integrity of the Indiana Legal Profession by covering some losses suffered by clients of dishonest Hoosier attorneys. Money was last awarded in March to three individuals - each award was less than $5,000, meaning the board of governors did not have to approve the amounts.

Fund Committee Chair Jon Pactor, a sole practitioner in Indianapolis, describes this fund as a method not very well known throughout the Indiana legal community.

"These acts are often theft-related and don't happen very often so aren't on attorneys' radar screens," he said. "This is a way to help restore dignity to the bar or collectively say, 'This is wrong,' and it's a last effort to get compensation for someone. We recognize our professional obligation to do that."
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  1. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  5. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

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