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ISBA hikes member dues at annual meeting

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Hundreds of attorneys and judges converged on Indianapolis for two days this week, attending the Indiana State Bar Association annual meeting.

The annual conference, this year at the Hyatt in downtown Indianapolis, offered multiple educational sessions during the day Thursday and Friday, while the ISBA's House of Delegates voted on policy matters and reflected on the past year before new officers took over for the next year.

At the delegate meeting this morning, the ISBA approved without any opposition the first dues hike in eight years. Earlier this year, ISBA President Bill Jonas appointed a special committee to examine the issue of increasing dues, particularly what impact it could have on members during the tough economic times. The committee recommended a $45 to $55 increase, and the governing board recommended a $50 annual increase for members serving six or more years. Other members will see various increases, depending on their membership classification.

The increase takes effect in May and amounts to a 21.74 percent hike - compared to the past three increases of 24 percent, 27 percent, and 27 percent, respectively. This hike puts Indiana somewhere in the middle nationally of dues amounts, and it's expected to bring in about $428,170 in additional income, Jonas said.

"We know these are difficult economic times for everyone, but we have a fiduciary responsibility to make sure the budget is adequately funded so that we can continue offering services and programs," Jonas said.

Delegates also amended the ISBA bylaws, allowing for what has traditionally been an annual audit to be conducted every two years because of the cost involved.

In other business, Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard praised the Hoosier legal community in relation to the difficult economy, recognizing the many efforts that have materialized even as the state's judiciary saw more than 2 million filings for the first time ever in trial courts. U.S. Magistrate Judge Tim Baker also asked the delegates to recognize Rep. Ed DeLaney, an Indianapolis attorney brutally attacked last week.

Following that morning meeting, new board members for 2009-2011 were announced at the ISBA luncheon where Jonas handed the presidency over to Roderick Morgan, a partner at Bingham McHale in Indianapolis, who is the bar association's first African-American president.

The ISBA meeting culminates tonight at 6 p.m. with the Randall T. Shepard Award Reception and Dinner, recognizing and awarding the legal profession's pro bono efforts during the past year.

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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.

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  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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