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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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  1. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  2. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  3. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  4. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  5. I totally agree with John Smith.

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