Economy

Legal Service Corp.’s Levi putting spotlight on crisis in legal aid

June 20, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Emphasizing that legal aid is having to turn away half of those who ask for assistance, Legal Service Corp. board chair John Levi is pushing to raise public awareness and ultimately get more resources flowing to legal services for low-income individuals.
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New overtime rules force hard choices for employers

June 6, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, IBJ Staff
For Purdue University—the state’s eighth-largest employer—new overtime rules could mean an $8 million or so hit to the school’s already-stretched budget.
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DOC to close southern Indiana prison this month

June 2, 2016
 Associated Press
The state Department of Correction will close its minimum-security Henryville Correctional Facility in southern Indiana by July 1 in a cost-saving move, the agency announced Wednesday.
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Senate report: Illegal immigration costs state $131M

May 25, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, IBJ Staff
Indiana lawmakers studying the issue of illegal immigration in the state will view a report Wednesday that finds undocumented people will cost the state’s taxpayers $130.7 million this year.
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Deregulation touted for growth, innovation in legal profession

May 18, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
To revitalize the legal profession, an economist and Yale law student are calling for an end to the rules and regulations that require bar exam passage, prevent nonlawyers from practicing and prohibit anyone who does not hold a J.D. degree from owning law firms.
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New OT rules force hard choices on small businesses

May 18, 2016
 Associated Press
The regulations being issued by the Labor Department today would double to $913 a week from $455 the threshold under which salaried workers must be paid overtime. In terms of annual pay, the threshold rises to $47,476 from $23,660. The rules take effect Dec. 1.
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Wal-Mart sues Visa over chip-enabled debit cards

May 11, 2016
 Associated Press
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has sued Visa Inc., charging that the payment network is not allowing the retail giant to let customers verify chip-enabled debit card transactions with what it believes is a more secure method: personal identification numbers.
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Legal-oriented groups pick Indianapolis for annual conventions

April 20, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
As part of its effort to attract a variety of events and conventions, Indianapolis has put a focus on attracting professional conferences. Having three legal-oriented groups come within two years indicates the city’s strategy is working.
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Companies reconsidering North Carolina over LGBT rights

April 1, 2016
 Associated Press
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory met with gay-rights advocates bearing a letter signed by more than 100 corporate executives urging him to repeal the nation’s first state law limiting the bathroom options for transgender people. The law also excludes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from anti-discrimination protections and blocks municipalities from adopting their own anti-discrimination and living wage rules.
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Pence signs med-mal cap increase on final day

March 25, 2016
 Associated Press, IL Staff
Medical malpractice victims will be eligible for more compensation after Gov. Mike Pence signed into law a bill increasing the payment cap for the first time since the 1990s. The cap would increase from the current $1.25 million limit to $1.65 million next year and then to $1.8 million in 2019.
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Staples judge slams FTC on Amazon testimony in merger case

March 25, 2016
 Bloomberg News
A federal judge criticized the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for attempting to elicit false information from an Amazon.com Inc. executive to support its lawsuit to block Staples Inc.’s takeover of rival Office Depot Inc.
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Disputes increase over who’s an employee and who’s an independent contractor

March 23, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Independent contractors have long been a part of the workforce. However, with the rise of on-demand service providers who run their businesses almost solely with independent contractors, closer scrutiny is being paid to what, exactly, these workers are in the new “gig economy.”
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Second round of settlement money coming to IOLTA

March 16, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana’s IOLTA program is preparing to receive a multi-million dollar boost. The money is coming from a second round of funding released as part of the settlement agreement with the Bank of America as a penalty for financial fraud during the mortgage foreclosure crisis.
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Smaller class sizes cause faculty buyout offers at Valpo Law

March 9, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl, Dave Stafford
In an announcement made Feb. 26, Valparaiso University Law School added itself to the list of law schools shedding faculty in the face of declining enrollment.
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Valpo Law announces faculty buyouts, smaller future classes

February 26, 2016
Dave Stafford
Valparaiso University School of Law announced Friday afternoon it will offer buyouts to tenured faculty and faculty members with multi-year contracts.
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Legal education at what cost?

February 24, 2016
Dave Stafford
The economic storm of recent years was particularly perilous for the legal industry and law schools, but despite encouraging signs, former Indiana Chief Justice Randall Shepard said the dangers have not passed.
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Steady increase in law firm recruiting continues

February 17, 2016
Scott Roberts
The last summer recruiting recycle for law graduates was the biggest since the recession, a report from the National Association for Law Placement found.
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Attorneys, courts feel drop in bankruptcy filings

January 27, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Bankruptcy attorney Mark S. Zuckerberg recently described the current state of his practice: “Nobody’s coming into my office; nobody’s calling me; nobody’s paying me.” His loneliness can be tied to the drop in bankruptcy filings. In 2015, petitions nationally fell to 860,182, an 11 percent decline from 2014 and the lowest number of filings since 2007.
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Law schools, ILS partner on foreclosure prevention services

January 20, 2016
IL Staff
A grant from the Office of the Indiana Attorney General will help fund a partnership between Indiana Legal Services Inc. and two law schools in an effort to provide more services to those facing foreclosure in the state.
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2015 record-breaking year for law firm combinations

January 6, 2016
IL Staff
The 91 law firm combinations announced in the United States last year is the highest annual total recorded by Altman Weil MergerLine, which has been compiling this data for nine years.
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COA affirms attorney owes ex-assistant thousands in unpaid wages

December 23, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Elkhart solo practitioner must pay his former legal assistant more than $85,000 after she sued him to recover unpaid wages owed to her over the course of two years, the Court of Appeals affirmed Wednesday.
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Henderson: Survey reveals signs of fundamental change in the legal profession

December 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The traditional career path for Indiana attorneys – graduate from law school, become an associate in a law firm, work long hours and eventually become a partner – appears to be broken, or at least cracked.
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Focus for law firms: Clients, clients, clients

December 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
Law firms large and small face similar challenges – keeping costs down and quality high while also finding ways to sustain and grow the business.
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Survey finds widespread professional satisfaction, little encouragement to pursue career in law

December 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
Life’s not bad being a lawyer. Work is satisfying, there’s time for life outside work, and the pay is good. But I wouldn’t recommend it. Those contradictions in lawyers’ prevailing attitudes were revealed in Indiana Lawyer's Practicing Law in Indiana survey.
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Chief legal officers: cost pressures biggest issue

November 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Chief legal officers say internal and external cost pressures were their biggest concern in managing their law departments this year, according to survey results released Tuesday by Altman Weil.
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