Economy

Funding short for Indianapolis-area jail literacy program

February 16, 2015
 Associated Press
A program that provides literacy instruction to inmates in Indianapolis-area jails is having funding problems and organizers of the nonprofit Indy Reads have said its future is uncertain.
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Indiana bills to increase minimum wage go unheard

February 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
More than half of states in the U.S. have enacted laws increasing their minimum wages above the federal standard of $7.25 an hour, but the Indiana Legislature won’t even discuss it.
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Law firms see overhead costs shift during past 25 years

January 28, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
All the modern devices and technology used by law firms these days come at a high cost and are often among the top firm expenses, according to managing partners.
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Once controversial, IOLTA is now professional standard in Indiana

January 14, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Supreme Court posed an obstacle in 1990 to getting the program launched to fund pro bono efforts.
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NDLS loan repayment program growing in dollars and applications

October 20, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Notre Dame Law School’s program to assist its graduates who pursue careers in the public service sector has reached the $1 million milestone.
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Indiana cuts some public audits over shortages

October 13, 2014
 Associated Press
The State Board of Accounts no longer is auditing the financial records of Indiana libraries, conservancy districts, some public school accounts, and small towns and townships, its leader says.
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Millions more sought for representation of juveniles

October 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
The money is needed for guardians ad litem and court appointed special advocates, and to pay for the new rule requiring defenders in delinquency cases.
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Maximizing paralegal roles to get money's worth

October 8, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
An Indiana State Bar Association panel examines ways firms can delegate work to paralegals to increase efficiency and profitability.
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Closure of Indiana juvenile boot camp put on hold

September 10, 2014
 Associated Press
State officials are delaying the closure of a paramilitary-style boot camp for juvenile offenders in northwestern Indiana.
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IP lawyer among first to accept Bitcoin for services

September 10, 2014
Dave Stafford
Intellectual property attorney Paul Overhauser’s clients are often on the cutting edge of Internet technology, so he decided that in addition to dollars, he’ll take digital dough.
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Legal aid benefits from settlement

September 10, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A financial boost for legal aid is expected to come from one of the banks that contributed to the 2008 economic collapse. The money will bring much-needed funding to the state’s pro bono districts which have been crippled by dwindling revenues and growing client lists. While the money will help, some say it should have come sooner.
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Beer distributor Monarch stepping up booze push

September 8, 2014
Indianapolis Business Journal, Kathleen McLaughlin
In a campaign to enter the hard liquor business, Monarch Beverage Co. is pursuing a new tactic that takes aim at state regulators.
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Lawyer registration fee increase to cover program shortfalls, aid pro bono districts

July 16, 2014
Dave Stafford
Attorney registration fees set to increase nearly 25 percent will cover shortfalls in the judiciary programs they fund and give a temporary emergency boost to the state’s pro bono districts.
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Indiana to raise attorney registration fees

July 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
Annual registration fees for Indiana attorneys will increase nearly 25 percent, the Indiana Supreme Court announced in an order issued Monday.
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Financial picture worsens for Marion County courts

July 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
In Marion County, the funding shortfall is projected to be $4.6 million for 2015. Courts are routinely dealing with persistent shortfalls to support guardians ad litem appointed to represent juveniles in child in need of services cases.
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Employability begins long before graduation day

June 18, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
To get a job as a lawyer, applicants need legal skills, such as analytical thinking, but employers today are also looking for new hires who have the so-called “soft skills.”
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Quarles & Brady latest large firm to expand to Indianapolis

June 4, 2014
Dave Stafford
Larger firms see enough promise to set up shop in Indianapolis - not through merger or acquisition - but by expanding with the launch of a branded office. And then expanding some more.
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PERF benefit to decline amid fund shortfall

May 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
Effective Oct. 1, the Indiana Public Retirement System will reduce the guaranteed interest rate for workers who choose to annuitize investments in their annuity savings accounts.
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ABA task force advises review of law school costs

February 12, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
In its year and a half examination of how lawyers are educated, the American Bar Association Task Force on the Future of Legal Education concluded the financial system law schools have developed to provide that education must be re-engineered.
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Survey says a majority of chief legal officers are happy with their jobs

January 31, 2014
IL Staff
A survey released Wednesday by the Association of Corporate Counsel found that 85 percent of chief legal officers are satisfied with their current role and level of responsibility within their companies, a four percent increase as compared to last year.
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As money for justice declines, many don’t see potential cost

January 29, 2014
Dave Stafford
Persistent warnings about funding shortages for state and federal courts don’t appear to be registering with the public, a new poll concludes.
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Correctional services consolidation bill drawing fire

January 29, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Community corrections advocates are worried that a proposal to consolidate the Marion County probation and community corrections departments would take local decision-making away from community members and give more control to judges.
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Lawmaker targets burdensome pre-settlement funding by proposing cap on interest rates

January 15, 2014
Dave Stafford
Funding companies woo plaintiffs in need with promises of quick cash for their pending settlements without oversight in Indiana. That soon could change.
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Legal service nonprofits look to private dollars as public funds shrink

December 4, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The alteration the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society made this season to its letters soliciting donations reflects a strategic decision by the nonprofit to go after higher contributions and underscores the need for service organizations of any kind to be aggressive.
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Fewer LSATs show reduced undergrad interest in law

December 4, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The continued drop in the number of people taking the LSAT has brought more worries about the future of law schools; however, many would-be applicants may just be waiting for the economy to improve before they try for admission.
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  1. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  2. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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