Indiana Legal Services Inc.

Norman Metzger praised for longtime leadership at ILS

August 27, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Like many young adults in the 1960s, Norman Metzger was inspired by the belief that it is possible to change the world. After a lifetime in public service, the 75-year-old attorney has never lost his passion to make things better for those who have little means and often no voice.
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Long-time legal aid leader stepping down

August 12, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Legal Services executive director Norman Metzger has announced he will retire March 31, 2015, ending a tenure at the nonprofit that stretched more than four decades.
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Legal Service Corp. requests substantial boost in funding to meet growing need

March 5, 2014
IL Staff
In the budget released March 4, the White House recommended the Legal Services Corp. receive a federal appropriation of $430 million for the fiscal year 2015.
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Indiana Legal Services’ case load likely to increase with additional federal dollars

January 31, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
After watching its federal appropriation sink to $4.7 million during the economic downturn, Indiana Legal Services is set to receive a boost in funding for the 2014 calendar year.
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Fostering cooperation between Indiana legal service providers

November 20, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Supreme Court has formed a new commission to address the problem of Indiana residents who cannot afford legal services. But rather than giving attention to the clients, this group will focus on the nonprofit agencies that provide the assistance.
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Case illustrates the value of legal-medical partnership

August 28, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The impact of the Midtown/Indiana Legal Services Medical Legal Partnership is life-altering for an Indianapolis great-grandmother and grandson.
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After the storm passes, legal questions swirl

February 27, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Attorneys volunteer to provide advice and comfort to affected residents after natural disasters.
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ILS Medical Legal Partnership gives Midtown clients access to legal services

September 26, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Legal Services' clinic helps clients at Midtown Community Mental Health Center navigate through legal entanglements that can ensnare them.
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LSC says funding cuts will reduce staff, close offices

August 16, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Legal Services Corporation offices around the country will have to lay off staff – including 350 attorneys – due to funding cuts, according to a survey released Wednesday by the legal aid program.
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Restructuring revises coverage area for some pro bono offices

January 4, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
As of Jan. 1, Indiana has 12 pro bono districts, down from 14. Some districts saw no change in their boundaries. But all saw a sharp decrease in funding from the year before, marking the third straight year of declining funds.
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Funding less for legal aid offices

December 21, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The groups will tap reserves in 2012 as their budgets decrease.
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Congress proposes cutting legal aid funding

November 16, 2011
IL Staff
If an agreement between the members of Congress passes, Legal Services Corp. will see its budget reduced by 14 percent. The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee had previously proposed cutting it by 17 percent.
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2011-2012 Civil Legal Aid Fund figures released

August 31, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Division of State Court Administration has released figures for 2011-2012, showing how the $1.5 million Civil Legal Aid Fund has been distributed among 11 qualifying agencies.
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Indiana Legal Services weathers budget cutsRestricted Content

June 22, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The ILS board has taken cost-cutting steps, which include not renewing staff contracts.
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Lawyer commits to pro bono

March 2, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
The aspirational pro bono goal for attorneys, set by the American Bar Association and endorsed – but not forced – by many states, is around 50 hours. Some Indiana attorneys work this into their annual budget by working with pro bono district plan administrators to accept cases when need exists and when they can easily fit them into their work schedules.
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Cuts proposed to LSC budget would affect ILS

February 10, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
Among approximately 70 proposed budget cuts, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee has proposed cutting $75 million, or 17 percent of the budget for the Legal Services Corporation, which funds 136 civil legal aid programs around the country, the committee announced Wednesday.
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Court's community-service policy is unenforceable

January 25, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a trial court’s order that an indigent small claims litigant perform community service in lieu of paying a filing fee, holding the informal local rule requiring community service is unenforceable.
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Legal aid budgets remain steady

January 19, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
While the need for services for indigent Hoosiers during these tough economic times continues to increase, civil legal aid providers are reporting that budgets for 2011 will be similar to those of 2010, and the numbers of cases handled in 2010 are comparable to 2009.
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Arguments set in Medicaid appeal

January 19, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
In a case that involves whether Medicaid applicants who were rejected can include information that was not in their initial applications when they appeal, the Indiana Supreme Court has set oral arguments for March 3 at 9 a.m.
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Clark County self-help center helps pro se litigants

December 22, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
When pro se litigants find themselves in a courthouse for the first time, there’s a good chance they aren’t quite sure what to do. In the Clark County courthouse in Jeffersonville, just across the river from Louisville, a self-help center for pro se litigants in civil cases has been operational since late May.
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Free CLE offered for pro bono volunteers

December 7, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Bar associations and pro bono districts are working together to encourage attorneys to sign up to participate in the annual statewide Talk to a Lawyer Today event taking place Jan. 17, 2011. Free CLE, which is offered in December and January to lawyers who volunteer their time with TTALT but is not required to participate in the event, is a video replay of a CLE that originally took place in Indianapolis in October.
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ACLU of Indiana's dinner to honor organization’s founder

September 21, 2010
IL Staff
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana’s annual dinner this year will honor Irving Fink, an attorney who helped found the organization and Indiana Legal Services.
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Couple should have jury trial on legal claims

August 11, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A couple whose home is being foreclosed on is entitled to a jury trial on their legal claims against the mortgage holder and loan servicer, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Indiana's freedom fighter

July 7, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
A 90-year-old Indianapolis attorney couldn’t have predicted his legal career of more than 60 years would include handling many controversial clients, including the Ku Klux Klan and conscientious objectors of the Vietnam War.
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Could Indiana adopt a law like Arizona's?Restricted Content

July 7, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Immigration attorneys and victims advocates are reading up on the Arizona illegal immigrant law and bracing themselves for what a similar bill in Indiana could mean for their clients.
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  1. I was wondering about the 6 million put aside for common attorney fees?does that mean that if you are a plaintiff your attorney fees will be partially covered?

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  3. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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