Indiana Pro Bono Commission

Nominees sought for pro bono Shepard award

June 8, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Pro Bono Commission is seeking nominees for the Excellence in Pro Bono Publico Randall T. Shepard Award.
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Predicting IOLTA fund revenues

May 26, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
All that is known about funding for Indiana’s 14 pro bono districts is that no one yet knows exactly how much the districts will receive in October for their 2011 budgets.
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New foreclosure-prevention initiative announced

April 20, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
To encourage more eligible Hoosiers to participate in settlement conferences when facing mortgage foreclosures, a new program involving the Indiana Supreme Court and the Indiana Foreclosure Prevention Network was announced today in Fort Wayne.
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Talk to a Lawyer event a success

February 3, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
The statewide Talk to a Lawyer Today event that annually takes place on Martin Luther King Jr. Day has been hailed as the best yet by organizers. All 14 pro bono districts had at least one walk-in and/or call-in site for lawyers to answer questions from members of their communities for free.
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Annual Talk to a Lawyer event a success

January 19, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
While the official numbers are not yet available from Monday's statewide Talk to a Lawyer Today event that annually takes place on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day, all 14 pro bono districts participated.
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Volunteers still needed for Talk to a Lawyer

January 13, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A few pro bono districts participating in the Talk to a Lawyer Today program have openings available for attorneys looking to donate a few hours of their time Monday to help the underserved in their communities.
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Efforts to aid those facing foreclosure continue

October 19, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
More than 1,000 Indiana attorneys, judges, and mediators have attended CLE trainings since June about mortgage foreclosures.
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Mortgage CLE numbers announced Monday

October 16, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
Representatives from the Indiana Supreme Court will be in Evansville Monday to release the number of judges, attorneys, and mediators who were trained this summer and fall to represent borrowers and handle settlement conferences.
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Judge to throw out first pitch at pro bono night

July 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Melissa May will throw out the first pitch tonight at a Gary baseball game at which attorneys will be honored for their pro bono work.
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Nominees wanted for pro bono award

June 12, 2009
IL Staff
The Indiana Pro Bono Commission is accepting applications for the Randall T. Shepard Award.
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Volunteers needed for Talk to a Lawyer

December 8, 2008
IL Staff
The Indiana State Bar Association needs attorneys to volunteer for the Pro Bono Committee's annual "Talk to a Lawyer Today" effort on Jan. 19, which is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
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Sept. 11 fund master to speak at Shepard dinner

September 25, 2008
IL Staff
The attorney appointed as special master of the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 will be the keynote speaker at this year's Randall T. Shepard Award Dinner.
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  1. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  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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