Indiana State Bar Association

ISBA poll shows strong support for COA judges’ retention

October 5, 2016
IL Staff
A recently completed poll of Indiana State Bar Association members shows strong support for the four Indiana Court of Appeals judges seeking retention in the Nov. 8 general election.
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ISBA House of Delegates rejects proposal for non-lawyer ownership of law firms

October 5, 2016
Olivia Covington
After a 30-minute discussion about the potential ramifications of a recommendation to allow non-lawyers to hold equity investments in law firms, the Indiana State Bar Association House of Delegates overwhelming voted against the recommendation at its meeting Sept. 30.
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ISBA program aims for binding arbitration of disputes over legal billing

October 5, 2016
Dave Stafford
Clients who think their lawyer charged them too much have a new way to contest the bill. And so do attorneys whose clients haven’t paid up as they believe they should.
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ISBA panel says a confession is not always true

October 5, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The conviction of Brendan Dassey, the Wisconsin teenager whose admission of guilt and subsequent trial for murder were part of the docuseries “Making a Murderer,” has brought fresh attention to the fact that innocent people do confess to crimes they did not commit
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‘Making a Murderer’ attorney speaks at ISBA dinner

October 5, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Attorney Jerry Buting’s popularity was on display during the Indiana State Bar Association annual meeting when he held the attention of his audience for 60 full minutes and then was kept around for almost another hour, answering attorneys’ questions and gamely posing for photos.
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ISBA director Pyrz announces retirement

October 4, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Thomas Pyrz, longtime executive director of the Indiana State Bar Association, has announced his intention to retire at the end of 2017 after 25 years at the helm.
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Social media create potential for ethical violations

October 3, 2016
Olivia Covington
As social media continue to evolve, legal professionals should become increasingly cautious when they log in to various sites.
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ISBA House of Delegates rejects non-lawyer equity investments

September 30, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana State Bar Association House of Delegates on Friday overwhelmingly rejected a recommendation to allow non-lawyer equity investments in law firms, saying that the issue needed further study.
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‘Making a Murderer’ attorney sees reform taking root

September 21, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Hoosier native Jerry Buting will continue the conversation about reform at the Indiana State Bar Association's annual meeting this month.
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Incoming ISBA president outlines plans to help legal profession adapt to changing marketplace

September 21, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Mitchell Heppenheimer’s agenda for his term at the helm is focusing on ways to help Hoosier lawyers be successful in the shifting landscape. In particular, he plans to launch a campaign to educate people on why they should turn to a lawyer for legal advice and that lawyers can be hired at reasonable prices.
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Indiana Kids’ Election seeks legal volunteers for schools

September 21, 2016
Olivia Covington
Through the Indiana Kids’ Election Speakers’ Bureau, hundreds of attorneys, judges, paralegals and law students from across the state have volunteered to teach elementary, middle and high school students about the election process, and there are still spots open for other interested legal professionals.
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Riley: The Indiana State Bar Association Future’s Committee

September 21, 2016
ISBA President Carol Adinamis appointed the Future of the Provision of Legal Services Committee to examine challenges to the profession from legal document and service providers and advances in technology. Here are the four recommendations of the committee.
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Bench and bar prepare for ‘Day of Service’

September 15, 2016
IL Staff
Attorneys and judges across the state will be volunteering in their local communities Saturday as part of the Indiana State Bar Association’s Annual Day of Service.
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Attorneys needed to teach kids about elections

August 25, 2016
IL Staff
Indiana Kids’ Election, which helps teachers by providing resources about the election process, is looking for attorney volunteers in schools around the state.
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Law firms’ March Against Hunger raises nearly $60,000

June 29, 2016
IL Staff
Law firms from around Indiana led the way in the Indiana State Bar Association’s annual March Against Hunger campaign, raising $59,408 in cash donations and 7,560 pounds of food to provide to the state’s 11 regional food banks.
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Tangling with tech companies’ move into legal services

March 23, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
A recent American Bar Association resolution on regulating non-traditional legal services providers coupled with a pilot project with Rocket Lawyer has stirred opposition among bar associations.
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Art project seeks images of Indiana’s courthouses

March 23, 2016
Scott Roberts
A project by the Indiana State Bar Association and currently on display at Conner Prairie seeks to highlight the beauty of Indiana’s courthouses, which are not only the centers of law, but focal pieces for small town centers.
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Park Tudor scandal reignites debate about lawyers reporting child abuse

March 9, 2016
Dave Stafford
Charges that former Park Tudor basketball coach and teacher Kyle Cox attempted to coerce and entice a 15-year-old student into a sexual relationship — and an attorney’s alleged actions after learning of the accusations — have refocused attention on a 2015 advisory ethics opinion that largely exempts lawyers from a law that requires reporting suspected child abuse.
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March Against Hunger competition kicks off

March 1, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana State Bar Association is hosting its eighth annual March Against Hunger food drive competition beginning Tuesday and lasting through March 31. The drive raises food and monetary donations for Indiana’s 11 regional food banks.
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Indianapolis family law attorney Strain dies

February 19, 2016
IL Staff
An Indianapolis solo practitioner who was active leader in bar associations died Wednesday. Jana K. Strain was 51.
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‘Talk to a Lawyer Today’ statewide event to mark MLK Day

January 15, 2016
IL Staff
Lawyers throughout the state will donate legal services to underserved people Monday in the Indiana State Bar Association’s “Talk to a Lawyer Today” event, its 15th annual tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
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Bar associations work hard to show young lawyers the benefits of membership

November 4, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Organizations are working hard to welcome, attract and retain the young professionals because this new group shows little inclination to joining. Bar associations, like associations in different industries, are seeing millennials shy away from being part of an organized group.
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Figuring out flat fees

November 4, 2015
Dave Stafford
A recent Indiana State Bar Association Legal Ethics Committee opinion says lawyers who charge clients flat fees considered earned on receipt shouldn’t deposit the fees in their Interest on Lawyer Trust Account, but should put the money in the firm’s operating account. Some lawyers aren’t convinced this makes sense.
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Indiana lawyers say they're not bound to report child abuse

October 12, 2015
 Associated Press
Some child welfare officials say there could be dangerous fallout from an Indiana State Bar Association committee's opinion that lawyers aren't bound by a state law requiring anyone who suspects child abuse to immediately report it.
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Indianapolis lawyer to advocate for attorneys as ISBA president

September 9, 2015
Teryn Armstrong
On Oct. 9, Carol Adinamis will become the third woman to serve as president of the Indiana State Bar Association in its 119-year history.
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  1. OK so I'll make this as short as I can. I got a call that my daughter was smoking in the bathroom only her and one other girl was questioned mind you four others left before them anyways they proceeded to interrogate my daughter about smoking and all this time I nor my parents got a phone call,they proceeded to go through her belongings and also pretty much striped searched my daughter including from what my mother said they looked at her Brest without my consent. I am furious also a couple months ago my son hurt his foot and I was never called and it got worse during the day but the way some of the teachers have been treating my kids they are not comfortable going to them because they feel like they are mean or don't care. This is unacceptable in my mind i should be able to send my kids to school without worry but now I worry how the adults there are treating them. I have a lot more but I wanted to know do I have any attempt at a lawsuit because like I said there is more that's just some of what my kids are going through. Please respond. Sincerely concerned single parent

  2. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  3. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  4. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  5. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

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