Indiana State Bar Association

Pyrz begins his last year leading Indiana State Bar Association

January 11, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
Thomas Pyrz, who has led the ISBA since Nov. 22, 1992, plans to retire at the end of 2017. His nearly 25-year tenure has included hiring additional staff, launching new programs, and increasing the value of membership to counter attorneys’ shifting view of the association.
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Program offers free legal assistance on King holiday

January 9, 2017
IL Staff
The Indiana State Bar Association will again be honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by sponsoring the 2017 “Talk to a Lawyer Today” program Jan. 16 at sites all across the state.
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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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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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