Law Firms

Focus for law firms: Clients, clients, clients

December 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
Law firms large and small face similar challenges – keeping costs down and quality high while also finding ways to sustain and grow the business.
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Survey finds widespread professional satisfaction, little encouragement to pursue career in law

December 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
Life’s not bad being a lawyer. Work is satisfying, there’s time for life outside work, and the pay is good. But I wouldn’t recommend it. Those contradictions in lawyers’ prevailing attitudes were revealed in Indiana Lawyer's Practicing Law in Indiana survey.
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Survey: Succession planning a top concern for organizations

December 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Thirty-eighty percent of the respondents to the Indiana Lawyer’s 2015 Practicing Law in Indiana survey listed transition or succession planning as the greatest challenge to their organization’s viability. Only the issue of managing costs while protecting quality of service topped this concern, which 42 percent found to be the greatest challenge.
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Survey results reveal range in hours of pro bono work performed annually

December 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The pro bono community still believes having attorneys donate their time and professional skills remains a viable method for providing services to low-income individuals and families. But Indiana attorneys overwhelmingly indicate they neither want to be told to volunteer nor be obligated to report their volunteer hours.
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Evansville lawyer Berger elected to nominating commission

November 30, 2015
IL Staff
Evansville personal-injury lawyer Charles L. Berger easily won election in a field of four candidates to join the Judicial Nominating Commission. Berger’s term will begin in January.
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‘Chic’ Born retiring after 45-year career

November 23, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Saying “it’s time,” Indianapolis attorney Samuel “Chic” Born is retiring from the practice of law at year's end.
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Percentage of African-American associates continues to decline

November 19, 2015
IL Staff
The percentage of African-American associates at law firms has declined each of the last six years, a trend NALP Executive Director James Leipold calls “distressing.”
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4 attorneys disrupt market by launching legal services company in Indianapolis

November 18, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Seeing an opportunity in helping businesses and lawyers with discovery in an electronic world, Hamish Cohen and three of his attorney colleagues – Ray Biederman, Sean Burke and Jon Mattingly – launched Proteus Discovery Group.
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What's in a domain name?

November 18, 2015
Dave Stafford
New .law Internet domain names offer lawyers and firms a rare chance to create an online brand that conveys to consumers a prestigious, professional identity. Or, .law names might just confuse people.
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O'Neil: Litigating in a paperless environment

November 18, 2015
If you walked down the hallway of the average law firm in the year 2000, what would you see? Paper, and a lot of it!
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Chief legal officers: cost pressures biggest issue

November 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Chief legal officers say internal and external cost pressures were their biggest concern in managing their law departments this year, according to survey results released Tuesday by Altman Weil.
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Can an on-demand lawyer startup transform the legal business?

November 5, 2015
 Bloomberg News
John Suh is convinced that he can put lawyers back to work. In the past decade, the number of working lawyers has fallen by more than 50,000. Solo practitioners, the mom-and-pop shops of jurisprudence, have been in a death spiral for even longer.
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Attorneys say juggling work and parenthood is worth the effort

November 4, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Figuring out how to balance the demands of practicing law with the needs of a family is a struggle that female attorneys have long faced, but increasingly male attorneys also want to be able to take time for their families.
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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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Sue Shadley memorial set for Nov. 7

October 29, 2015
IL Staff
A memorial service for trailblazing Indianapolis attorney Sue Shadley is scheduled for Nov. 7 at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art.
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Inside massive injury lawsuits, clients get traded like commodities for big money

October 23, 2015
 Bloomberg News
For all the black robes and ceremony, the American legal system often operates more like a factory assembly line than a citadel of individualized justice. Now a legal dispute within a plaintiffs' law firm that organizes massive torts is threatening to pull back the curtain on the mechanics of high-volume litigation.
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Has it become impossible to prosecute white collar crime?

October 21, 2015
 Bloomberg News
For close watchers of the interactions between the Justice Department and the financial industry, the mistrial in the Dewey & LeBoeuf case was about more than just the fact that a handful of jurors were too overwhelmed by the evidence presented to reach a verdict. The mistrial, after four months in court and 22 days of deliberations, hints at a much deeper problem: Perhaps most financial crime has simply reached a level of such complexity that it's beyond the reach of the law.
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Five for 5 at 25

October 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
As Indiana Lawyer marks its 25th anniversary, we posed five questions to five leaders in the legal community admitted to practice in 1990. Here’s what they had to say upon marking a quarter-century in the profession.
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Trust and the troubled child

October 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
Estate planning attorneys occasionally draw the strong-willed client who wants to leave money to an heir – but only if the kid sobers up, quits getting in trouble with the law, gets a job, stops living beyond his means, or changes behavior in some other way.
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Retzner: The family vacation home: harmony or chaos?

October 21, 2015
In most instances, vacation homes achieve the goal of family harmony. After the parents pass away, however, that family harmony can quickly turn to chaos.
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Indiana law firms showcase local artists

October 21, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Frost Brown Todd LLC has turned a portion of its 19th-floor suite into an art gallery. Every couple of months, the walls of the meeting area, conference room and adjoining hallways are adorned with a new collection of works by a local artist.
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Trailblazing lawyer Sue Shadley dies

October 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
Indianapolis attorney Sue Shadley, who made her mark in environmental law and was a founding partner in what became one of the city’s major firms, died Monday from Lou Gehrig’s disease.
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Confidence levels remain muted, partners say

October 14, 2015
 Bloomberg News
If there’s optimism among law firm managing partners, it’s muted at best.
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Dewey jury remains stuck over most counts against executives

October 13, 2015
 Bloomberg News
A jury considering fraud charges against three former executives at Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP remains deadlocked on most counts in its 18th day of deliberations.
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Record pace for US law firm combinations continues

October 12, 2015
 Bloomberg News
Law firm mergers show no signs of abating. That’s the takeaway from a report from legal consultant Altman Weil Inc., which tracks the number of combinations -- both large and small – among firms.
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  1. Call it unauthorized law if you must, a regulatory wrong, but it was fraud and theft well beyond that, a seeming crime! "In three specific cases, the hearing officer found that Westerfield did little to no work for her clients but only issued a partial refund or no refund at all." That is theft by deception, folks. "In its decision to suspend Westerfield, the Supreme Court noted that she already had a long disciplinary history dating back to 1996 and had previously been suspended in 2004 and indefinitely suspended in 2005. She was reinstated in 2009 after finally giving the commission a response to the grievance for which she was suspended in 2004." WOW -- was the Indiana Supreme Court complicit in her fraud? Talk about being on notice of a real bad actor .... "Further, the justices noted that during her testimony, Westerfield was “disingenuous and evasive” about her relationship with Tope and attempted to distance herself from him. They also wrote that other aggravating factors existed in Westerfield’s case, such as her lack of remorse." WOW, and yet she only got 18 months on the bench, and if she shows up and cries for them in a year and a half, and pays money to JLAP for group therapy ... back in to ride roughshod over hapless clients (or are they "marks") once again! Aint Hoosier lawyering a great money making adventure!!! Just live for the bucks, even if filthy lucre, and come out a-ok. ME on the other hand??? Lifetime banishment for blowing the whistle on unconstitutional governance. Yes, had I ripped off clients or had ANY disciplinary history for doing that I would have fared better, most likely, as that it would have revealed me motivated by Mammon and not Faith. Check it out if you doubt my reading of this, compare and contrast the above 18 months with my lifetime banishment from court, see appendix for Bar Examiners report which the ISC adopted without substantive review: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS

  2. Wow, over a quarter million dollars? That is a a lot of commissary money! Over what time frame? Years I would guess. Anyone ever try to blow the whistle? Probably not, since most Hoosiers who take notice of such things realize that Hoosier whistleblowers are almost always pilloried. If someone did blow the whistle, they were likely fired. The persecution of whistleblowers is a sure sign of far too much government corruption. Details of my own personal experience at the top of Hoosier governance available upon request ... maybe a "fake news" media outlet will have the courage to tell the stories of Hoosier whistleblowers that the "real" Hoosier media (cough) will not deign to touch. (They are part of the problem.)

  3. So if I am reading it right, only if and when African American college students agree to receive checks labeling them as "Negroes" do they receive aid from the UNCF or the Quaker's Educational Fund? In other words, to borrow from the Indiana Appellate Court, "the [nonprofit] supposed to be [their] advocate, refers to [students] in a racially offensive manner. While there is no evidence that [the nonprofits] intended harm to [African American students], the harm was nonetheless inflicted. [Black students are] presented to [academia and future employers] in a racially offensive manner. For these reasons, [such] performance [is] deficient and also prejudice[ial]." Maybe even DEPLORABLE???

  4. I'm the poor soul who spent over 10 years in prison with many many other prisoners trying to kill me for being charged with a sex offense THAT I DID NOT COMMIT i was in jail for a battery charge for helping a friend leave a boyfriend who beat her I've been saying for over 28 years that i did not and would never hurt a child like that mine or anybody's child but NOBODY wants to believe that i might not be guilty of this horrible crime or think that when i say that ALL the paperwork concerning my conviction has strangely DISAPPEARED or even when the long beach judge re-sentenced me over 14 months on a already filed plea bargain out of another districts court then had it filed under a fake name so i could not find while trying to fight my conviction on appeal in a nut shell people are ALWAYS quick to believe the worst about some one well I DID NOT HURT ANY CHILD EVER IN MY LIFE AND HAVE SAID THIS FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS please if anybody can me get some kind of justice it would be greatly appreciated respectfully written wrongly accused Brian Valenti

  5. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

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