Legal organizations/services

Pro bono districts hire new plan administrators

February 2, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
With almost half of the pro bono districts losing plan administrators since mid-2009, it is not going to be an easy job to replace the institutional knowledge of the outgoing plan administrators. Districts 2, 3, 6, 9, 11, and most recently 7 have been forced to tackle that task.
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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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Talk to a Lawyer Today includes 3 dozen sites

January 17, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
While many attorneys get a day off of work today because courts, government offices, banks, and many businesses are closed to honor the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., more than 200 lawyers have volunteered to spend two hours answering legal questions from the public as part of the Indiana State Bar Association’s 10th annual Talk to a Lawyer Today event.
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Maurer dean chosen president-elect of national law school association

January 11, 2011
IL Staff
Indiana University Maurer School of Law Dean Lauren K. Robel was elected president-elect of the American Association of Law Schools at the annual meeting of its House of Representatives Jan. 7.
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Talk to a Lawyer Today event seeks volunteers

January 6, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
The annual Talk to a Lawyer Today event will take place on Jan. 17 at locations around the state. While the free CLE opportunities took place in late 2010, volunteers who want to participate may do so if they didn’t attend the CLE.
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Indiana Supreme Court to hear arguments on victim-advocate privilege

January 5, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
Domestic violence victims’ advocates and criminal law attorneys are waiting on the Indiana Supreme Court’s decision in a case involving a criminal defendant’s subpoena for records from a victim’s advocacy organization.
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Indiana pro bono districts take a hit

December 22, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
While low interest rates can be a good thing for those looking to take out loans to buy a home, a car, or to refinance, they mean nothing but headaches and heartaches for organizations that depend on the dollars generated, such as legal aid organizations that rely on funds from Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts.
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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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Bar associations host free CLE

December 8, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Bar associations and pro bono districts are working together in December and January to promote replays of a CLE for attorneys who want to participate in the annual statewide Talk to a Lawyer Today event taking place Jan. 17, 2011.
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Human trafficking cases on the rise in Indiana

November 10, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
While it may still be an issue under the radar of many Hoosiers, human trafficking seems to be thriving in Indiana.
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Attorney, legal services organization receive access to justice awards

October 28, 2010
IL Staff
The Muslim Alliance of Indiana presented two awards today at its second annual Access to Justice luncheon.
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IBF receives $100k; shares 2011 budget

October 27, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Following the unexpected gift from the Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum’s governing board of $100,000 to the Indiana Bar Foundation on Oct. 15, leadership for IBF said it is unlikely the foundation will give all of that money to the pro bono districts.
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Annual event recognizes pro bono efforts

October 27, 2010
IL Staff
Photos from the 2010 Randall T. Shepard Award Dinner.
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Medicaid applicants facing 'tremendous hurdles'?

September 29, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
When filing a claim for Medicaid disability benefits, the process sounds straightforward: Complete an application that includes all disabilities that would make the case that you deserve the benefits. If your application is deemed sufficient by a Medicaid Medical Review Team, you get the benefits. If not, you receive a one- or two-page letter that includes information about how you can appeal.
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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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Services, attitudes change toward domestic violence

September 15, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
When shelters started popping up in Indiana and around the country a little more than three decades ago, women who were victims of domestic violence had limited options.
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New approach to foreclosure prevention successful

September 15, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Courts around the state have experienced more success with a new approach to settlement conferences utilizing facilitators – who interact directly with borrowers and lenders – than past attempts to find alternatives to foreclosures.
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Free CLE offered for TTALT volunteers

September 15, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
The Indiana State Bar Association will offer its ninth annual free CLE session to prepare for the Talk to a Lawyer Today program from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 11 at Barnes & Thornburg in downtown Indianapolis.
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Judge nixes non-attorney’s attempt to join class action

September 7, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A federal judge says that a non-attorney who wants to work for the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana or as a local public defender can’t join an already-pending class-action lawsuit that challenges the state’s Board of Law Examiners and its questions about applicants’ mental health history.
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Civics program cuts staff

August 27, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
The staff of the civics education program of the Indiana Bar Foundation will be restructured due to decreases in IOLTA funding available for next year, the IBF announced today.
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Rental properties require effort

August 4, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
As the prices for homes continue to drop as foreclosures and abandoned properties continue to pop up in virtually every neighborhood, there may be a few people considering whether these homes could make for good investments either as properties to fix and sell or to buy and repair for a rental property.
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State changes victim alerts

July 21, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
The Indiana Department of Correction recently changed how it will notify those who register to find out where someone is in the system, whether it’s a transfer from one jail to another, a change in status, or a legal hearing.
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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?

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. Falk said “At this point, at this minute, we’ll savor this particular victory.” “It certainly is a historic week on this front,” Cockrum said. “What a delight ... “Happy Independence Day to the women of the state of Indiana,” WOW. So we broke with England for the right to "off" our preborn progeny at will, and allow the processing plant doing the dirty deeds (dirt cheap) to profit on the marketing of those "products of conception." I was completely maleducated on our nation's founding, it would seem. (But I know the ACLU is hard at work to remedy that, too.)

  2. congratulations on such balanced journalism; I also love how fetus disposal affects women's health protection, as covered by Roe...

  3. It truly sickens me every time a case is compared to mine. The Indiana Supreme Court upheld my convictions based on a finding of “hidden threats.” The term “hidden threat” never appeared until the opinion in Brewington so I had no way of knowing I was on trial for making hidden threats because Dearborn County Prosecutor F Aaron Negangard argued the First Amendment didn't protect lies. Negangard convened a grand jury to investigate me for making “over the top” and “unsubstantiated” statements about court officials, not hidden threats of violence. My indictments and convictions were so vague, the Indiana Court of Appeals made no mention of hidden threats when they upheld my convictions. Despite my public defender’s closing arguments stating he was unsure of exactly what conduct the prosecution deemed to be unlawful, Rush found that my lawyer’s trial strategy waived my right to the fundamental error of being tried for criminal defamation because my lawyer employed a strategy that attempted to take advantage of Negangard's unconstitutional criminal defamation prosecution against me. Rush’s opinion stated the prosecution argued two grounds for conviction one constitutional and one not, however the constitutional true threat “argument” consistently of only a blanket reading of subsection 1 of the intimidation statute during closing arguments, making it impossible to build any kind of defense. Of course intent was impossible for my attorney to argue because my attorney, Rush County Chief Public Defender Bryan Barrett refused to meet with me prior to trial. The record is littered with examples of where I made my concerns known to the trial judge that I didn’t know the charges against me, I did not have access to evidence, all while my public defender refused to meet with me. Special Judge Brian Hill, from Rush Superior Court, refused to address the issue with my public defender and marched me to trial without access to evidence or an understanding of the indictments against me. Just recently the Indiana Public Access Counselor found that four over four years Judge Hill has erroneously denied access to the grand jury audio from my case, the most likely reason being the transcription of the grand jury proceedings omitted portions of the official audio record. The bottom line is any intimidation case involves an action or statement that is debatably a threat of physical violence. There were no such statements in my case. The Indiana Supreme Court took partial statements I made over a period of 41 months and literally connected them with dots… to give the appearance that the statements were made within the same timeframe and then claimed a person similarly situated would find the statements intimidating while intentionally leaving out surrounding contextual factors. Even holding the similarly situated test was to be used in my case, the prosecution argued that the only intent of my public writings was to subject the “victims” to ridicule and hatred so a similarly situated jury instruction wouldn't even have applied in my case. Chief Justice Rush wrote the opinion while Rush continued to sit on a committee with one of the alleged victims in my trial and one of the judges in my divorce, just as she'd done for the previous 7+ years. All of this information, including the recent PAC opinion against the Dearborn Superior Court II can be found on my blog www.danbrewington.blogspot.com.

  4. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  5. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

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