Solo and small firm

Attorney suspended for lack of action in client cases

August 17, 2016
IL Staff
An Indianapolis attorney has been suspended for at least one year after he failed to take action on three clients’ matters and did not refund unearned flat fees. One justice believed his actions warranted disbarment.
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Technology lets lawyers pursue practices with no need to hit ‘print’

August 10, 2016
Dave Stafford
The paperless office has been an aspirational goal for many businesses including law firms for years. Advocates point to studies that say going paperless can increase efficiency by 25 to 50 percent and slash a law firm’s budget for paper, printers, printer cartridges and other traditional paperbound office supplies.
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Lawyers scatter after century-old Carmel firm closes

May 27, 2016
Lindsey Erdody, IBJ Staff
A 100-year-old law firm in Hamilton County has dissolved, and a majority of its attorneys have launched new practices.
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Attorneys feel at home with virtual practices

May 18, 2016
Scott Roberts
Lawyers like Kenneth Riggins use virtual practices to reduce their overhead, while technology allows them to practice from anywhere. Many arrange to have access to office space they can use when they need it.
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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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COA affirms attorney owes ex-assistant thousands in unpaid wages

December 23, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Elkhart solo practitioner must pay his former legal assistant more than $85,000 after she sued him to recover unpaid wages owed to her over the course of two years, the Court of Appeals affirmed Wednesday.
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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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Warsaw attorney, 3 others killed in plane crash

October 5, 2015
 Associated Press, IL Staff
A solo practitioner from Warsaw and a former top racecar driver were among four Indiana men who died in a plane crash while traveling to the Notre Dame-Clemson football game.
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Merger fever strikes

August 12, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The handful of Hoosier law firms that combined during the last two years highlight a pair of emerging trends of interest to those who watch law firm merger and acquisition activity.
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Criminal defense attorney Robert Hammerle joins Pence Hensel

June 3, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Between them, the three defense attorneys have handled a range of cases from murder and the death penalty to fraud, civil business litigation and even treason. But on a recent morning, the trio of legal minds was gathered around the conference room table discussing the most pressing matter of that day – office furniture.
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Growth of IP law feeds large firms, boutiques

May 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
Not so long ago, patent and intellectual property attorneys most often practiced in firms that specialized in the technical, complex legal systems that govern and protect invention and creation. But big firms saw opportunities and seized them, sometimes gobbling up entire practices
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Mother-daughter home rehab team gets s shot at HGTV gig

April 29, 2015
Scott Olson
An Indianapolis attorney and her daughter who rehab homes in the Fountain Square neighborhood are getting a shot at the national spotlight. If it takes off, Karen Jensen says she'd have to shut down her practice to accommodate filming.
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Insurer owes no duty in dispute between sibling ex-law partners

December 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A dispute between a brother and sister as their law firm partnership was dissolving was an employment-related matter covered by an insurer’s exclusionary clause, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday, reversing a trial court order.
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Small firms rise to top of ISBA leadership

October 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
Jeff Hawkins is like most Indiana lawyers – he works in a small practice. Hawkins, incoming president of the Indiana State Bar Association, will be the first of three consecutive leaders hailing from solo or small law firms.
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IP lawyer among first to accept Bitcoin for services

September 10, 2014
Dave Stafford
Intellectual property attorney Paul Overhauser’s clients are often on the cutting edge of Internet technology, so he decided that in addition to dollars, he’ll take digital dough.
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New partnerships require a shared vision, bit of nerve

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
Lawyers who’ve teamed up to start firms as partnerships say putting their professional names and reputations on the line together takes mutual trust, respect, a shared vision, and a fair amount of nerve.
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Solo and Small Firm Conference puts focus on future of law

June 18, 2014
Dave Stafford
With a focus on “The Future of Law” and highlighted by a healthy dose of ethics and a look at coming changes and challenges, the Indiana State Bar Association’s Solo and Small Firm Conference at the French Lick Resort drew the second-largest crowd in the event’s history, organizers said.
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Muncie attorney is a 'Legendary Lawyer'

June 18, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Frank Gilkison Jr. built a distinguished reputation with superior legal skills and a quick smile.
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Canine companions bring touch of home to the workplace

May 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
Siegfried isn’t just attorney Michael Sutherlin’s 4-year-old Doberman. He’s also a trusted aide who’s never far from the lawyer’s side at home or at his Indianapolis office.
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Law firms should be concerned about cybersecurity

May 7, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The real dollars are paid on the black market for inside details about possible mergers and acquisitions, new public policy, and information about cutting-edge technology. In short, the kind of private, confidential information that many law firms hold in their client files.
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Every defendant has a story

January 29, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
After 11 grueling years on the high-profile Camm murder case, attorney Stacy Uliana believes justice was served.
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Small law firm acquisitions drive record year in mergers

January 8, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Law firm combinations were up 47 percent in 2013, which is the highest number of combinations recorded in the seven years that Altman Weil MergerLine has been compiling data, the organization announced Wednesday.
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Amish advocates

October 9, 2013
It is rare that members of northern Indiana’s Amish communities have a need for legal representation. When they do, they turn to a neighbor they know and trust.
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Founding attorney’s move to join mediation group will change law firm name

September 18, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indianapolis law office of Collignon Dietrick P.C. will be undergoing a transition as one of its shareholders prepares to exit. 
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Lawyers talk about considerations in leaving firms, opening new practices

July 31, 2013
Dave Stafford
Several attorneys recently have departed established firms to form their own practices, leveraging their legal talents, goodwill and loyal clientele to satisfy entrepreneurial longings.
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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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