Solo and small firm

Lawyer’s breast cancer diagnosis inspires launch of solo practice

October 19, 2016
Olivia Covington
It was supposed to be a routine mammogram, just something Mary Foley Panszi had to do. But when she received a breast cancer diagnosis, her life and career changed.
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Student-housing developer buys law firm’s historic building

October 6, 2016
IL Staff
An Indianapolis lawyer with a recognizable building on downtown’s Massachusetts Avenue has sold it to a local developer of student housing.
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Avvo, LegalZoom execs tell ISBA legal services delivery must change

October 5, 2016
Dave Stafford
LegalZoom Chief Executive Officer John Suh told a gathering of Indiana lawyers Sept. 29 that solo and small firms whose practices in many cases have struggled for decades may be facing existential challenges, but they shouldn’t blame the internet.
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Seymour lawyer faces felony count, disciplinary case

September 9, 2016
Dave Stafford
A Seymour lawyer who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease faces a felony charge and a disciplinary complaint seeking his emergency suspension from the practice of law.
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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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  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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