Solo and small firm

Longtime northern Indiana attorney dies

October 18, 2010
IL Staff
Nick J. Thiros, who practiced law in northwest Indiana for more than 50 years, died Oct. 14.
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Biking barristers

October 13, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Maybe it’s no surprise that after a long week in the office meeting with clients, attending court hearings, and handling filings that a journey on the open road with nothing but a motorcycle and maybe a few friends is the perfect way to spend the weekend.
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Lawyer-legislator's attacker on trial

September 15, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The man accused of attacking a lawyer-legislator last year because of a 23-year-old legal dispute is on trial in Hamilton Superior Court, facing multiple felony charges and potentially 100 years or more in prison.
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Attorney waits for plea agreement decision

August 23, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Anderson attorney Samuel Hasler is still waiting to see if his plea agreement regarding child pornography charges will be accepted.
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'Virtual' office reflects broader changes in practice of law

August 18, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Bricks and mortar aren’t what the practice of law is about for attorney Brian Powers. So, he does without them in the traditional sense.
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Patient wins case following disclosure of HIV status

July 21, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Considering how much information is out there on just about every individual – a simple Google search can prove that – it’s difficult to say what is or isn’t private anymore.
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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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ISBA conference attracts law students

June 23, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
The ninth conference aimed at solo and small firm attorneys in Indiana was a success according to organizers and those who attended, especially going by the number of law school students in attendance compared to previous years.
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Groups to offer August seminars on attorney retirement

June 9, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
There’s an old joke in the legal profession that attorneys never retire.So the Indiana State Bar Association and Indiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program have partnered to present three conferences in late August about retirement preparation.
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Family law attorney to receive national award

June 2, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
For doing pro bono work and for promoting pro bono work among others in the legal community, an Indianapolis attorney has learned she will receive a national award at the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco in August.
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Lawyer competition donates 50 tons of food

May 13, 2010
IL Staff
Attorneys from around the state raised more than 50 tons of food through the Attorney General’s annual March Against Hunger competition.
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Lawyers manage restaurants, legal work in Evansville, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis

May 12, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Usually being served by a lawyer is a bad thing. That is, unless the lawyer is offering a cool martini or a warm plate of shrimp and grits.
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Attorneys face health concerns head on

May 12, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
It’s never easy to handle an emergency when it comes to someone’s health, on a personal or professional level. But some early planning can help, especially when it comes to knowing who will take over the workload.
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Solos discuss alternatives to the billable hour

March 31, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
While alternative billing isn't a brand new concept, more solo and small firm attorneys are offering this option to clients to help develop their businesses as clients are more likely to ask their lawyers the question: "What do I get for paying you for your time?"
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Lawyer faces child pornography charges

March 11, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
An Anderson attorney is in a community confinement facility after being arrested for distribution and possession of child pornography.
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Law firms called to fight hunger

March 10, 2010
IL Staff
The law is a competitive profession, and the attorney general wants attorneys to channel that competition to fight hunger in Indiana.
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Law firm collecting supplies for volunteer trip

November 11, 2009
IL Staff
A Carmel law firm is collecting donations of toys, clothing, school supplies, and other items in anticipation of a Thanksgiving week trip to orphanages in Nicaragua.
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Lawyer, school board president dies

March 18, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Stephen A. Backer, an Indianapolis attorney and current president of the Carmel Clay School Board, died March 15 after a brief illness.
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Military-leave suit targets law firm

March 17, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The U.S. Department of Justice says an Indianapolis law firm wrongfully refused to re-employ a staff attorney who'd returned from serving in Iraq as a member of the Indiana Army National Guard.
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Attorneys leaving Bingham to form new firm

February 11, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Seven attorneys are leaving Indianapolis firm Bingham McHale to form a new insurance litigation firm, a move that one of the departing partners said came as a result of high rates and the large firm's practice group effectively pricing itself out of the market.
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Prominent Seymour attorney dies

January 29, 2009
IL Staff
A Seymour attorney recognized for his contributions to the community died unexpectedly Jan. 27 during a morning workout.
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Muncie lawyer named city court judge

December 22, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A Muncie law firm will remain intact after both of its longtime partners take the bench in January.
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Attorney faces charges of mail, wire fraud

October 22, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A federal grand jury in Hammond has indicted a Schererville attorney with two counts of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud after being accused of stealing money from two clients.
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Settlement may be largest of its kind

October 14, 2008
Michael Hoskins
In what is believed to be the highest-ever payout of its kind in the state, the Indiana Department of Insurance will receive $16.5 million from a national legal malpractice insurer as part of a federal lawsuit settlement.
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State settles with legal malpractice insurer

October 13, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A legal malpractice insurance carrier has agreed to pay $16.5 million to Indiana's insurance department, settling a federal lawsuit that had come on the heels of a state malpractice claim where an Indianapolis law firm got hit with an $18 million verdict.
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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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