Economy

Restructuring revises coverage area for some pro bono offices

January 4, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
As of Jan. 1, Indiana has 12 pro bono districts, down from 14. Some districts saw no change in their boundaries. But all saw a sharp decrease in funding from the year before, marking the third straight year of declining funds.
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Funding less for legal aid offices

December 21, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The groups will tap reserves in 2012 as their budgets decrease.
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Labor law to be key issue in 2012

December 7, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Indiana legislators disagree about merits of right-to-work legislation.
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Students weigh in on jobs outlook

October 26, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Employment data is less worrisome than law school loan debt.
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Mergers increase following dry spell

October 12, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
More firms unite in 2011, seeking to broaden reach.
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Economic woes hitting state's public defense

August 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Years ago, those working in the Porter County Public Defender Office reported seeing a bright blue Post-it note tagged to their caseload reports that said, “HELP!” in huge hand-written print. That was a common occurrence at a time when the local public defender’s office faced a critical overload point because of skyrocketing caseloads and too few attorneys.
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2011-2012 Civil Legal Aid Fund figures released

August 31, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Division of State Court Administration has released figures for 2011-2012, showing how the $1.5 million Civil Legal Aid Fund has been distributed among 11 qualifying agencies.
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Indiana AG sues Florida foreclosure firm owned by lawyer

August 11, 2011
IL Staff
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has filed a complaint against a for-profit Florida foreclosure consultant company that Zoeller claims operated illegally in 15 Indiana counties and failed to provide refunds to customers after services were not provided.
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Partner pay rises despite economic recession

August 3, 2011
Scott Olson
Partners at Indianapolis’ largest law firms are enjoying healthy pay increases despite the tough economic times.

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I-9 audits present legal concerns for businesses

July 6, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Indiana’s chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business issued a press release June 23, urging Indiana businesses to prepare for I-9 audits. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has stepped up its audits of businesses nationwide in an effort to crack down on the employment of unauthorized immigrant workers.
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Legal trend utilizes AG experience

July 6, 2011
Michael Hoskins
When he was the state’s top prosecutor, former Indiana Attorney General Jeff Modisett saw the beginning of a trend that’s now become a focus of his practice.
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Indiana Legal Services weathers budget cuts

June 22, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The ILS board has taken cost-cutting steps, which include not renewing staff contracts.
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Judges split on mortgage issue

May 17, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In a case of first impression between a lender and the mortgagee on record, the Indiana Court of Appeals was divided as to whether the mortgagee on record had an enforceable right under a mortgage.
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As boomers age, lawyers seeing new trends in estate and health care planning

May 11, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Born between 1946 and 1964, baby boomers are not like generations that came before them with regard to estate-planning needs. Many of them are living longer and will be working longer – some by choice and others because the value of their retirement accounts has plunged in recent years. As they look toward their future, the boomers’ top concerns are asset protection and paying for long-term care, although each person may have a different approach about how to accomplish those goals.
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Federal budget cuts lead to uncertainty for state's student civic programs

April 15, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Chuck Dunlap, executive director of the Indiana Bar Foundation, says federal budget cuts mean the IBF’s Civic Education Program will have no federal funding as of September.
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Pilot project uses secure network for foreclosure settlement agreements

April 11, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court announced Monday a new program that allows parties in mortgage foreclosure settlement cases to exchange financial documents over a secure online network.
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Bankruptcy filings ease slightly in Indiana

March 1, 2011
Scott Olson
Total bankruptcy filings in the Southern District of Indiana ticked down last year. Business bankruptcies in Indiana dropped 3.2 percent.
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High court seeks comment on foreclosure practices

February 25, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court is accepting comments from the public on the proposed “Mortgage Foreclosure Best Practices” guidelines.
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Fair Finance trustee sues Indy attorney for $375,000

February 15, 2011
Greg Andrews
The bankruptcy trustee for Fair Finance Co. has filed a lawsuit against Indianapolis attorney Stephen Plopper and his wife, saying they defaulted on a 2003 loan from the defunct Tim Durham-owned business and now owe $375,000.
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Cuts proposed to LSC budget would affect ILS

February 10, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
Among approximately 70 proposed budget cuts, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee has proposed cutting $75 million, or 17 percent of the budget for the Legal Services Corporation, which funds 136 civil legal aid programs around the country, the committee announced Wednesday.
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Law schools discuss loans, jobs

February 2, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
School administrators respond to a widely circulated The New York Times article, "Is law school a losing game?"
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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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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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Court programs, economy among focuses of foreclosure conference

November 24, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
When it comes to the problem of mortgage foreclosures in Indiana, there appears to be no end in sight, at least not yet.
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COA: Summary judgment wrong in foreclosure suit

November 19, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A mortgagee’s compliance with federal mortgage servicing responsibilities is a condition precedent that can be raised as an affirmative defense to the foreclosure of a Federal Housing Administration insured loan, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today for the first time.
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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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