Law Firms

Focus for law firms: Clients, clients, clients

December 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
Law firms large and small face similar challenges – keeping costs down and quality high while also finding ways to sustain and grow the business.
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Survey finds widespread professional satisfaction, little encouragement to pursue career in law

December 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
Life’s not bad being a lawyer. Work is satisfying, there’s time for life outside work, and the pay is good. But I wouldn’t recommend it. Those contradictions in lawyers’ prevailing attitudes were revealed in Indiana Lawyer's Practicing Law in Indiana survey.
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Survey: Succession planning a top concern for organizations

December 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Thirty-eighty percent of the respondents to the Indiana Lawyer’s 2015 Practicing Law in Indiana survey listed transition or succession planning as the greatest challenge to their organization’s viability. Only the issue of managing costs while protecting quality of service topped this concern, which 42 percent found to be the greatest challenge.
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Survey results reveal range in hours of pro bono work performed annually

December 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The pro bono community still believes having attorneys donate their time and professional skills remains a viable method for providing services to low-income individuals and families. But Indiana attorneys overwhelmingly indicate they neither want to be told to volunteer nor be obligated to report their volunteer hours.
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Evansville lawyer Berger elected to nominating commission

November 30, 2015
IL Staff
Evansville personal-injury lawyer Charles L. Berger easily won election in a field of four candidates to join the Judicial Nominating Commission. Berger’s term will begin in January.
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‘Chic’ Born retiring after 45-year career

November 23, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Saying “it’s time,” Indianapolis attorney Samuel “Chic” Born is retiring from the practice of law at year's end.
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Percentage of African-American associates continues to decline

November 19, 2015
IL Staff
The percentage of African-American associates at law firms has declined each of the last six years, a trend NALP Executive Director James Leipold calls “distressing.”
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4 attorneys disrupt market by launching legal services company in Indianapolis

November 18, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Seeing an opportunity in helping businesses and lawyers with discovery in an electronic world, Hamish Cohen and three of his attorney colleagues – Ray Biederman, Sean Burke and Jon Mattingly – launched Proteus Discovery Group.
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What's in a domain name?

November 18, 2015
Dave Stafford
New .law Internet domain names offer lawyers and firms a rare chance to create an online brand that conveys to consumers a prestigious, professional identity. Or, .law names might just confuse people.
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O'Neil: Litigating in a paperless environment

November 18, 2015
If you walked down the hallway of the average law firm in the year 2000, what would you see? Paper, and a lot of it!
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Chief legal officers: cost pressures biggest issue

November 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Chief legal officers say internal and external cost pressures were their biggest concern in managing their law departments this year, according to survey results released Tuesday by Altman Weil.
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Can an on-demand lawyer startup transform the legal business?

November 5, 2015
 Bloomberg News
John Suh is convinced that he can put lawyers back to work. In the past decade, the number of working lawyers has fallen by more than 50,000. Solo practitioners, the mom-and-pop shops of jurisprudence, have been in a death spiral for even longer.
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Attorneys say juggling work and parenthood is worth the effort

November 4, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Figuring out how to balance the demands of practicing law with the needs of a family is a struggle that female attorneys have long faced, but increasingly male attorneys also want to be able to take time for their families.
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Figuring out flat fees

November 4, 2015
Dave Stafford
A recent Indiana State Bar Association Legal Ethics Committee opinion says lawyers who charge clients flat fees considered earned on receipt shouldn’t deposit the fees in their Interest on Lawyer Trust Account, but should put the money in the firm’s operating account. Some lawyers aren’t convinced this makes sense.
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Sue Shadley memorial set for Nov. 7

October 29, 2015
IL Staff
A memorial service for trailblazing Indianapolis attorney Sue Shadley is scheduled for Nov. 7 at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art.
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Inside massive injury lawsuits, clients get traded like commodities for big money

October 23, 2015
 Bloomberg News
For all the black robes and ceremony, the American legal system often operates more like a factory assembly line than a citadel of individualized justice. Now a legal dispute within a plaintiffs' law firm that organizes massive torts is threatening to pull back the curtain on the mechanics of high-volume litigation.
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Has it become impossible to prosecute white collar crime?

October 21, 2015
 Bloomberg News
For close watchers of the interactions between the Justice Department and the financial industry, the mistrial in the Dewey & LeBoeuf case was about more than just the fact that a handful of jurors were too overwhelmed by the evidence presented to reach a verdict. The mistrial, after four months in court and 22 days of deliberations, hints at a much deeper problem: Perhaps most financial crime has simply reached a level of such complexity that it's beyond the reach of the law.
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Five for 5 at 25

October 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
As Indiana Lawyer marks its 25th anniversary, we posed five questions to five leaders in the legal community admitted to practice in 1990. Here’s what they had to say upon marking a quarter-century in the profession.
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Trust and the troubled child

October 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
Estate planning attorneys occasionally draw the strong-willed client who wants to leave money to an heir – but only if the kid sobers up, quits getting in trouble with the law, gets a job, stops living beyond his means, or changes behavior in some other way.
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Retzner: The family vacation home: harmony or chaos?

October 21, 2015
In most instances, vacation homes achieve the goal of family harmony. After the parents pass away, however, that family harmony can quickly turn to chaos.
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Indiana law firms showcase local artists

October 21, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Frost Brown Todd LLC has turned a portion of its 19th-floor suite into an art gallery. Every couple of months, the walls of the meeting area, conference room and adjoining hallways are adorned with a new collection of works by a local artist.
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Trailblazing lawyer Sue Shadley dies

October 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
Indianapolis attorney Sue Shadley, who made her mark in environmental law and was a founding partner in what became one of the city’s major firms, died Monday from Lou Gehrig’s disease.
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Confidence levels remain muted, partners say

October 14, 2015
 Bloomberg News
If there’s optimism among law firm managing partners, it’s muted at best.
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Dewey jury remains stuck over most counts against executives

October 13, 2015
 Bloomberg News
A jury considering fraud charges against three former executives at Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP remains deadlocked on most counts in its 18th day of deliberations.
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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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  1. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  2. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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