Legal organizations/services

ILS launches new project to help abused seniors

September 29, 2016
IL Staff
Indiana Legal Services Inc. has been awarded a two-year grant to help abused senior citizens across the state recover from or reduce the negative impact of abuse.
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Putting renowned criminal defense lawyer Voyles on hot seat pays off for legal aid

September 21, 2016
Dave Stafford
Jim Voyles, the criminal defense attorney best known for representing a who’s who of famous clients thought ILAS board member and Frost Brown Todd LLC partner Tom Davis was making a sucker’s bet when he asked Voyles be the guest of honor at a fundraising roast marking ILAS’s 75th anniversary.
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Finding funds to support Indiana legal aid

September 7, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Legal aid groups seek private donors as the Indiana Supreme Court requests $500,000 more for indigent representation from the Legislature.
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ABA commission sees need for ‘regulatory innovations’ in legal profession

August 8, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding the need for legal services among the poor and moderate-income greater than legal aid and pro bono can satisfy, an American Bar Association commission is advocating for the consideration of “regulatory innovations” which include non-lawyer ownership of legal service providers.
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Lawyers logging more pro bono hours, survey finds

July 27, 2016
IL Staff
Lawyers are making more time for pro bono work, according to a recent survey of lawyers by Robert Half Legal. Despite busy schedules and increasing caseloads, 30 percent reported donating more than 80 pro bono hours each year.
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ILS collaborates with East Chicago Housing Authority to help young adults

June 1, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Starting this summer, Indiana Legal Services will partner with the East Chicago Housing Authority to help local youths who have criminal records overcome the barriers to jobs, housing and education.
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Veterans trade in military life to become legal aid attorneys

May 18, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Polli Pollem is among a trio of Indianapolis attorneys who left the military as officers, went to law school and have since found their way into legal aid. They credit their time in the service with providing them the means to get an undergraduate degree and fostering the desire to pursue a J.D.
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Legal-oriented groups pick Indianapolis for annual conventions

April 20, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
As part of its effort to attract a variety of events and conventions, Indianapolis has put a focus on attracting professional conferences. Having three legal-oriented groups come within two years indicates the city’s strategy is working.
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Wabash honors ACLU of Indiana's Ken Falk for legal service

April 18, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Described as having set “high standards of excellence for all lawyers in Indiana,” Ken Falk, legal director for the ACLU of Indiana, is being honored Monday by Wabash College for his decades of legal service.
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Immigration clinic is training ground for sites nationwide

April 15, 2016
 Associated Press
The small Wesleyan church along the Eel River at the intersection of Linden Avenue and Sixth Street opened a low-cost immigration services clinic in summer 2014 and has since handled more than 600 cases for clients seeking documented status or working toward naturalization as a U.S. citizen.
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How to solve the housing crisis: more lawyers

April 8, 2016
 Bloomberg News
The solution to a homelessness crisis that has accompanied the drop in affordable housing is to hire more lawyers: Give poor renters an attorney, and landlords will more likely settle eviction cases. Homelessness will fall, and the strain on city services will be relieved. Or so goes the logic.
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Workshop to help veterans with criminal records

April 1, 2016
IL Staff
Indiana Legal Services is conducting a workshop next week to help veterans with criminal records learn how to possibly expunge them.
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States look to provide lawyers for the poor in civil cases

March 30, 2016
 Associated Press
A flood of poor defendants representing themselves — often ineffectively — in dire cases involving eviction, foreclosure, child custody and involuntary commitment has led to a push in legislatures to expand rights to free lawyers in certain civil proceedings.
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Second round of settlement money coming to IOLTA

March 16, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana’s IOLTA program is preparing to receive a multi-million dollar boost. The money is coming from a second round of funding released as part of the settlement agreement with the Bank of America as a penalty for financial fraud during the mortgage foreclosure crisis.
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Rep. Susan Brooks helps put spotlight on civil legal aid

December 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Civil legal aid providers got a boost Tuesday with the announcement of the formation of a Civil Legal Services Caucus in the U.S. Congress.
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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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Annual dollar campaign taking ‘more scientific’ approach

November 17, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Indianapolis Legal Aid Society is kicking off its annual holiday fundraiser this week, hoping to raise $175,000 to $200,000.
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ILS awarded grant to help northern Hoosiers

October 26, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Legal Services Inc. has received a $10,000 award to help families in the northern part of the state with bankruptcy filings.
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Forgiving student debt

October 21, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The American Bar Association launched a campaign in response to proposed changes to federal loan forgiveness and repayment programs.
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Indiana programs help public sector attorneys with loans

October 21, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Along with the government repayment and forgiveness programs designed to help new attorneys in the public sector pay their student loans, law schools and bar associations have established similar programs.
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Legal Aid Society 'Raising the Bar' event focuses on pro bono

October 5, 2015
IL Staff
Indianapolis Legal Aid Society will host “Raising the Bar,” an after-work event from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday that will help that agency’s mission of providing legal services to those in need.
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Patent hub playing matchmaker for inventors, pro bono attorneys

September 9, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Under a mandate from Congress to help independent inventors, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office started opening patent hubs around the country. The Center for Intellectual Property Research at Indiana University Maurer School of Law will be the hub serving Indiana.
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National MLP conference selects Indianapolis; concerned about RFRA

August 13, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Just a few months after getting a national award, the medical-legal partnership program in Indiana is getting another boost.
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Job market somewhat improved for law school grads

August 3, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The National Association for Law Placement’s new analysis of the job market heralded the first rise in the employment rate in eight years for new law school graduates. However, the uptick comes with two caveats – the method for measuring employment has been tweaked which could be contributing to the better rate and the small size of the 2014 class provides an improved jobs rate despite a lower actual number of jobs secured.
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Grassroots efforts brought alcohol and drug abuse out of shadows

July 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
A generation ago, lawyers with alcohol or drug addictions often had another problem: Seeking help might risk their professional livelihood.
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  4. 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.

  5. 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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