Legal organizations/services

Public Defender Commission report now online

August 9, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Public Defender Commission report is now available online. The Public Defense Fund returned more than $16 million to Indiana counties during the last fiscal year.
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Protective Order Pro Bono Project launches pro se clinic

August 3, 2011
IL Staff
The Protective Order Pro Bono Project, which provides pro bono legal assistance to indigent victims of domestic violence in Marion County to obtain and enforce protection orders, is starting a pro se clinic this month.
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Race benefits group working to end domestic violence

July 25, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s 8th annual Race Away From Domestic Violence event is Aug. 13 in Indianapolis. Proceeds from the 5k run/walk/wheelchair roll benefit the ICADV, a nonprofit working to ending domestic violence.
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Justices rule on cases using 3-step test seeking records

June 23, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court tackled the issue of requests for production of information to private third parties in two opinions Thursday – one dealing with records sought that fall under the victim-advocate privilege and the other dealing with unprotected information.
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Indiana Bar Foundation announces new board

June 23, 2011
IL Staff
New Albany attorney J. Mark Robinson has been named president-elect of the Indiana Bar Foundation, and Michael Bishop will become the new board president. The positions were named at the foundation’s June 17 meeting.
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Indiana Legal Services weathers budget cutsRestricted Content

June 22, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The ILS board has taken cost-cutting steps, which include not renewing staff contracts.
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IPAC director retiring Aug. 1

June 13, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The longtime leader of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council is retiring Aug. 1, leaving the statewide agency he’s been with for more than three decades.
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Pro Bono Commission receives cy pres award

June 9, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Pro Bono Commission has received an award for the benefit of its districts that comes from a class-action lawsuit.
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Disconnect between immigrants and the law leads to confusionRestricted Content

June 8, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
After chatting with a colleague, Marion County Deputy Prosecutor Andrew Fogle decided something needed to be done about the relationship between immigrants and law enforcement.
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ITLA volunteers connecting with community

June 8, 2011
Kelly Lucas
Time is money. Money makes the world go ’round. So what is so powerful that it can motivate busy lawyers to give up both? Perhaps it is the realization that with a small donation of each, they have the power to help alleviate hunger among children and families in central Indiana.
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Groups file suits against new law

June 8, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The National Immigration Law Center, American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, and the national ACLU Foundation Immigrants’ Rights Project filed a class action lawsuit May 25 challenging the wording of a new Indiana law designed to curb illegal immigration.
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Dining event to aid pro bono clinic

April 14, 2011
IL Staff
On April 20, the Columbus Applebee’s restaurant will donate 15 percent of sales to Legal Aid District Eleven, which serves Bartholomew, Brown, Decatur, Jackson, and Jennings counties.
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Protective Order Pro Bono Project offers training

March 30, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
For the last 10 years, volunteer attorneys and students in central Indiana have been helping domestic violence victims obtain protective orders, but before embarking on this process, volunteers must be trained on various matters.
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Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic offers help for low-income taxpayers

March 23, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Unexpected audits, bankruptcy complications, and misunderstandings about tax law are what bring many low-income clients to the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic’s Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic. The LITC staff – one tax attorney, one paralegal, and one outreach coordinator fluent in English and Spanish – helps clients understand how to handle complicated tax issues.
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Encouraging diversity in CASA programs

March 16, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
Having volunteers and staff who can relate to families that interact with Court Appointed Special Advocates programs has proven invaluable to a number of county-level CASA programs in Indiana. Indianapolis-based Child Advocates Inc. received the National CASA Inclusion Award for its inclusion and diversity plan March 20 at the National CASA conference in Chicago.
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Lawyer commits to pro bono

March 2, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
The aspirational pro bono goal for attorneys, set by the American Bar Association and endorsed – but not forced – by many states, is around 50 hours. Some Indiana attorneys work this into their annual budget by working with pro bono district plan administrators to accept cases when need exists and when they can easily fit them into their work schedules.
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Race for LACE to benefit Kenya legal aid clinic

February 23, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
Following the success of last year’s Race for LACE to support the Legal Aid Centre of Eldoret, Kenya, organizers are seeking participants for this year’s event that coincides with the 5K race held with the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon on May 7.
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Indiana man named Advocate of the Year

February 22, 2011
IL Staff
A Marion man will be honored in March by the National Court Appointed Special Advocates Association with the G.F. Bettineski Child Advocate of the Year Award. Frank West of CASA of Grant County will receive the award during the association’s 30th annual national conference in Chicago.
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Poverty law event at IU-Indy March 1

February 21, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis, Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic, and the Central Indiana Peace Corps Association are hosting a poverty law event that will discuss issues facing American families.
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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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Fundraiser to benefit Legal Aid in Tippecanoe County

February 8, 2011
IL Staff
The Legal Aid Outback lunch and auction will be held Feb. 23 at Outback Steakhouse in Lafayette. Proceeds from the event benefit Legal Aid Corporation of Tippecanoe County, a nonprofit that provides low-cost legal assistance to low-income county residents on family law matters.
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CASA group to receive national diversity award

February 4, 2011
IL Staff
The National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association announced Thursday afternoon that it will honor Indianapolis-based Child Advocates Inc. with the National CASA Inclusion Award at their 30th Annual National CASA Conference in Chicago on March 20.
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AALS president to speak at IU Maurer School of Law

February 2, 2011
IL Staff
The president of the Association of American Law Schools will speak about higher education issues at Indiana University Maurer School of Law at noon Feb. 7 in the law school’s moot courtroom at 211 S. Indiana Ave., Bloomington. The event is free and open to the public.
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Attorney helps senior citizens stay in their homes

February 2, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
Orville Copsey Jr. works for Indianapolis Legal Aid Society as a liaison between the elderly with housing issues and the Marion County Health Department’s attorneys and inspectors.
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Pro bono districts hire new plan administrators

February 2, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
With almost half of the pro bono districts losing plan administrators since mid-2009, it is not going to be an easy job to replace the institutional knowledge of the outgoing plan administrators. Districts 2, 3, 6, 9, 11, and most recently 7 have been forced to tackle that task.
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  1. I was wondering about the 6 million put aside for common attorney fees?does that mean that if you are a plaintiff your attorney fees will be partially covered?

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  3. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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