Running the firm

New ABA Blueprint tool designed to increase solo, small firm efficiency

January 11, 2017
Olivia Covington
The American Bar Associatin's Blueprint, an online legal tech marketplace tool, launched in November 2016 and is meant to enable attorneys working at solo and small firms to quickly and easily find legal technology that meets their firms’ needs.
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Higgins: New rules reflect renewed focus on attorney trust accounts

December 28, 2016
For Indiana attorneys, the new year marks the effective date of the new Admission and Discipline Rule 23. The importance of Rule 23 is generally limited only to those unlucky few who find themselves being investigated or prosecuted by the Disciplinary Commission. However, Rule 23 also contains substantive provisions on how each lawyer must manage his or her trust account.
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Doxly launches new insights, closing books features

November 21, 2016
Olivia Covington
Legal tech startup Doxly Inc., an attorney-run company aimed at digitizing the process of closing legal transactions, has launched a new suite of software features designed to enhance attorneys’ abilities to track and archive deals.
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Making Rain: Using an Ouija board or financial statements to plan marketing

November 16, 2016
Dona Stohler
Although the Ouija board might be more fun, you will probably make better business decisions by asking your accounting department to reorganize your expenses and revenue to give you a picture even the Great Ouija couldn’t conjure.
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Women attorneys frustrated compensation gap still wide

November 2, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
For the most part, women leaders in Indiana’s legal profession are not surprised that female attorneys earn less than their male counterparts. What does shock them is how much less they are making.
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Getting down to the business of lawyering

October 19, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Evansville attorney David G. Harris is such a fan of the Lawyerist that he was the main driver behind getting the Evansville Bar Association to invite the website's founder and editor-in-chief Sam Glover to speak. The Minneapolis attorney-writer will be in the southern Indiana city Oct. 27 to make a presentation about practicing law and lead attorneys through a four-step process to secure information on their laptops.
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ISBA House of Delegates rejects proposal for non-lawyer ownership of law firms

October 5, 2016
Olivia Covington
After a 30-minute discussion about the potential ramifications of a recommendation to allow non-lawyers to hold equity investments in law firms, the Indiana State Bar Association House of Delegates overwhelming voted against the recommendation at its meeting Sept. 30.
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Avvo, LegalZoom execs tell ISBA legal services delivery must change

October 5, 2016
Dave Stafford
LegalZoom Chief Executive Officer John Suh told a gathering of Indiana lawyers Sept. 29 that solo and small firms whose practices in many cases have struggled for decades may be facing existential challenges, but they shouldn’t blame the internet.
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ISBA House of Delegates rejects non-lawyer equity investments

September 30, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana State Bar Association House of Delegates on Friday overwhelmingly rejected a recommendation to allow non-lawyer equity investments in law firms, saying that the issue needed further study.
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Indianapolis attorney named managing partner at Faegre Baker Daniels

September 28, 2016
IBJ Staff
Faegre Baker Daniels LLP has named longtime Indianapolis attorney Tom Froehle as chairman and managing partner of the international law firm, it announced Wednesday.
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Indy legal-tech firm secures $2.2 million for seed round

September 19, 2016
Jared Council, IBJ Staff
Doxly Inc., the legal-software company launched by Indianapolis-based venture studio High Alpha earlier this year, announced Monday that it notched $2.2 million in equity capital and signed the world's largest law firm as a client.
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Departing the partner track

August 24, 2016
Dave Stafford
Law firms are looking for talent and signing up attorneys who fit clients’ needs in flexible arrangements that eschew the traditional associate-to-partner model. The trend addresses the firms’ needs to contain costs and the desire of many lawyers for more work-life balance.
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Taft names new partner-in-charge for Indy office

August 17, 2016
Scott Olson, IBJ Staff
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP has a new partner-in-charge of its Indianapolis office, prompted by his predecessor’s promotion to lead the entire law firm.
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Technology lets lawyers pursue practices with no need to hit ‘print’

August 10, 2016
Dave Stafford
The paperless office has been an aspirational goal for many businesses including law firms for years. Advocates point to studies that say going paperless can increase efficiency by 25 to 50 percent and slash a law firm’s budget for paper, printers, printer cartridges and other traditional paperbound office supplies.
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Attorneys feel at home with virtual practices

May 18, 2016
Scott Roberts
Lawyers like Kenneth Riggins use virtual practices to reduce their overhead, while technology allows them to practice from anywhere. Many arrange to have access to office space they can use when they need it.
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Long-distance depositions

May 18, 2016
Dave Stafford
Technological advances in teleconferencing are making video depositions a more viable option to control litigation costs, but lawyers say in some cases there's no substitute for in-person questioning.
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Fee shifts an issue for court reporters

May 4, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
In certain situations, Tom Richardson will watch two attorneys in a deposition and will know one is going to get stuck with a bigger bill for the same service.
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Hicks to be next firm-wide managing partner at Taft

March 9, 2016
IL Staff
Indianapolis partner Robert J. Hicks will be the next firm-wide managing partner at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, the firm announced Tuesday.
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2040 vision: Lawyers look at the future

December 30, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
As part of Indiana Lawyer’s commemoration of its silver anniversary this year, we asked a varied group of attorneys to look ahead to the year 2040. They outlined what they thought the profession would be like, how they hoped the profession would change, and what they did not want the profession to become.
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Henderson: Survey reveals signs of fundamental change in the legal profession

December 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The traditional career path for Indiana attorneys – graduate from law school, become an associate in a law firm, work long hours and eventually become a partner – appears to be broken, or at least cracked.
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Survey: Attorney social media use largely governed by personal responsibility

December 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
By a more than 2-to-1 margin, attorneys who responded to the IL survey said their organization encourages them to promote themselves and their firm or organization, compared to those who said their organization discourages social media.
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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: 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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Protecting Your Practice: Avoid problematic fee agreements

December 2, 2015
Neal Bowling, Dina Cox
It is crucial to have a clear, written agreement with your client explaining not just the scope of your services, but how you will be paid for those services. Be careful that you don’t run afoul of your professional obligations in that fee agreement or in your billing.
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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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  1. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  2. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  3. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  4. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  5. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

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