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Order affirms delinquent fee waivers

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The Indiana Supreme Court issued an administrative order Tuesday allowing the executive secretary of the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission and the executive director of the Indiana Commission on Continuing Legal Education to continue to grant waivers to attorneys for delinquent fees and reinstatement fees assessed pursuant to Admission & Discipline Rules 23(21) and 29(7).

The waivers may be granted upon a written showing of good cause and upon such grounds are just and proper under the circumstances. If the executive director and executive secretary can't agree upon the disposition of any waiver request, it will be submitted to the chief justice for final action. Joint decisions of the executive secretary and executive director are final and unappealable.

The order continues a policy that's been in place since 1999. In the mid-1990s, the Supreme Court changed a rule that previously had allowed inactive lawyers to not pay annual registration fees, said Disciplinary Commission Executive Secretary Donald Lundberg. The policy revision allowed inactive attorneys to pay half the regular active registration fee instead, and a notice was sent to impacted attorneys.

"But we knew there'd be an unknown group of lawyers that we were convinced were out there and wouldn't get this notice," Lundberg said. "So, going on, we knew we'd be liberal on waiving fees for any inactive lawyers coming out of the woodwork."

Most of those inactive attorneys were suspended in 2005 and the 1999 administrative order let the Disciplinary Commission and Commission on Continuing Legal Education consider waiving those registration fees on a case-by-case basis. Lundberg said at one point, the court considered the fee waiver requests, but the administrative task was delegated to Lundberg and Julia Orzeske, executive director of the Commission on CLE.

In addition to requests for wavier from inactive attorneys, Lundberg said they've received requests from active attorneys facing extraordinary circumstances, like bankruptcy or health emergencies that may warrant a waiver of the fees due by Oct. 1. The offices don't officially track the numbers, but Lundberg said they receive about two dozen requests from active lawyers each year and between 10 and 20 percent are granted. Only a handful of inactive attorneys ask for the waiver and most of those are granted.

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  1. I can understand a 10 yr suspension for drinking and driving and not following the rules,but don't you think the people who compleate their sentences and are trying to be good people of their community,and are on the right path should be able to obtain a drivers license to do as they please.We as a state should encourage good behavior instead of saying well you did all your time but we can't give you a license come on.When is a persons time served than cause from where I'm standing,its still a punishment,when u can't have the freedom to go where ever you want to in car,truck ,motorcycle,maybe their should be better programs for people instead of just throwing them away like daily trash,then expecting them to change because they we in jail or prison for x amount of yrs.Everyone should look around because we all pay each others bills,and keep each other in business..better knowledge equals better community equals better people...just my 2 cents

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