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Pro Bono Commission receives cy pres award

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The Indiana Pro Bono Commission has received an award for the benefit of its districts that comes from a class-action lawsuit.

The cy pres award is a result of the Indiana Supreme Court modifying Rule 23(F) of Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure to allow groups assisting low-income Indiana residents with legal needs to access residual class-action funds. The pro bono commission announced June 8 that it received $1,560 from a class-action suit in Marion County. Indiana Legal Services received $4,680.

Under Rule 23, “residual funds” are funds that remain after the payment of all class-member claims, expenses, litigation costs, attorneys’ fees, and other court-approved disbursements. Under the doctrine of cy pres, judges and counsel can recommend that residual funds be put to their “next best” use for the aggregate, indirect, or prospective benefit of the class members.

The underlying mission of pro bono programs is consistent with the purpose of Rule 23, which recognizes the need to protect the legal rights of those who, because of their economic position, would otherwise be unrepresented.

A 2009 Indiana study of the legal needs of the poor, “Unequal Access to Justice: A Comprehensive Study of the Civil Legal Needs of the Poor in Indiana,” found that the greatest needs were in the area of consumer finance, family law, housing, public entitlements, and health.

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  • Pro Bono/ Child support
    Where can I find free legal advice or a pro bono lawer, regarding child support and sub contractors?

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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