Solo and small firm

Lawyers talk about considerations in leaving firms, opening new practices

July 31, 2013
Dave Stafford
Several attorneys recently have departed established firms to form their own practices, leveraging their legal talents, goodwill and loyal clientele to satisfy entrepreneurial longings.
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Attorneys rewarded by focusing on narrow areas of the law

July 17, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Lawyers build niche practices in franchise law, and representing clients in eminent domain cases.
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Lawyer accused of staging shooting avoids trial

July 10, 2013
Dave Stafford
A southern Indiana attorney accused of staging his shooting a little more than a year ago will avoid a trial that had been scheduled to begin Wednesday. The attorney will enter a guilty plea next month, but attorneys involved with the case said they won’t disclose details.
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Historic law firm and young upstart merge in southern Indiana

July 1, 2013
IL Staff
Two law firms in New Albany are joining together to form a 14-attorney office with expanded practice areas.  
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Ladendorf takes helm as ITLA president

June 5, 2013
Dave Stafford
Small-firm practitioner Mark Ladendorf leads a 5-lawyer firm in Indianapolis, three of which are in the family.
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Close calls, complex cases highlight need for attorney surrogates

May 8, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The attorney surrogate rule protects clients when lawyers are suddenly unavailable due to death, disability, disbarment or disappearance.
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Longest-practicing female attorney in Indiana has no plans to retire

April 24, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Reflecting on her legal career, Poff said she probably would not have been successful working at a big law firm. Yet she has done well as a solo practitioner in Auburn, not only building and sustaining a law office but also being a quiet influence on the other attorneys in DeKalb County.
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Big tech tips for small firms

April 24, 2013
Dave Stafford
When advising small firm and solo lawyers recently at the American Bar Association Tech Show in Chicago, Indianapolis attorney Marc Matheny said he ran out of time before he ran out of tips.
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Indiana's longest-serving attorney will retire from practice at 96

March 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
Alexis “Alex” Thomas Cholis is winding down his law practice. More than 70 years after admission to the bar, he’s decided it’s time.
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2 Indianapolis attorneys charged with felonies

March 8, 2013
IL Staff
Two Indianapolis attorneys are facing criminal charges after the Marion County prosecutor filed charges in unrelated cases.
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Rejecting the traditional legal career path

December 19, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Statistics may not provide a complete picture of female attorneys’ career aspirations.
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Hybrid office solutions giving attorneys new ways to practice

December 5, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Attorneys are opting out of the long-term commitment of buying and renting space for "virtual" offices they use a few times a month.
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Bloomington attorney enters into plea agreement

October 25, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A jury trial set for this week for a Monroe County attorney accused of stealing money from clients has been cancelled because a plea agreement has been reached.
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Small law firm sees faith in class-action suit pay off

October 24, 2012
Greg Andrews
A federal judge appears likely to approve the largest class-action settlement ever to come out of a local court, and DeLaney & DeLaney, a small Indianapolis law firm that helped press the case, is poised to profit handsomely.
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Starting an IP practice

March 28, 2012
Michael Hoskins
Patent attorneys face unique concerns in creating firms.
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Competing for a cause

March 14, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
Attorneys vie for top honors in food drive, stair climb.
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Super scheduling

January 4, 2012
Michael Hoskins
Law firms and courts in Indianapolis work to ensure smooth operations during Super Bowl week.
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COA reverses trial court's ruling in favor of attorney

September 23, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of an attorney who failed to monitor an estate checking account while serving as the estate’s counsel.
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Foundation in memory of attorney hosting golf fundraiser

August 17, 2011
IL Staff
Christ is my Big C, a charitable foundation started by attorney Stephenie Jocham to help cancer patients, is seeking sponsorships, foursomes, and silent auction items for an Oct. 17 golf tournament.
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Lawyer pays his 'civic rent' through donation

August 17, 2011
Michael Hoskins
An Indianapolis attorney hopes he can help spread the word in the legal community about the need for potential blood and bone marrow donors.
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Indianapolis attorney creates rescue mission for displaced children

July 20, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Tim Rowe enjoys practicing law but also wants to help others around the world.
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Annual solo and small firms conference reaches out to law students

June 22, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
This year, nearly 30 students from Indiana law schools attended the Indiana State Bar Association's 10th Solo & Small Firm Conference.
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ISBA president opens new firm

June 8, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
After nearly 10 years working for a nationally known law firm in Terre Haute, Jeffry Lind, president of the Indiana State Bar Association, has opened his own practice.
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ISBA conference registration deadline extended

May 20, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana State Bar Association has extended the early bird registration deadline for its Solo & Small Firm Conference to May 23.
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AG's food drive raises more than 140,000 pounds of food

May 5, 2011
IL Staff
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s March Against Hunger challenge among law firms has raised the equivalent of nearly 144,000 pounds of food for needy Hoosiers.
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  2. 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.

  3. 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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