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State bar advances pro bono reporting requirement

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Attorneys soon will be required to report the number of pro bono hours of service they provide on an annual basis under a proposal adopted Friday by the Indiana State Bar Association.

The bar’s House of Delegates approved the proposal by voice vote on the final day of the association’s annual meeting in French Lick, according to outgoing state bar president Daniel Vinovich. Chief Justice Brent Dickson championed the proposal.

Details – including when the requirement will take effect and how the information will be used – are still to be worked out. But Vinovich said the resolution stipulated that attorneys will have input on how the Supreme Court implements a rule and that its passage would not be a first step toward mandatory pro bono as some attorneys feared.

“It was a very civil, scholarly discussion on the issues,” Vinovich said of arguments preceding the vote by those for and against. He said he sensed that many concerns raised by lawyers against the requirement had been answered.    

Some attorneys, for instance, worried that reporting zero hours of pro bono service might trigger some type of disciplinary action. “That’s not contemplated in our resolution at all,” Vinovich said. “This resolution does not require any lawyer to do any pro bono work at all. You can report zero hours.”

Rather, he said the resolution is seen as a way to foster pro bono work as has been the experience of the relatively few other states where such a requirement exists. Vinovich said he believes only eight other states have such a requirement.

“It will help us assess the coordination of a statewide pro bono strategy,” he said. “If we can at least start at the reporting level, that will help.”

Also Friday, the bar installed Frost Brown Todd LLC partner Jim Dimos as president.

Read more about the pro bono reporting requirements and the challenges presented by pro se litigants in the Oct. 23 Indiana Lawyer.
 

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  1. All the lawyers involved in this don't add up to a hill of beans; mostly yes-men punching their tickets for future advancement. REMF types. Window dressing. Who in this mess was a real hero? the whistleblower that let the public know about the torture, whom the US sent to Jail. John Kyriakou. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/26/us/ex-officer-for-cia-is-sentenced-in-leak-case.html?_r=0 Now, considering that Torture is Illegal, considering that during Vietnam a soldier was court-martialed and imprisoned for waterboarding, why has the whistleblower gone to jail but none of the torturers have been held to account? It's amazing that Uncle Sam's sunk lower than Vietnam. But that's where we're at. An even more unjust and pointless war conducted in an even more bogus manner. this from npr: "On Jan. 21, 1968, The Washington Post ran a front-page photo of a U.S. soldier supervising the waterboarding of a captured North Vietnamese soldier. The caption said the technique induced "a flooding sense of suffocation and drowning, meant to make him talk." The picture led to an Army investigation and, two months later, the court martial of the soldier." Today, the US itself has become lawless.

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