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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. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  4. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  5. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

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