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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. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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