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Talk to a Lawyer Today includes 3 dozen sites

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While many attorneys get a day off of work today because courts, government offices, banks, and many businesses are closed to honor the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., more than 200 lawyers have volunteered to spend two hours answering legal questions from the public as part of the Indiana State Bar Association’s 10th annual Talk to a Lawyer Today event.

This year, the event includes three dozen walk-in sites around Indiana, plus a handful of call-in sites, including two call-in sites in Indianapolis (one in English and one in Spanish) where attorneys will answer questions from callers from around the state.

In the past, callers have asked about issues concerning family law, particularly child support and custody; criminal law; and consumer law, such as bankruptcy and other debt issues. Organizers expect a similar mix today.

One of the TTALT’s organizers who has been involved since the planning stages for the first TTALT event in 2002, Indianapolis attorney Patricia McKinnon, said more than 200 volunteers were participating this year. She said more than 1,000 attorneys have volunteered since the program started.

All but two pro bono districts have set up TTALT call-in or walk-in sites for this year, McKinnon said.

However, she added, attorney and State Sen. Randall Head (R-Logansport) has helped facilitate two call-in sites in one of those districts, District 5. One call-in site is the office of Miami Superior Judge J. David Grund, and the other is the office of Rochester attorney Danny Seitz.

Most participating districts have one or two walk-in or call-in sites. However, District 1 has about a dozen walk-in sites run by volunteer attorneys in the district that serves northwest Indiana counties, and District 6 has walk-in sites in Delaware, Grant, Henry and Madison counties.

Most of the sites are listed on the ISBA’s website.

Compared with the early years of the program, McKinnon said she has noticed an increase in the number of attorneys who volunteer in the last couple years.

In fact, this year Laurie Beltz Boyd, plan administrator for Heartland Pro Bono Council, which coordinates volunteers for the call in site at the ISBA offices in Indianapolis, said she started a waiting list for volunteers.

McKinnon thanked ISBA president Jeffry Lind for his help in promoting the event, including a 6:30 a.m. interview on WISH-TV in Indianapolis. She said he drove from Terre Haute to downtown Indianapolis for the interview, then headed back to Terre Haute to get to work.

“This year more than ever, attorneys needed to step up and help out the public reeling from the economic blow of the last few years. And they did so,” she said.

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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