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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. Oh, the name calling was not name calling, it was merely social commentary making this point, which is on the minds of many, as an aside to the article's focus: https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100111082327AAmlmMa Or, if you prefer a local angle, I give you exhibit A in that analysis of viva la difference: http://fox59.com/2015/03/16/moed-appears-on-house-floor-says-hes-not-resigning/

  2. Too many attorneys take their position as a license to intimidate and threaten non attorneys in person and by mail. Did find it ironic that a reader moved to comment twice on this article could not complete a paragraph without resorting to insulting name calling (rethuglican) as a substitute for reasoned discussion. Some people will never get the point this action should have made.

  3. People have heard of Magna Carta, and not the Provisions of Oxford & Westminster. Not that anybody really cares. Today, it might be considered ethnic or racial bias to talk about the "Anglo Saxon common law." I don't even see the word English in the blurb above. Anyhow speaking of Edward I-- he was famously intolerant of diversity himself viz the Edict of Expulsion 1290. So all he did too like making parliament a permanent institution-- that all must be discredited. 100 years from now such commemorations will be in the dustbin of history.

  4. Oops, I meant discipline, not disciple. Interesting that those words share such a close relationship. We attorneys are to be disciples of the law, being disciplined to serve the law and its source, the constitutions. Do that, and the goals of Magna Carta are advanced. Do that not and Magna Carta is usurped. Do that not and you should be disciplined. Do that and you should be counted a good disciple. My experiences, once again, do not reveal a process that is adhering to the due process ideals of Magna Carta. Just the opposite, in fact. Braveheart's dying rebel (for a great cause) yell comes to mind.

  5. It is not a sign of the times that many Ind licensed attorneys (I am not) would fear writing what I wrote below, even if they had experiences to back it up. Let's take a minute to thank God for the brave Baron's who risked death by torture to tell the government that it was in the wrong. Today is a career ruination that whistleblowers risk. That is often brought on by denial of licenses or disciple for those who dare speak truth to power. Magna Carta says truth rules power, power too often claims that truth matters not, only Power. Fight such power for the good of our constitutional republics. If we lose them we have only bureaucratic tyranny to pass onto our children. Government attorneys, of all lawyers, should best realize this and work to see our patrimony preserved. I am now a government attorney (once again) in Kansas, and respecting the rule of law is my passion, first and foremost.

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