Supreme Court seeks comments on fee sharing, small claims rule changes

March 17, 2015

The Indiana Supreme Court Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure wants to know what attorneys think about proposed rule amendments affecting fee sharing by attorneys and change of judge procedures in small claims cases.

A proposed amendment to Indiana Professional Conduct Rule 5.4(a) would add a fourth exception to the prohibition on fee sharing by attorneys. It would allow a lawyer to share court-approved fees with a nonprofit whose primary mission is to provide civil legal services without charge to the indigent, where the nonprofit employed, retained or referred the employment of the lawyer.

The proposed amendment to Small Claims Rule 2.1 would affect all small claims, except those in Marion County, regarding change of judge procedures. A change of judge would only be available when the judge’s recusal from the case would be mandatory. Marion County Small Claims Courts’ procedures for change of judge are defined in Trial Rule 79.1.

The proposed changes are posted on the court’s website along with contact information for providing feedback.  Comments must be submitted by May 18.


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