In This Issue of Indiana Lawyer

FEB. 19-MARCH 3, 2020

Women lawyers who practice in traditionally male-dominated white-collar defense practices have found a way to break barriers while building support and their books of business. Law schools and firms with ties to China are watching the coronavirus outbreak closely, with one expert cautioning the worst is likely yet to come. And a Notre Dame law school legal aid team that made a return trip to help asylum seekers found a more dire situation on the border.

Top StoriesBack to Top

Law schools, firms watch coronavirus outbreak

Law firms with offices and law schools with programs in China have been proactive in response to the deadly coronavirus outbreak. For example, Dentons has temporarily closed its office in Wuhan and Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP told Indiana Lawyer it has closed some offices in China. Law schools in the state have suspended all staff and faculty travel to China.

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Back to the border: Notre Dame law legal aid team sees increased hardship for asylum seekers

Instead of spending his holiday season surrounded by all things merry and bright, immigration attorney Rudy Monterrosa spent days at what he described as an ominous place akin to a concentration camp. For the second year in a row, Monterrosa took a team to the Texas-Mexico border to offer free legal services to women and children seeking asylum in the United States. His experience this time, however, was quite different.

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Marion Superior retention interviews to be held in March

The second iteration of retention interviews for Marion Superior judges will begin in less than a month. The Marion County Judicial Selection Committee set aside March 9 to interview the 13 Marion Superior Court judges seeking retention while also opening the window for applicants seeking to fill one of three pending vacancies on the trial court bench in Indianapolis.

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FocusBack to Top

IL Illustration/Brad Turner

Controlling costly care: Lawmakers weigh surprise billing, transparency legislation

The idea of increasing health care affordability and cost transparency has received bipartisan support, but the devil has been in the details. Even so, federal lawmakers feel confident Congress will enact legislation to end surprise billing this year, while Indiana lawmakers say they’re committed to creating state solutions to drive down Hoosier health care costs.

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Medicaid changes could have big state consequences

Nearly one in five Hoosiers is on Medicaid, a program that pays for medical care, hospitalization, drugs, skilled nursing and other services for low-income and disabled people. But the future of the program is now up in the air after the Trump administration announced in January it would allow states to add eligibility requirements, benefit changes and drug-coverage limits.

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State aims to extend Healthy Indiana Plan

Indiana has submitted a request for a 10-year extension of its Medicaid alternative program, the Healthy Indiana Plan, and still included is the suspended work requirement that was imposed on some enrollees in the public assistance program but is currently under review by the courts.

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OpinionBack to Top

Stafford: Attorneys, heal thy profession: Answer victims’ calls for help

One of the saddest parts of my job is when a victim of an unscrupulous lawyer calls, asking in exasperation, “Is there anything that can be done about this?” The very saddest part is the realization that, deep down, the caller already knows the answer is no, or next to no. The legal profession has no contingency when one of its own who swore an oath goes rogue and steals from vulnerable clients. This must change.

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Pro Bono Matters: Pro Bono Indiana helping maximize, streamline state districts’ efforts

There’s a new pro bono organization in town, and it’s bringing a relatively large change to Indiana’s pro bono system. Pro Bono Indiana was established at the beginning of this year to consolidate the administration of Indiana’s pro bono districts while still preserving the autonomy of the local nonprofit programs that have been serving the pro bono districts for years.

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Law Student Outlook: Women still face challenges in the legal profession

While reflecting on our time writing this column, it became clear that we have not addressed an important aspect of our lives and future legal careers: We are women in the law. Obviously, the legal field has historically been dominated by men, and usually those who are well-off. In our time in law school we have seen a growing movement of greater diversity in the field, paving the way for different groups of people to make their mark in the profession and on the legal landscape.

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Start Page: Want a fresh perspective in 2020? Try changing your Outlook

Many lawyers are already familiar with Outlook on their desktop computer and have it set up to help them manage their emails. The problem is that emails come in at all times of the day (and night), and having a device that is connected outside of the office means you are constantly connected to email. There are times when that is a good and necessary thing, but there are other times when it interferes with what you are trying to get done. So, what do you do to keep email under control? Change your perspective by using a different version of Outlook.

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Bar AssociationsBack to Top

IndyBar President’s Column: Why Lawyers are Essential to the Legislature — The Curious Case of Mr. Mears Fishing Without Bait

The would-be angler Marvin Mears took an unexpected trip to the Supreme Court of Indiana after he caught a fish without bait. The law in Indiana said that “[i]t shall be unlawful for any person to take . . . or attempt to take . . . any fish in the waters of this state . . . by any means other than angling with hook and line.” Mr. Mears didn’t reasonably believe that the Indiana General Assembly intended to outlaw his scheme. He was “angling with hook and line” after all. Or so he thought.

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