In This Issue of Indiana Lawyer

JAN. 6-19, 2021

As Hoosier legal aid organizations do more with less, a well-known leader in Indiana’s pro bono community has moved from one major law firm to another. Chief Justice Loretta Rush told lawmakers that Indiana courts will hold the line on spending this year, while new statistics from the Supreme Court revealed a big change: In the past five years, there were far fewer child in need of services cases but termination of parental rights filings soared.

Top StoriesBack to Top

Pandemic pressures legal aid

Looming evictions with so many Americans unable to pay their rent have been at the forefront of concerns, but legal aid offices and pro bono attorneys see other issues on the horizon. They expect more filings for bankruptcy and guardianships, and they believe more people will reach out for legal assistance with problems connected with consumer debt and domestic violence. Underpinning their ability to help is the need for money.

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Veteran pro bono leader Fennell joins Taft

As a new year starts, Monica Fennell, longtime pro bono advocate and past executive director of the former Indiana Pro Bono Commission, is stepping into a new role as pro bono director for Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, where she will coordinate the volunteer legal work of the more than 600 attorneys in the firm’s 11 offices.

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Courts not seeking more funds in 2021

Given the economic toll the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on Indiana’s budget, the Indiana Supreme Court is not requesting additional funding in the next biennial budget that will be drafted during the 2021 Legislative session. Instead, the court is asking the General Assembly to keep funding steady and has reverted funds to the state through pandemic-related savings.

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FocusBack to Top

Makris: Review of notable Indiana property division cases in 2020

In 2020, the Indiana Court of Appeals issued three notable decisions relating to the division of property in dissolution of marriage cases. From the interpretation of asset appreciation in premarital agreements to the admissibility of mediation evidence in actions to avoid or enforce a settlement agreement, the following are three cases that provide valuable takeaways for family law practitioners.

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OpinionBack to Top

Stafford: American legacies, for good or ill, now forming

A few lawyers have gone to court since Donald Trump lost, attempting a legal coup arguing that 74 million is greater than 81 million. By no coincidence, the votes these lawyers seek to disqualify — to vilify — are almost without exception those cast by Black voters. I take comfort, though, knowing the American rule of law, such as it is, stands because men and women of goodwill guard it.

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Hull: Trump election suits pose challenge for legal profession, bar

On Dec. 3, 2020, the group Lawyers Defending American Democracy issued a “Call for Bar Condemnation and Investigation of President Trump’s Campaign Lawyers for Subverting American Democracy.” I am one of the hundreds of lawyers who signed. I did so not only because of the present constitutional crisis, but for an additional individual reason: to personally honor the valiant work of the lawyers in the NAACP Legal and Education Fund Inc. and to mark a distinction between their achievements and the damage to our profession inflicted by these recent worthless cases.

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Bar AssociationsBack to Top

IndyBar: Meet the President – Jimmie McMillian

Happy New Year! It is a true honor and privilege to serve as the 2021 President of the Indianapolis Bar Association. I am committed to working with our outstanding Board of Directors, committee, section and division leaders and staff to continue to meet and exceed our commitment to the practice of law, continuing legal education and community service.


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