In This Issue of Indiana Lawyer

SEPT. 19-OCT. 2, 2018

An Indianapolis real estate company is facing multiple lawsuits over a rent-to-buy program offering homes in need of repair to buyers who can't get traditional financing. A legal aid attorney describes seeing would-be homeowners' dreams turn to tears. After years of study of Indiana's public defender system, a host of changes are being proposed. It's tough to become a judge in Lebanon. Internationally, just 34 of more than 1,000 test-takers passed. One is a former IU McKinney master of laws student.



Top StoriesBack to Top


Lawsuits charge Rainbow Realty’s rent-to-buy contracts target the most vulnerable

A case before the Indiana Court of Appeals is at least the third pending suit involving Rainbow Realty and its rent-to-buy program. The Indiana Attorney General filed a complaint in Marion Superior Court in January 2013, and the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana filed a class action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana in May 2017.

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Improving legal representation for the indigent

Nearly two years after a national organization released a report that was highly critical of Indiana’s public defense system, a statewide task force has issued a report of its own that lays out the issues hindering Hoosier defendants’ access to counsel and makes recommendations for improvement.

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J. Lee McNeely recognized as Legendary Lawyer for distinguished career

A small-town attorney with a folksy manner and sly wit, J. Lee McNeely never wanted to be anywhere other than his hometown of Shelbyville. The Indiana Bar Foundation named him the 2018 Legendary Lawyer in recognition of his public service, community service and contributions to the legal profession during more than 50 years of practice.

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IU McKinney LL.M. 1 of 34 to pass exam for future Lebanese judges

To call the Lebanese judicial exam difficult would be an understatement. Many who qualify try for years, and this year, less than 4 percent of all takers pass the test to become a judge in the Middle Eastern nation. But a former IU McKinney master of laws wasn’t deterred by such odds, and she succeeded on her first attempt.

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Sheriffs, public defense task force shine spotlight on jail overcrowding

The work of law enforcement has changed dramatically in the last 30 years. But in Indiana, one aspect of local law enforcement has not: the per diem local jails receive to house, feed and transport inmates. Currently the state allocates a $35 per day, but the Indiana Sheriffs’ Association has announced plans to advocate for raising that amount to $55.

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Mental health, diversity may become required CLE

Lawyers soon could be required to earn continuing legal education credits in diversity and inclusion and mental health and wellness under a proposal the Indiana State Bar Association House of Delegates will consider next month. It’s one of two resolutions delegates will consider.

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FocusBack to Top


New Albany attorney J. Todd Spurgeon to become ISBA president

A couple of years into his practice at Kightlinger & Gray, a senior partner at the firm gave J. Todd Spurgeon a simple directive: “You are going to get involved in the bar association.” The rest, as they say, is history: Spurgeon’s now the incoming president of the Indiana State Bar Association.

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ISBA adapts, evolves to meet changing needs of attorneys

The Indiana State Bar Association is working to attract members and keep them engaged in professional and community activities. The challenge: attorneys in the middle and late stages of their career might be comfortable with the way things have always been, but younger lawyers are pushing the need for a new way to do business.

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OpinionBack to Top

Hurley: How JLAP helps attorneys battling depression

With the development of the JLAP support group, I started working with other lawyers, trying to find ways to help them deal with their depression while successfully practicing law. What I have learned is that, as in many support groups, talking openly with fellow attorneys allows group members to discuss their issues while getting emotional support from their fellow lawyers.

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Doehrman: Brain injury study not the touchdown it purports to be

A study published in the August 2017 edition of JAMA Neurology appears to show that playing football in high school is not associated with cognitive impairment or certain other health risks later in life. This struck me as odd, not only because I’ve seen no shortage of concussions among young people playing contact sports, but also because — like the rest of American newspaper readers — I’ve been inundated with high-profile studies demonstrating exactly the opposite over the last 10 years.

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Bar AssociationsBack to Top

IndyBar: Kevin Tyra — A Pro for Pro Bono

What you’ll find unique about Kevin Tyra’s contribution to pro bono work in our community is that his commitment is not restricted to the time he invests providing services, but more remarkably that he took the initiative to develop a new outlet for the provision of pro bono legal services when he co-founded the Ozanam Free Legal Clinic.

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