BLOG


What You Need to Know When Reporting Pro Bono Hours

On Jan. 1, 2015, Rule 6.7 of the Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct will go into effect. This rule requires attorneys to report pro bono hours at the time of annual registration. James J. Bell, attorney at Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP and secretary of the IndyBar Board of Directors, gives out helpful information that attorneys need to know about reporting pro bono hours.

Bell explains which cases qualify as pro bono and also how many hours must be reported. His article notes that Rule 6.7 will apply to many attorneys but does not apply to retired attorneys, members of the judiciary, judicial staff members or government lawyers prohibted from providing legal services outside of their employment.

Check out Bell’s article here so that, come 2015, you are a pro at reporting pro bono hours.

Share
Posted in Legal News | Leave a comment

Abrams: The IndyBar – More Than Just a Pretty Name

By Jeffrey A. Abrams, Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff LLP

IBA-Abrams-Jeffrey1

Last weekend, your executive officers and executive director attended the Conference of Metropolitan Bar Associations (COMBA) meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona. We met with bar associations from 20 cities and towns of comparable size to engage in a rigorous discussion of the challenges for bar associations as well as the programs, projects and services that have worked well in our respective communities. We were fortunate to provide our bar association friends with details on several of the programs, project and services that have worked successfully in Indianapolis, but more importantly, we were enriched with other programs, projects and services that other communities had successfully established. We all agreed that one challenge with our membership and with those attorneys who are not members is trying to effectively communicate all of the different projects, programs and services that our respective bar associations engage in.

Nearly one year ago, at our board retreat, we asked all of the board members to write down as many programs, projects and services that the IndyBar provided. Admittedly, many of us, yours truly included, were only able to name from some to substantially less than all of the amazing good deeds in which we participate. It was amazing to most people to learn that we have more than 100 projects, programs and services offered to our members, lawyers and the community.

I thought it would be beneficial to include a list of just some of these since I know that each of you have some interest in helping somebody. We do it every day with our clients, but we also have the opportunity to help other less privileged people.

20 Sections
4 Divisions
100+ Live CLE Programs Each Year
50+ Social/Networking Events Each Year
Amicus Curiae Committee
Applied Professionalism Course
Ask a Lawyer
Attorneys for an Independent Bench Standing Committee
Bankruptcy Help Line
Bench Bar Conference
Bill Watch Legislative Reports
Destination CLE
Election Inspector Training
Go Green Committee
Government Practice Section Debate Series
Green Legal Initiative
Grievance Committee
HEAL (Helping Enrich Attorneys Lives)
Homeless Project
Hospice Program
Indiana Appellate Institute
Indiana Judicial Biographies Project
Indy Lawyer Finder
IndyBar Bar Leader Series
IndyBar Diversity Job Fair
IndyBar Job Bank
IndyBar Review Course
IndyBar Social Media: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn
Judicial and Attorney Criticism Response Committees
Judicial Excellence Standing Committee
Justice Center Task Force
Lawyer Referral Service
Lawyers Helping Lawyers Task Force
Legal Line
Legal Services Task Force
Legislative Committee
Leonard H. Opperman Bankruptcy Roundtable
Low Asset Will Program
Marion County Superior Court Pro Bono Program
Mediation Day
Mentor/Job Shadow Project
Modest Means Referrals: Criminal and Family Law
Navigating the Legal System Video Series
Online CLE Catalog
Online Forms Library
Online Legal Directory
Paralegal Committee
Professionalism Task Force
Project Counsel Posting Board
Public Outreach Committee
Resume Postings
Safe Ask Program
Surviving & Thriving: Essentials for Starting or Improving Your Solo/Small Practice
Women & the Law Division Mentoring Program
Women & the Law Division Symposium
Young Lawyers Division Intro to Indy Series

Please take two minutes to review this list and when you find one or more things that pique your interest, please call the office at 269-2000 and ask who is in charge of the program(s), project(s) or service(s) that is of interest to you. Follow up and get engaged. I am confident that once you talk with a staff member or a fellow member of our bar, you will be emotionally charged to figure out how to participate and enrich the life of somebody, including your own.

If you don’t find something to engage in, then I would ask that you call me at 632-3232 and let me know what else we can do in our community. In advance, thank you for your interest in getting involved. You will not regret the call.

Share
Posted in President's Message | Leave a comment

Government Practice Section Awards Scholarship to Carrie Brennan

The IndyBar’s Government Practice Section awarded its third annual scholarship to Carrie Brennan of the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

As attorneys who represent government agencies, or who assist clients in matters involving government agencies, the members of the Government Practice Section award the $1,000 scholarship to a second- or third-year law student with a strong academic record and a demonstrated interest in government practice.

This year, the Section’s Executive Committee reviewed applications from talented students attending each of Indiana’s law schools. The Section commends Ms. Brennan for standing out among a group of intelligent, motivated, and service-minded applicants.

Share
Posted in Legal News | Leave a comment

Changes in Marion County Courts and Other Observations

By The Hon. Tim Oakes, Marion Superior Court

Change
Forty years ago this year, the headlines in the Indianapolis Star read, “Demo ‘New Broom’ Sweeps GOP Off County Benches.” It was the post-Watergate election and voters let their thoughts be known through the ballot, not only here, but statewide and nationwide. Eight incumbent judges were thrown off the bench in the tidal wave, and Democrats won all 13 judgeships on the ballot that year. Names like Endsley, Tranberg, Barteau, Brewer, Jacobs, and yes, Zore and Chavis were swept into office. This would prompt a legislative change in how judges were selected. Many evidently believed the change (perceived by some to be a function of national politics versus judicial bench performance) was too much.

Similar, but not as dramatic, change is coming to the Marion County Superior Courts in January. The deadline for 2014 candidates passed June 30th. Since there are no independent challengers to those Superior Court judicial candidates elected in the Marion County primary, we know who will be leaving and who will be arriving on the bench in Jan. 2015.

Judges Ted Sosin, Patrick McCarty, Lou Rosenberg, David Shaheed and Gerald Zore are retiring. They have been great representatives of the Marion County judiciary for decades. Dave Cook has also done an outstanding job serving in Criminal Court 7 these past months.

P.J. Dietrick, Angela Dow-Davis, Shatrese Flowers, Christina Klineman and Marcel Pratt will take the bench Jan. 1, 2015. As such, new court assignments need to be made, and a timely decision allows for all interested parties to be informed in sufficient time to allow for, ideally, a smooth transition. The Marion County Executive Committee met Friday, Sept. 5, 2014, and pursuant to local rule and a vote, made the following court assignments beginning Jan. 2015:

Civil Court 1 – Heather Welch
Civil Court 2 – Tim Oakes
Civil Court 3 – Gary Miller
Civil Court 4 – Cynthia Ayers
Civil Court 5 – Robert Altice
Civil Court 6 – Tom Carroll
Civil Court 7 – Mike Keele
Civil Court 10 – David Dreyer
Civil Court 11 – John Hanley
Civil Court 12 – John Chavis
Civil Court 13 – James Joven
Civil Court 14 – Jim Osborn
Probate Court – Steve Eichholtz

In the Criminal Division, judges in the major felony courts 1 to 6 will remain the same with the exception of Shatrese Flowers being assigned to Major Felony Drug Court, Court 20.

The new judge assignments in the other criminal courts include:

Criminal Court 7 – Clayton Graham
Criminal Court 15 – Helen Marchal
Criminal Court 16 – Angela Dow-Davis
Criminal Court 17 – Christina Klineman
Criminal Court 21 – P.J. Dietrick
Traffic Court (13) – Marcel Pratt

Change can be frustrating and occasionally produce some anxiety, especially to lawyers and their clients. The Marion County bench has been in a period of transition since 2000 and has weathered the changes well. Of the judges who were on the bench in January 2000, only five will remain as of January 2015. (Can you name them? Hint: They will all be on a Civil Bench in January 2015.) Not since that election of 1974 has there been such a period of change on the Marion County bench. Some judges have moved on to different judicial roles – former Superior Court judges Bradford, Moberly, Stinson, and Pratt for example. Many have retired and some have lost elections during that time. Sadly, some have also passed away.

Though the Indiana Legislature did away with the mandatory retirement age of 75 for Indiana Trial Court judges recently, the list of Marion County judicial officers may look equally different in another 15 years. Whether only five of our current 36 are still around remains to be seen, but it is always possible.

Judicial Surveys
In researching these changes, I also was curious as to how incumbent judges have scored on the IndyBar judicial surveys over the years. The bar conducts surveys of its members on the performance of judicial officers and judicial candidates in the months prior to a judicial election. It is not a perfect system, nor, to my knowledge, does it represent itself to be. For example, candidates who are not incumbent judicial officers tend to score lower initially than they typically do after their first term on the bench. It remains doubtful that candidates suddenly become better at all the factors the survey measures merely because they ascended to the bench. As one Lake County Judicial Nominating Commission member recently said, “No one ever has their personality improved by being selected to serve on the bench. We can only hope it doesn’t become worse.” Thus, only surveys conducted of judicial officers after their first term were considered.

The spread of the IndyBar’s published surveys over the past 15 years has found them amazingly consistent. In short, most sitting judges have been rated well by those participating in the surveys. We now have slightly more sitting judges scoring above 90 percent on the recommended-to-serve portion than at any other time in the last 15 years. The difference is not that large to show a trend, but more of the Marion County judges are scoring above 90 percent recommended now than ever before.

While I have not reviewed judicial surveys in detail from around the country, I do have the opportunity, as part of my research for a law school seminar I co-teach with Professor Joel Schumm on Judicial Selection, to see and read many different articles from other states on judicial surveys by lawyers. I cannot recall seeing other surveys that rank their judges as well as the Marion County judiciary. There are always exceptions, but it is good to know that IndyBar surveys generally show that an increasing number of lawyers hold our Marion County judiciary in an increasingly favorable opinion.

There is always room for improvement. I personally welcome any constructive instruction on how we might better interact and work with lawyers and litigants to serve their needs, and I am confident most of my colleagues would agree.•

Third year Indiana University McKinney School of Law Student Joanne Rouse and second year McKinney Law Student Addison Bradford assisted in the research of this article.

Share
Posted in Legal News | Leave a comment

miniBar Talk: This Week’s Top Post!

Bar Talk Header

Serving Legal Papers Over Facebook Gets the Green Light

Usually, the little red notifications on Facebook trigger a positive response – a new “like”, comment or message has come through! But for one woman, her notification will be the first of its kind: she’ll be notified that she’s been served legal papers from her ex-husband.

In Staten Island, Magistrate Gregory Gliedman ruled that a man may send his ex-wife legal papers over Facebook after traditional means failed. The woman had no forwarding mail address and yet maintained an active Facebook profile. Therefore, Gliedman ruled, this was a “means by which he can contact” her.

Read more about the first ruling of its kind in this article.

To subscribe to more Family Law news like the article above, click here to update your news subscriptions. Your news subscriptions appear in your bi-weekly E-Bulletin and on your personalized IndyBar homepage.

Keep an eye out for our newest e-newsletter for members, Bar Talk, featuring the top IndyBar posts each month!

Share
Posted in Bar Talk | Leave a comment

Interrogatories: Candid Q&A with Jack Kenney

By Tyler D. Helmond, Voyles Zahn & Paul

He is a graduate of Indiana University and the Indiana University Maurer School of Law. He was a private practice attorney in Elkhart and Indianapolis prior to joining the Indiana Public Defender Council (IPDC) in 1994. He is Jack Kenney, and he has been served with interrogatories.

You have spent a significant portion of your professional life writing and researching the Indiana criminal code. What was your first reaction when you heard it was being revised?
Surprise, given the fact that the prosecutors killed the original criminal code reform bill in 2011 (SB 561). At the same time I felt a bit overwhelmed at the prospect of starting over and dealing with the amount of new information to learn and convey to others. I was also hopeful Indiana seemed to be moving toward more proportionality among crimes and sentences across the criminal code, focusing more on rehabilitation, treatment and being smart rather than indiscriminately tough on crime and building more prisons. I knew our agency could help make a difference in achieving those goals.

What issues with the new code are you eager to see litigated?
The retroactivity of the amended sentence modification statute and appellate review of significant disparate sentences for the same behavior under the old code. There will also be issues that come up when the new traffic code takes effect next year. For example, whether judges will exercise discretion to issue specialized driver’s licenses rather than suspending licenses.

What is your approach to handling major writing projects?
Develop a long-term plan and try to make it an ongoing process. Block out significant chunks of time, and seek out second opinions and proofreading wherever possible. When all else fails, push it off to co-workers, independent contractors and/or law students.

What do you do when you aren’t working on publications?
Talking to lawyers from around the state about their cases. Responding to requests for assistance.

What are the three most essential reference books on your shelf?
IPDC manuals–especially evidence, search and seizure, and sentencing. Also Indiana Criminal and Traffic Law Manual.

What is your favorite part about working for IPDC?
The relationships I have developed over 20 years with the IPDC staff, board members and public defenders throughout Indiana. Learning and sharing developments in criminal law and collaborating with others about raising and arguing various issues. And to be honest, celebrating Columbus Day with a day off work is pretty nice.

Do you feel any rivalry with the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council (IPAC)?
No, I do not deal with IPAC very often. Many times we are on the same page, along with the Judicial Center, in promoting a more effective and reliable criminal justice system. We’ve had disagreements on legislative issues and criminal justice policy, but I don’t feel that it is a rivalry.

If you had to have another job, what would it be?
Practicing law with my wife, Stacy Uliana, who has a criminal defense practice. If you’re asking what my dream job would be, I’d like to retire after my kids grow up and work as a bartender in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Westlaw or Lexis?
I like Westlaw, but our office and most of IPDC members use Lexis. The Shepard’s function from Lexis is helpful, but frustratingly inaccurate at times.•

Share
Posted in Legal News | Leave a comment

IndyBar Member Headlines: Thursday, September 25

Share your news with the IndyBar by contacting Mary Kay Price, Director of Marketing & Communications, at mprice@indybar.org.

Larissa E. Koshatka has joined Quarles & Brady LLP as an associate in the commercial litigation practice group.

Brooke Jones has joined Cordell & Cordell’s office as an associate.

Jill McGinnis has joined Wanzer Edwards PC as an associate. She practices in the areas of family, collaborative and criminal law.

Charles Dunlap of the Indiana Bar Foundation has been elected president of the National Association of IOLTA Programs through June 2015.

Finalists for the 2014 listing of Indy’s Best and Brightest were announced. The list honors 100 of Central Indiana’s most accomplished young professionals, age 40 and under. Each of the finalists in the legal category are IndyBar members. Congratulations to all!
Tracy N. Betz of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
Aaron Dixon of Ice Miller LLP
Angela B. Freeman of Barnes & Thornburg LLP
Tavonna Harris Askew of Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County
Jeremy Hill of Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP
Michele L. Jackson of Harden Jackson Law LLC
Laurie E. Martin of Hoover Hull LLP
Sara Powell of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
Todd Relue of Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP
Kyra Wagoner of Barnes & Thornburg LLP

Jeremy Overmyer has joined Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP in their Corporate and Transactional practice group with a focus on health care, privacy and regulatory matters.

Russell C. Menyhart of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP has been appointed to serve on the board of directors for the America China Society of Indiana.

Bryce Bennett of Riley Bennett & Egloff LLP was honored for his donation to the Arts Council of Indianapolis with a plaque that was installed for him and the firm. Mayor Greg Ballard also expressed his appreciation. Read more here.

Joshua W. Abel, previously the executive director of the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic, has joined Faegre Baker Daniels LLP in the firm’s nonprofit organizations group.

Share
Posted in Member News | Leave a comment

Nominations Now Open for Recognition Awards

This fall, IndyBar members will be honored for their contributions to our legal community. The Indianapolis legal community is fortunate to be home to many talented, dedicated professionals, and we need your help in identifying our colleagues who went above and beyond in 2014.

Nominations are being accepted for the following IndyBar awards: the Dr. John Morton Finney Jr. Award for Excellence in Legal Education and the IndyBar Pro Bono Awards, which are presented in five categories: Practicing Attorney, Aiding Individuals; Practicing Attorney, Aiding Entities; Law Firm; Law Student and Paralegal. Nomination forms can be found here. Nominations are due Friday, Oct. 3, 2014.

The Pro Bono Awards honor practicing lawyers, retired lawyers, in-house and corporate counsel, law firms, law students and paralegals who have made outstanding contributions toward delivering volunteer legal services to the poor and disadvantaged. Among the factors considered during selection are whether a nominee has demonstrated dedication to the delivery of legal services to the poor; has contributed significant work toward developing innovative approaches to the delivery of volunteer legal services; has participated in an activity which resulted in satisfying previously unmet needs or in extending services to underserved segments of the population; has successfully litigated a pro bono case that favorably affected the provision of services to the poor; or has successfully achieved legislation that contributed substantially to legal services to the poor.

Established in 1998, the Dr. John A. Morton Finney Award for Excellence in Legal Education honors the memory of Dr. Finney who, during his lifetime, demonstrated the value of education and a love of the law. The successful candidate for this award will have made significant and unique contributions to further legal education within our community. Those active in legal education projects, public education or working within Indiana’s law schools shall be considered.

The awards will be presented at the Recognition Luncheon on Thursday, Nov. 13. Registration for the luncheon will be open soon at indybar.org/events.

Share
Posted in IndyBar News | Leave a comment

Getting Along is Not Wrong: Positive Influences from the Start

Civility. Courtesy. Respect. Professionalism.

These are words that should be synonymous with “Advocate,” but in a world of high stakes, strong opinions, and a general societal decline in basic manners, how can attorneys fight the good fight while living up to these ideals – especially if the other side doesn’t? We set out to find examples of lawyers who model the way while providing excellent representation.

Getting Along is Not Wrong, an initiative of the IndyBar Standing Committee on Professionalism, is the impressive collection of such positive and compelling behavior. Check out the entry below and continue checking back for future installments.

Magistrate Victoria M. Ransberger, Marion Superior Court –

My notions of civility and professionalism have been influenced over the years by more people than I could ever name. When I think back to the beginning of my professional career, I think of Ken Falk. I met Ken over 35 years ago when I was completing a Masters in Social Work. Ken spoke at one of my classes about representing parents in CHINS cases. Several years later, I interned at Legal Services from the law school clinic and he was one of my supervisors. In the early 90s, we were opposing counsel on a few cases. His demeanor, respect for his clients and his ability to work with opposing parties and counsel toward resolution of conflicts is a gold standard to which we should all aspire.

Share
Posted in IndyBar News, Professionalism | Leave a comment

miniBar Talk: This Week’s Top Post!

Bar Talk Header

Proposal for Citation of Memorandum Decisions Unanimously Rejected

Recently, the Indiana Supreme Court unanimously voted to reject the recommendation of three Indianapolis Bar Association sections to allow citations of memorandum decisions. The Appellate Practice Section Task Force crafted this proposal of their recommendations, which received support and approval from the Appellate Practice, Criminal Justice and Litigation sections of the IndyBar. The proposal recommended that citations of all Indiana appellate opinions should be allowed. As the rule currently stands, nearly 75 percent of the Indiana Court of Appeals’ opinions are issued as memorandum (not-for-publication) decisions.

The Indiana Supreme Court’s ruling was announced on Friday, September 5.

IndyBar member and IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law professor Joel Schumm provided commentary on the ruling in this post. He notes that the Indiana Supreme Court’s decision “defies the modern reality of ‘memorandum decisions’ being easily accessible”. As this post on Appellate Advocacy Blog notes for an example, Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 32.1 permits citation of all opinions issued after its passage.

Schumm’s post goes on to provide ways for lawyers to cite helpful memorandum decisions despite the current rule in Indiana. IndyBar Appellate Practice Section Chair Stephen J. Peters of Harrison & Moberly LLP notes, “Trial and appellate counsel…should know their options and the consequences for noncompliance. This is a very real problem faced by civil and criminal attorneys in Indiana trial and appellate courts, so we need to provide information, comments and suggestions for how to professionally and ethically deal with this issue.”

This content was submitted by Stephen J. Peters of Harrison & Moberly LLP. If you would like to submit content or write a post for the Litigation Section page, please email Mary Kay Price at mprice@indybar.org.

To subscribe to more Appellate Practice news like the article above, click here to update your news subscriptions. Your news subscriptions appear in your bi-weekly E-Bulletin and on your personalized IndyBar homepage.

Keep an eye out for our newest e-newsletter for members, Bar Talk, featuring the top IndyBar posts each month!

Share
Posted in Bar Talk | Leave a comment