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miniBarTalk: This Week’s Top Post

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2016 Marion Superior Court Magistrate and Commissioner Schedule

The commissioner and magistrate schedule for Marion Superior Court is now available. This schedule was effective as of March 7, 2016. Click here to access the schedule, which is organized by both judicial officer name and by court.

To subscribe to more 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!

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New IndyBar Resource Available to Marion County Litigators

IndyBar members will be walking into the courtroom with even more confidence, thanks to a recent resource compiled by the association’s Litigation Section. The Courts Guide catalogs the procedures, policies and courtroom equipment of 10 Marion Circuit and Superior Court judges, and also provides sample orders, letters and other resources.

This extensive guide is available exclusively to IndyBar members.

Information is currently available for the following judges:
Judge Thomas Carroll, Marion Superior Court, Civil Division, Court 6
Judge John M.T. Chavis II, Marion Superior Court, Civil Division, Court 12
Judge David J. Dreyer, Marion Superior Court, Civil Division, Court 10
Judge James Joven, Marion Superior Court, Civil Division, Court 13
Judge Michael D. Keele, Marion Superior Court, Civil Division, Court 7
Judge Sheryl Lynch, Marion Circuit Court
Judge Gary L. Miller, Marion Superior Court, Civil Division, Court 3
Judge Timothy W. Oakes, Marion Superior Court, Civil Division, Court 2
Judge James B. Osborn, Marion Superior Court, Civil Division, Court 14
Judge Heather A. Welch, Marion Superior Court, Civil Division, Court 1

To view the resources and information submitted by each judge, check out the guide at indybar.org/courtguide.

Please note: The information is provided in response to a survey prepared by the Litigation Section Executive Committee of the Indianapolis Bar Association. This information is not binding on any judge or court official and may not be relied upon for precedential purposes.

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On Tap at the IndyBar: March 14-18

Everybody loves a local bar, so check out what yours is serving up this week with upcoming IndyBar events and happenings below!

On the Docket

March Basketball Tournament Paralegal Social
Tues., March 15 from 5 to 7 p.m.
Information and registration can be found here.

Business Law Skills Series: Mergers & Acquisitions
Wed., March 16 from noon to 1 p.m.
Information and registration can be found here.

Young Lawyers Division and Insurance Coverage Section March Happy Hour
Thurs., March 17 from 3 to 6 p.m.
Information and registration can be found here.

Free CLE Video Replay
Fri., March 18 from noon to 1 p.m.
Information can be found here.

2016 NCAA Tournament Party
Fri., March 18 from 3 to 6 p.m.
Information and registration can be found here.

Check out the full slate of IndyBar events here, and don’t forget to check out the IndyBar on Facebook for the latest event photos.

News You Can Use

  • Bench Bar Registration Now Open! - Get in early and save $50 on your registration to the best combination of education and fun around. Registration is now open. Mark your calendar for June 16-18 in French Lick, and we’ll see you there!
  • Bankruptcy Modest Mean Program Launching – What if you could ease stress on the courts caused by pro se representation, build your practice and help a member of our community all at the same time? It’s possible through the newly formed Bankruptcy Modest Means Program! Learn more here.

 

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Moberly: Maintaining Control Amid Change

iba-moberly-robyn-2016I have a very traditional job in terms of what my work life looks like. In fact, I’m sure it’s very similar to how judges have worked for a century or more. As I mentioned in my last column, my inbox is no longer an actual cardboard box, but it’s an electronic inbox where I find my paperwork waiting for me. Other than emailing and reading the newspaper online, my life at the office is pretty much what it was 20 years ago for me or 100 years ago for the judges of yesteryear. I’m in the minority of lawyers.

Recently, I got a response to an email I’d sent to a former neighbor of ours who used to be a member of the IndyBar. I asked him why he hadn’t renewed his membership and if there was any way we could earn back his interest in being a member. He responded that he has moved out of town but hadn’t broadcast that information because he wanted to continue to service clients. I thought how wonderful it is for him to be able to construct his life so that it works well for him and his wife. He is approaching the age when he is probably considering retiring and this is a great way to ease into it.

I was at a reception last week where I met a lot of young lawyers and I started talking to a couple of women about their efforts to balance work and family. Both women are new mothers. They shared with me that they take turns with their husbands doing the morning kid chores, alternating who leaves for the office early. Both moms return home to relieve the babysitter and do the normal things a parent does with their children—feeding, bathing, reading a story. Then, it’s back on the computer for a couple of hours of work.

We have a close lawyer friend who has an apartment in the south of France. He and his wife spend a couple of weeks in France several times a year and he’s able to do his work remotely. I called him once, not realizing he was out of the country, and I had no idea he wasn’t in his office until he mentioned the weather and the wine.

All of this is to say that the practice of law has changed dramatically over the past 20 years. It seems to me that it’s mostly for the better. The ability of lawyers to engage in the practice of law as their lives change is fantastic. It must be so liberating. I’m frequently very envious of that control. Control is a big thing to lawyers, I’ve discovered. Discussions between my lawyer husband and I are usually more about control than about substance.

Speaking of control, the IndyBar has recognized that lawyers want to be in control of their memberships in ways they never could before. We started with Plus CLE, which allows members to get all of their required CLE, and then some, for just $60 a year. Next year, we’re moving to an a la carte method of building a membership. If you just want the basic membership, you will be able to pay one price. So, if you want to live most of the year in Sedona but you want to feel connected to the Indianapolis legal community, you can do that for one very low price. If you want unlimited CLE, it’s another price, and so on. We’re hopeful that this kind of control and flexibility will meet our members’ needs now and far into the future.

For me, my last day on the bench will look just like my first day on the bench on Jan. 1, 1997. Some things never change.•

 

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miniBar Talk: This Week’s Top Post

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IDEM Modifies Voluntary Remediation Agreement Language

By Thomas W. Baker, Hatchett & Hauck LLP

IDEM recently announced a number of changes to its standard voluntary remediation agreement (VRA) applicable to all new VRP sites. The new document significantly curtails the dispute resolution process available to VRP participants, introduces new milestones and deadlines for plan submittal and implementation, and restates the conditions under which IDEM can terminate VRP participation.

Under the new terms, there is now a 60 day timeframe for submittal of an investigation plan or report, and a new requirement that a site be delineated within 2 years.  A remediation work plan must now be submitted within 60 days of IDEM’s determination that a site has been delineated.  IDEM’s website explains that “specific revisions to the required Scope of Work (Exhibit A of the VRA) are intended to facilitate more timely progress towards closure for VRP sites.”

The new VRA substantially limits the previous dispute resolution process by eliminating the option of utilizing a mediator, and only a 15 day “informal” dispute resolution period remains.  IDEM has also restated the conditions under which VRP participation can be terminated, such as for failure to “substantially comply” with an approved work plan or the VRA.

Other changes include revised language regarding responsibility for RCRA corrective action and a specific reference to IDEM’s new access policy.  Annual progress reports are also now required, which IDEM states are intended to ensure compliance with the project schedule.  Additionally, the VRA adds a provision stating that IDEM must pre-approve changes to the scope of work.

Finally, note that IDEM has attempted to incorporate some of these terms into law through HB 1299, which is under consideration by the General Assembly.

IDEM’s new VRA may be found online at http://www.in.gov/idem/landquality/files/vrp_agreement.pdf.

This post was written by Thomas W. Baker, Hatchett & Hauck llp. If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Environmental Law Section, please email Mary Kay Price at mprice@indybar.org.

To subscribe to more Environmental 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!

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Diversity Through Intention: Sign on as a Diversity Job Fair Interviewer or Sponsor Today

iba-diversity-eventBy Chastity Q. Thompson, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Intentionality in seeking career opportunities helps propel progress. The legal profession is no exception. We strive to have a legal workforce that is representative of the clients and communities that we serve. In this current climate, now more than ever, we need lawyers to be leaders in the courtroom, the legislature, in business and family matters and in our community. This endeavor starts with having a representative workforce – committed, diligent and prepared to be advocates on behalf of their causes and clients.

For many, diversity is a melting pot of people representing differences based on race, age, socio-economic status, gender, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, exceptionalities, religion and/or culture. When assembling a team, there is great value in building a cadre of diverse perspective and experience to solve the problems with which lawyers are presented. Each of us has a unique gift that we can contribute to the task, if given the opportunity, and we accomplish more and overall better serve our clients.

In our profession, the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association and a host of state and local bar associations continue the conversation about the “case for diversity” in all facets of our legal landscape. The conversation is more impactful when it manifests into actionable implementation.

Locally, champions of diversity have fought for decades to have more diverse representation on the bench and within the practicing bar. Our pioneers of diversity have paved a way for change, but their efforts must not end because of some progress. As the legal profession is a relationship-driven culture, the value of diverse experiences and perspectives contribute to cultural competence, an appreciation for differences and potential access to new and emerging business opportunities. Affording the opportunity for new and diverse talent has the potential to broaden access to and for a new client base while continuing to provide high-level service to existing clients.

Over the years, I have seen our law school, and others, work hard to prepare many students from varied backgrounds for careers in traditional legal practice areas and alternative career opportunities. This legal training helps students develop with critical thinking, leadership, problem-solving and other essential skills to be successful as lawyers and as leaders. Many are poised and ready to contribute to the profession positively; employer access and engagement are essential.

Seeing a need to connect a potential pool of candidates from diverse backgrounds with the Indianapolis legal community, the Indianapolis Bar Association launched the Diversity Job Fair as one initiative to help all students meet potential employers, and to learn more about the legal profession and the Indianapolis legal market, in particular. Many talented law students, many with Indiana connections currently attending law school have shared experiences of limited opportunity to connect with employers through traditional on-campus interview options, and thus many of these candidates are not those an employer would see in their general OCI activities. In addition to building connections with legal employers, this job fair helps students discover the advantages that a professional experience in Indianapolis can offer. Students are encouraged to participate in a pre-fair workshop, unique to our fair, which includes interview skills training and networking opportunities, as well.

Employers will have an opportunity to connect prior to the Job Fair with an employer workshop, to be held this spring. The discussion at the workshop will focus on retention. Details and registration will be available soon at www.indybar.org. This program is open to all who are interested, including managing partners, hiring committee members and diversity points of contact within the local market. Even if your organization is not able to participate in the job fair this year, we want you included in this interactive dialogue.

While we cannot dispel notions that have resulted from historic lack of diversity and the influence of unconscious bias, we can work to be more intentional about having a workforce that is more representative of the citizenry that it supports and to which it provides legal assistance. The IndyBar Diversity Job Fair is a great place to start. Many past participants, and other law clerks and lawyers from historically underrepresented backgrounds, have contributed greatly to our legal community through producing quality, competent work product, building client relations for business, and by becoming bar leaders.

Interested? Registration for interviewing employers is currently open. You’ll meet talented, hardworking and enthusiastic students from varied backgrounds at the Fair. The 2016 IndyBar Job Fair will be Aug. 1-2, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Indianapolis. To register as an interviewing employer and/or sponsor for the event, please visit www.ibadiversityjobfair.org or contact Caren Chopp at cchopp@indybar.org.•

Thompson is the Assistant Dean for the Office of Professional Development at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. She clerked for former Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard of the Indiana Supreme Court. Currently, Thompson serves on the IndyBar Diversity Job Fair Committee.

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Member Headlines: Thursday, March 10

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

Anthony Eleftheri has joined Drewry Simmons Vornehm as a partner.

Robert Hicks was selected as the next firm-wide managing partner of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, effective January 1, 2017.

Matthew Boldt has joined Lewis Wagner LLP as an associate.

Melissa Doell has joined Frost Brown Todd LLC.

Robert Brandt has been named to the management committee of Riley Bennett & Egloff.

Ann McCready has joined Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP as an associate.

James Bell has joined Paganelli Law Group.

Allison Gritton and Erica Black have joined Wooden McLaughlin LLP as senior counsel.

John Smeltzer, Janis Steck and Jerad Childress have joined Scopelitis Garvin Light Hanson & Feary.

Mickey Lee has been named a principal at Maurice Wutscher LLP.

Brian Heaton, Krieg DeVault LLP, was named a 2016 BTI Consulting Group Client Service All-Star.

Alicia Adcock has been named a partner at Boje Benner Markovich & Hixson LLP.

Nabeela Virjee, Lewis Wagner LLP, has been named to the Herron Morton Place Foundation Board of Directors.

Ronan Johnson has joined the Boys & Girls Club of Indianapolis Board of Directors.

Henry Mestetsky has been appointed to the Carmel Redevelopment Commission by Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard.

Gregory Hahn has been named board chair of the Indianapolis Foundation, an affiliate of the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF).

 

 

 

 

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Build Your Bankruptcy Practice and Provide a Valuable Service at the Same Time!

What if you could ease stress on the courts caused by pro se representation, build your practice and help a member of our community all at the same time? It’s possible through the newly formed Bankruptcy Modest Means Program!

The IndyBar Commercial & Bankruptcy Law Section is excited to announce the implementation of this modest means program for personal bankruptcy debtors. The program is designed to provide low-cost legal assistance to Chapter 7 bankruptcy debtors who do not qualify for free legal services through the United States Bankruptcy Court’s pro bono panel, but still cannot afford the traditional fees charged by bankruptcy attorneys.

It should come as no surprise that many Chapter 7 bankruptcy debtors do not qualify for pro bono assistance and opt to file their bankruptcy cases pro se. This program is geared to reach those individuals and to make the bankruptcy process as smooth and seamless as possible for the debtors, the trustees, the Bankruptcy Court and all other interested parties.

The program, aimed to launch by April 1, is being developed in conjunction with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana and the IndyBar Pro Bono Standing Committee. Clients must qualify to participate in the program by completing a financial qualification page, which will be added to the court’s website. The court will then direct those who are overqualified for pro bono assistance to the IndyBar, where the debtor will be referred to a modest means panelist.

Although Chapter 7 clients referred through the program must still pay legal fees, participating attorneys agree to charge no more than $500 for the services provided to these debtors. There will be no grant, fund or subsidy that makes up the difference between the attorneys’ traditional rates and the rates charged through the Modest Means program. Participating attorneys should believe in the mission of the program and want to help. IndyBar membership is required for participation, but there is no additional fee to serve as a modest means panelist.

Ready to get started or want to learn more? Contact Caren Chopp at cchopp@indybar.org. We look forward to hearing from you!

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IndyBar Featured Program: The Indiana Appellate Institute

The IndyBar Appellate Practice Section created the Indiana Appellate Institute in 2010 as a resource for lawyers who have oral arguments scheduled before the Indiana Supreme Court or Indiana Court of Appeals. The Indiana Appellate Institute offers “moot” or practice argument sessions before panels of seasoned appellate advocates and others who have reviewed the briefs and will ask the sorts of questions an advocate can expect at the actual argument.

Many members who have used the Indiana Appellate Institute over the past few years have benefited from this service. Read on to learn about one member’s experience, and find out how the institute can help you prepare for your next case here.

By Andrew Teel, Haller & Colvin

The Indiana Appellate Institute should be considered a “must-do” for both the novice and experienced appellate practitioner alike preparing for oral argument. From the very beginning of the session it was clear that both Professor Schumm and the other members of the panel had immersed themselves in my client’s case; they were not only conversant in the issues that had been briefed, but suggested arguments and identified relevant case law beyond the briefs. The difference in my presentation from the beginning of the session to the end was night and day. My analysis was sharper, my arguments more focused and my preparation more comprehensive. Simply put, the Indiana Appellate Institute made me a more effective advocate for my client.

If you have used the Indiana Appellate Institute or another IndyBar resource and would like to submit a testimonial, please email Rachel Beachy at rbeachy@indybar.org.

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On Tap at the IndyBar: March 7 – 13

Everybody loves a local bar, so check out what yours is serving up this week with upcoming IndyBar events and happenings below!

On the Docket

Insurance 101: 10 Things Every Attorney Needs to Know About Insurance
Wed., March 9 from noon to 1 p.m.
Information and registration can be found here.

Breakfast with the Bar: Litigation
Thurs., March 10 from 8 to 9 a.m.
Information and registration can be found here.

Litigation Trial Skills Series: Case Investigation and Evaluation
Thurs., March 10 from noon to 1 p.m.
Information and registration can be found here.

MPRE Review Course
Thurs., March 10 from 3 to 6 p.m.
Information and registration can be found here.

Indy Attorneys Network Quarterly Coffee
Fri., March 11 from 8 to 9 a.m.
Information and registration can be found here.

Check out the full slate of IndyBar events here, and don’t forget to check out the IndyBar on Facebook for the latest event photos.

News You Can Use

  • Bill Watch Report for March 4 Available - Get the latest updates on pending legislation in the Bill Watch Report. This report breaks down bills of particular concern to IndyBar members by practice area and will be published weekly throughout the session.
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