Tag Archive | "ICLEF"

ICLEF Contributes $2500 to the Indianapolis Bar Foundation

ICLEF is pleased to announce a contribution of $2500 to the Indianapolis Bar Foundation in support of the Neil E. Shook Scholarship Fund.  The Indianapolis Bar Foundation website lists the Neil E. Shook Scholarship as being available to 2nd year Robert H. McKinney School of Law students who exhibit the following characteristics: 1. academic proficiency; 2. interest in creditors’ rights and bankruptcy law; 3. financial need; 4. exceptional leader­ship skills; 5. demonstrated commitment to excellence; 6. proponent of civility in the legal profession.

We are delighted to be able to provide financial support to this important scholarship fund.

Click here if you would like to make a donation to the Indianapolis Bar Foundation.

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

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Father’s Due Process Rights Violated in Proceeding That Would Terminate His Parental Rights

Case: In Re the Adoption of K.W.: M.W. v. S.L. and T.L.
Case Summary by Mike Kohlhaas, Bingham Greenebaum Doll

HELD: Father’s due process rights were violated when the trial court failed to rule on Father’s request for appointed counsel in an adoption proceeding that would terminate Father’s parental rights.

Child was born to Mother in 2004. In 2008, Mother was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Mother died in 2009 as a result of a lethal dose of pain medication administered by Father, who was an EMT. Father was arrested and Child’s maternal grandmother (“Grandmother”) acquired guardianship of Child. Father later pleaded guilty to charges related to Mother’s death, and was sentenced to 12 years.

In 2013, Grandmother and her husband (“Grandparents”) filed a petition to adopt Child, and notice of same was issued to Father. Father responded with a pro se appearance, as well as a motion to have counsel appointed for him based upon indigence. The trial court never ruled on this motion.

At a subsequent hearing on Grandparents’ adoption petition, Grandparents appeared and Father appeared pro se telephonically. The trial court determined that Father’s consent to the adoption was not required, and granted the adoption in favor of Grandparents, thereby terminating Father’s parental rights. Father appealed.

The Court of Appeals noted that Ind. Code 31-32-2-5 provides that a parent is entitled to counsel in a proceeding that terminates parental rights. Thus, Father was entitled to counsel in the Grandparents’ adoption matter.

The trial court’s adoption order was reversed, and remanded with instructions to determine whether Father is indigent and, if so, to appoint counsel to represent Father at a new adoption hearing.

To view the text of this opinion in its entirety, click here: In Re the Adoption of K.W.: M.W. v. S.L. and T.L.


James A. Reed and Michael R. Kohlhaas of Bingham Greenebaum Doll represent clients in a wide spectrum of relationship transition and wealth planning matters, including premarital agreements, estate planning, cohabitation, separation, divorce (especially involving high net worth individuals and/or complex asset issues), custody, parenting arrangements, adoption, and domestic partnerships. Bingham Greenebaum Doll, a multidisciplinary law firm serving regional, national, and international clients, is the fourth-largest law firm in Indiana. The firm’s main practices include corporate, property, litigation, labor, government law, and personal services law. Visit the firm’s website at www.bgdlegal.com.

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

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ICLEF's Annual Family Law Institute

ICLEF Annual Family Law Institute Chair, Andrew C. Mallor, Named Among 100 Most Influential Divorce Trial Lawyers in the United States

ICLEF's Annual Family Law Institute Chair, Andrew C. MallorIndiana family law attorney and ICLEF Family Law Institute Chairperson Andrew C. Mallor, a founding partner of Mallor Grodner, has been elected into membership in the American College of Family Trial Lawyers (ACFTL). The ACFTL is a select national group of 100 of the best family law trial lawyers from across the country. He was chosen by his peers based upon his litigation skills and courtroom abilities. Mallor is the first, and only, Indiana lawyer admitted to the organization.

A leading family lawyer in Indiana for over 35 years, Mallor leads his firm’s private client division, with some client relationships spanning three generations. In addition to family law matters such as adoption, divorce, matrimonial agreements, and child custody matters, Mallor has significant expertise in matters involving wealth management, including trust and estate planning and probate matters, elder law, business succession planning, and premarital agreements.

An early advocate of collaborative law, Mallor has built a reputation in the family law practice area by advocating for clients and doing what is in their best interest. “Divorce is a difficult process and our goal is to make it as easy as possible,” said Mallor. “When we have determined that a divorce is the only option, we want to reach a meaningful and fair settlement and avoid the expensive financial and emotional costs of a trial.”

Looking to the Future
As a diplomat with the American College of Family Trial Lawyers there is opportunity to collaborate with some of the best family trial lawyers in the country as well as being involved in the uppermost level of continuing legal education.

Beyond his own personal development, he enjoys giving back to the industry. Mallor is the Chair for ICLEF’s Annual Family Law Institute.  “I value the opportunity to give back to this career what it has given me,” said Mallor. “If I can lead by example and mentor the next generation of lawyers, I can only hope they will continue to embrace our approach to finding creative and cost-effective solutions for our client’s legal issues.”

Throughout his career Mallor has garnered significant professional honors. He has received an AV® Preeminent™ designation by Martindale-Hubbell for having the highest possible ratings in both legal ability and ethical standards. He is also a past recipient of the Gale Phelps Award, which recognizes an Indiana lawyer with exceptional service to the profession, highest level of competence, raising the level of professionalism and civility in domestic relations matters, and high moral character.

ICLEF's Annual Family Law Institute

Judge Bill Hughes, Hamilton County Superior Court, takes questions from the Family Law Institute audience.

Video replays of this year’s 12th Annual Family Law Institute are now showing, Click Here. Mark your calendars for the 13th Annual Family Law Institute, which takes place Thursday & Friday October 29-30, 2015 at the ICLEF Facility in Indianapolis.

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

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Law Tips: Exploring Ambivalence and Moving Toward Settlement

Missing the moment often is a precursor to impasse. As mediators, we are frequently faced with micro-moments of emotion. To the degree we can recognize the moment and respond appropriately, we build trust, de-escalate conflict, restore cognitive functioning, and provide compassion to the parties and their counsel. All of these events lead to settlement.

This introduction to mediation is offered by Douglas E. Noll, a full time peacemaker and mediator and ICLEF mediation training participant. He specializes in difficult, complex, and intractable conflicts. Today we have the opportunity to garner a few tips from Doug on understanding ambivalence so that settlement can be attained.

Exploring Ambivalence

A key assumption we must make as mediators is that people do not usually come to mediation ready to negotiate a settlement. Generally, the lawyers agree upon and organize the mediation and tell the parties to show up. Some lawyers have pre-mediation conferences with their clients, but most do not. The parties have been living with the lawsuit for months, if not years. It has become a part of their life. They have usually built up expectations about how winning will change their lives for the better. Now they’re coming to end it all through mediation. They don’t know how they feel about settling their case.

On the one hand, people generally dislike lawsuits and lawyers, which drives them towards settlement. On the other hand, people have strong feelings about justice, fairness, and the need for vengeance and vindication, which pushes them away from settlement. These feelings are reinforced by a number of cognitive biases that distort decision-making away from settlement. As a result, people are often ambivalent about settlement. This is a natural and expected phenomenon that baffles newer mediators.

Do not challenge the ambivalence, but rather acknowledge that people feel two ways about it: They want to change and they want things to stay the same. Staying the same often represents comfort, familiarity, and certain pleasures (especially the anticipatory pleasure of vengeance). The emotional reasons to settle need to be stronger than the reasons for staying the same in order to “tip the balance” for settlement.

Why Is Ambivalence Common?

Ambivalence happens because the party feels two ways about change. When trying to be convinced of all the reasons to make a change, a party feels the need to present the other side of the story. Lawyers are the same way. They will always argue why they will win and will rarely argue in favor of settlement until late in the process. Psychologically, the arguments for winning are just as important as the reasons for settlement being reflected by the mediator, even if the arguments make no sense. The stronger the mediator argues his or her point for settlement, stronger resistance he will get from the person that doesn’t want to change. The correct practice is to acknowledge the ambivalence and “come along side” the party or counsel. Parties and counsel must be given the freedom to talk about the side that doesn’t want to change.

For example: Tony says he has a prescriptive easement over Tom’s property. He says his dad used to drive cattle along the road for 40 years. He considers his use of the road as part of his lifestyle. On the other hand, he is worried about the continued cost of the lawsuit and the stress is causing on his family and business. If you encourage Tony to settle because he needs to end the stress of the lawsuit, he is likely to tell you all the reasons why he should continue to litigate. Ultimately, he will tell you that he would rather pay his lawyers everything he has rather than concede anything to Tom in settlement.

In contrast, if you explore the status quo and acknowledge how much he enjoys using Tom’s road, he receives the message that you are listening and are not rushing to change him. You learn more about the thoughts and feelings that underlie his strong feelings. You have signaled that you are concerned with exploring his view of the world. After talking about staying the course of the lawsuit, he will feel the itch to talking about the other half of the story, the reasons he wants to settle.

Ambivalence is not always a circle cut exactly in half. For someone in pre-contemplation (who is not considering settlement), the part that doesn’t want to change might be much larger than the part that does want to change. However, both parts are still represented. At times, such as when a person is moving through the stages of change, the side that wants to change may get bigger and bigger. It may also shrink down again. This can happen from session to session or even minute to minute. The most important point about ambivalence is that having it is normal and fluctuation is normal.

Thank you to Doug Noll for his insights into recognizing ambivalence and assisting clients at moving through the settlement stages. For further information on Mr. Noll’s training you may want to investigate his website: www.legalpronegotiator.com. There are two quality seminars available live from ICLEF in the coming months that offer you the opportunity to earn Civil Mediation Education hours. Click a title below for full details:

CME for Family Mediators – 6 CLE / 6 CME - November 13

Epic Change: The Evolution of the Legal Profession – 3 CLE / 3 CME / .5 E - December 3


About our Law Tips faculty participant:
Douglas E. Noll, Esq. is a full time peacemaker and mediator. He is an adjunct professor of law and has a Masters Degree in Peacemaking and Conflict Studies. Mr. Noll was a business and commercial trial lawyer for 22 years before turning to peacemaking. He is a Fellow of the International Academy of Mediators, a Distinguished Fellow of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators and on the American Arbitration Association panel of mediators and arbitrators. With his colleague Laurel Kaufer, Mr. Noll, co-founded the award-winning pro bono project, Prison of Peace, training life inmates in maximum security prisons to live lives of service as peacemakers and mediators.

About our Law Tips blogger:
Nancy Hurley has long-standing connections with Indiana lawyers. She was formerly a member of the ISBA and IBF staffs for over 30 years. Nancy’s latest lifestyle venture is with ICLEF. We are utilizing her exceptional writing and interviewing skills while exploring how her Indiana-lawyer background fits with ICLEF’s needs. When she isn’t ferreting out new topics for Law Tips, her work can be found in our Speaker Spotlight blogs, postings on the ICLEF Facebook and Twitter pages, and other places her legal experience lends itself.

Thank you for reading Law Tips. You may subscribe to this weekly blog through the RSS link at the top of this page.  Also, you are encouraged to comment below or email Nancy. She welcomes your input as she continues to sift through the treasure trove of knowledge of our CLE faculty to share with you.

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

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