June 9, 2015
IN THE MATTER OF THE CREATION OF AD HOC UNREPRESENTED LITIGATION ASSESSMENT TEAM
ORDER CREATING AD HOC UNREPRESENTED LITIGATION ASSESSMENT TEAM
LORETTA H. RUSH, CHIEF JUSTICE OF INDIANA.
One of the biggest challenges consistently reported by our trial judges in Indiana is a rapid increase in unrepresented litigation and the corresponding burden it imposes on our trial courts to maintain efficiency in those cases while ensuring the parties' legal rights. This Court is eager to alleviate those burdens. Our efforts have relied primarily on three entities whose missions predominantly focus on issues involving unrepresented litigation in this State: (1) the Indiana Pro Bono Commission, (2) the Committee on Unrepresented Litigants, and (3) the Indiana Commission to Expand Access to Civil Legal Services.
To conduct a fresh overview of these three entities and to generate recommendations to reduce the number of litigants going to court without a lawyer, the Court has decided to assemble a small group of judges and legal practitioners to constitute an ad hoc Assessment Team.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that an ad hoc Assessment Team is hereby created and directed to examine the formulation and structure of the Pro Bono Commission, the Committee on Unrepresented Litigants, and the Indiana Commission to Expand Access to Civil Legal Services. The Assessment Team shall provide recommendations regarding the most suitable organization and structure of resources to invigorate and expand volunteer legal services, to facilitate cooperation and coordination among both volunteer and paid legal service providers, and to provide appropriate assistance to unrepresented litigants where legal representation is not needed while encouraging and directing them to legal representation in all other matters. The Assessment Team shall provide a written report to this Court not later than September 1, 2016, providing the information described above.
The following persons are appointed to the Assessment Team:
1. Carol Adinamis, incoming President of the Indiana State Bar Association
2. Judge Cale Bradford, incoming Chair of the Pro Bono Commission
3. C. Erik Chickedantz, former President of the Indiana State Bar Association
4. Judge Kim Dowling, Chair of the Unrepresented Litigants Committee
5. Chuck Dunlap, Executive Director Indiana Bar Foundation
6. Monica Fennell, Indianapolis
7. Jon Laramore, Executive Director Indiana Legal Services
8. Don Lundberg, Indianapolis
9. Dave Remondini, Chief Deputy Executive Director, State Court Administration 10. Judge Patricia Riley, Chair of the Commission to Expand Access to Civil Legal Services
Carol Adinamis will serve as the convener/facilitator, and Justice Brent Dickson will serve as the Supreme Court's liaison to the Assessment Team.
The Chief Justice of Indiana will appoint staff to assist the Assessment Team in its work, and the Executive Directors of the Supreme Court Division of State Court Administration and the Indiana Judicial Center are directed to appoint staff to provide further support.
All Justices concur.