Chuck Dunlap, executive director of the foundation, said the Supreme Court hasn't yet decided on the exact distribution, but the foundation asked for $14 to $16 of each $35 increase in the active attorney registration fee.
said the program might have ceased to exist without an infusion of revenue.
The Indiana Pro Bono Commission
funds its programs largely from interest on lawyer trust account revenue, but the collapse in interest rates in recent years led to a funding drought.
"It's been devastating not just in Indiana, but nationally," Dunlap
said the districts split about $750,000 last year, substantially less than half the money they received in the peak year of 2009.
Since then, the foundation has been funding programs largely from more than $2 million in reserves accrued in better economic times.
"The reserve is just about to be exhausted," he
The money the foundation receives from registration fees should raise $300,000 to $350,000 annually for pro bono districts, Dunlap
Coupled with a $1 filing fee increase passed by the General Assembly in 2012, the money will keep funding close to the current level.
"We're trying to keep it alive, essentially," Dunlap
said other states that have relied on IOLTA to fund pro bono work have turned to registration fees to bridge the gap