Bar marks milestones; celebration set

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Bar Crawl

Bar Crawl is Indiana Lawyer’s new section that will highlight bar association news around the state. We try to include bar association news and trends in our regular stories, but we want to include more news from specialty and county bars. If you’d like to submit an update about your bar association or a photo from an event your bar association has hosted to Indiana Lawyer, or if you have questions about having your bar association news included in the newspaper, please send it to Rebecca Berfanger,, along with contact information for any follow up questions at least two weeks in advance of the issue date.

Evansville bar marks milestones

Earlier this month, 12 Evansville attorneys were sworn into practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, while later this month, a historic courthouse project will be celebrated.

Vanderburgh Circuit Judge Carl A. Heldt made an oral motion to admit the attorneys to the SCOTUS in open court Oct. 5. The motion was approved by the justices, thereby admitting Todd Clarke Barsumian, Erin L. Berger, Julianne Lutz Fox, John Jewell, Matthew William Lutz, Kathryn L. Kornblum-Zelle, Christopher Lee, Krista Bonewitz Lockyear, Andrew J. Manion, Catherine Anne Nestrick, Kathryn A. Sullivan, and Andrew Scott Ward to practice before the nation’s highest court, according to a release from the Evansville Bar Association.

To be considered for admittance, the attorneys had to submit a personal application statement, obtain a certificate of good standing from the Indiana Supreme Court, and be endorsed by two sponsors who were already members of the Supreme Court of the United States.

The EBA will also celebrate the restoration of the Vanderburgh Superior Courtroom in that county’s historic courthouse at a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 21 to honor the donors for the restoration and to give them a chance to see firsthand the construction project, according to the EBA.

While the event is not open to the public, all donors and supporters of the project, including many EBA members, will receive an invitation.

The Randall T. Shepard Courtroom is named the chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, who also is an Evansville native. The courtroom will officially be renovated in time for the EBA’s 100th anniversary to be celebrated at the EBA’s Law Day event in April 2011.

Chief Justice Shepard, who will speak at the reception, was also instrumental in encouraging EBA members to support the renovations during the past few years. All of the renovation costs have been covered by the EBA’s fundraising campaign.

The chief architect will also be on hand for tours.

The courtroom, which originally housed the Vanderburgh Superior Court, will likely be used for some court hearings, as well as teen court, memorial events, and other special events for the Evansville legal community.

During the restoration process, painstaking efforts were taken to find original furniture pieces from the courtroom, and all the woodwork and gallery benches have been restored. If original pieces could not be found based on historical documents for the courthouse, similar pieces were used, said Susan Vollmer, EBA executive director. Vollmer added that even the paint was scraped to find the original color so that paint could be found to match it.

Kuykendall-Conn celebration set

The theme of the Marion County Bar Association’s 2010 Kuykendall-Conn Celebration is “Resurrecting the Call of Justice for All.”

The silent auction, cocktail hour and dinner will be at The Westin Hotel, 50 S. Capitol Ave., Indianapolis at 6 p.m. Nov. 5. Tickets are $50 per person and tables are available for $500.

The Kuykendall-Conn Celebration, which takes place every other year, started in 1992 and is the signature event of the MCBA. It is named for Marion Superior Judge Rufus C. Kuykendall, one of the first African-Americans to be elected judge in Marion County and who served from 1966 to 1974. Harriette V. Bailey-Conn was the first woman and the first African-American to be appointed public defender of Indiana May 1, 1970, a position she held until she died in 1981.

The original award dinner was intended to highlight African-American judicial talent and to encourage the election and appointment of African-American judges. While the organization still recognizes this issue, the event has evolved to also give members and supporters of the MCBA the opportunity to partner with the community in an effort to raise donations for scholarships and financial support for pro bono programs, Talk to a Lawyer Today programs, and community awareness projects and educational opportunities for local youth such as the MCBA’s college application drives and mentoring programs, according to Dana Phillips, MCBA president.

The MCBA is also involved with Shortridge Magnet High School for Law and Public Policy, which became a magnet school at the beginning of the 2009-10 school year.

For more information and to order tickets, contact MCBA president Dana Phillips at (317) 234-5788.•


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