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Courthouse artwork on display at ISBA

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The Indiana State Bar Association's courthouse art project is now on display for the public at the ISBA's offices in downtown Indianapolis. As of March 24, the collection included a total of 27 original paintings, charcoal drawings, ink drawings, and other artistic interpretations of historic and modern courthouses around Indiana.

In what started as an idea of then-ISBA president Douglas Church, which he kicked off with a donation from the Hamilton County Bar Association, the project continues to grow as a handful of artworks were donated in March. More are on the way, and "somewhere between six and 10 counties" have expressed an interest in donating to the project, Church said.

Church added that his last act as president of the ISBA when he stepped down in late 2009 was to name himself the "unofficial permanent chairman of the courthouse art committee."

He quickly credited the committee's actual co-chairs Julia Kozicki and Jane Merrill for their work on the project.

Church, along with Kozicki, Merrill, and others at the ISBA, have a goal to have artwork from about half of Indiana's counties by the end of the year.

To reach that goal, Church said committee members have been contacting attorneys in counties that aren't yet represented by the project.

"Part of the intent of our effort initially was to reach out to local bar associations and provide assistance and resources for things they couldn't do on their own," he said. "For example, the ISBA hosts local bar association's Web sites free of charge and makes sure the content is kept up to date."

Church and Kozicki said they've been impressed with how the counties have collected artwork for the project. Some have held contests where the first place winner's artwork is given to the ISBA and runners up have had their art displayed at the respective county's courthouse. Others have had contests for prize money or received donations from area judges, lawyers, or county bar associations who already had original artwork of their county's courthouse.

Each donation also has a story, Church and Kozicki said. In one county that held a contest, the winner was a high school student. In another county the winner was someone Church said was "unfortunately familiar with the court system."

To get the word out, the ISBA has published a brochure of the art they've received so far - along with a list of counties who haven't yet donated - to distribute at various events. That brochure, which includes information about the artists and donors, will be updated periodically.

Church said he hoped to have all of the art available for viewing at an upcoming statewide event, but those plans were still being finalized at Indiana Lawyer deadline. Until then, there are two ways to see the courthouse art: visit the ISBA offices, which some attorneys and artists have been doing; or visit the ISBA's Facebook page, which is available even to those not on Facebook. The Facebook site also has photos from various donation ceremonies.

The Facebook page includes artwork from Bartholomew, Benton, Daviess, DeKalb, Delaware, Dubois, Elkhart, Fulton, Fountain, Grant, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Jasper, Knox, Lake, Madison, Miami, Morgan, Posey, Sullivan, Tipton, Vanderburgh, Vigo, Wabash, Washington, and Wells county bar associations, lawyers, and others. Other artworks that have been donated but not yet officially handed over to the ISBA, including one from St. Joseph County, will be added to the site as they are available.

"I'm delighted we're over 25 percent of the way through the counties," Kozicki said. "The art is just lovely. I've enjoyed seeing it come in. We're always happy to learn about new counties."

For anyone who'd like to help their county contribute, Kozicki suggested they first touch base with county bar association leaders, and then call the ISBA or Kozicki, who said she was listed in the ISBA directory. "We'd be happy to help them get started."

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  1. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  2. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  3. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  4. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  5. I totally agree with John Smith.

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