Courthouse attorney lounge

July 28, 2008
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After a decade-long absence, attorneys visiting the Birch Bayh Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Indianapolis have a quiet place to prepare for court.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, announced today it has opened an attorneys’ lounge in space formerly used by the Bankruptcy Court.

U.S. District Court Clerk Laura Briggs said the courthouse originally had an attorneys’ lounge years ago, but when the court gained an additional court reporter, the attorneys lost their lounge.

Just last week, the court finished minor renovations to the former Bankruptcy Court space by painting and putting in new carpet.

“The purpose is if an attorney, for example, has multiple hearings in a given day or an attorney is from out of town and needs to sit somewhere and prepare quietly for a hearing, or if they are waiting for a client” the attorneys can utilize the lounge, Briggs said.

There are a few ground rules for using the space: You have to be an attorney. No attorney/client meetings can take place in the lounge. The lounge is non-smoking, and cell phones can’t be used in the lounge.

Anyone who wants to use the lounge has to find it first. With the assistance of the District Court Clerk’s office or the Bankruptcy Court Clerk’s office, attorneys will be told where the lounge is located and will receive an entry code. To use the lounge, attorneys will have to sign an acknowledgement form of the terms of use of the lounge.

And of course, use of the lounge is a privilege, so if you don’t follow the provisions laid out in the terms of use, you may not be allowed back.

A nice, quiet place with a few tables and chairs in which to do your research or just get away from the hustle and bustle of the courtroom should be a welcome addition to the building. It beats sitting outside of the courtroom on a bench and trying to prepare for court.
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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

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