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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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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