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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