ILNews

Longtime attorney Rabb Emison dies

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Retired Vincennes attorney Ewing Rabb Emison Jr., 85, president of the Indiana State Bar Association from 1986 to 1987, died this morning.

Family members called the ISBA this afternoon and not many details were yet known this afternoon by the association or the funeral home that is handling the arrangements.

Emison graduated from what is now the Indiana University Maurer School of Law – Bloomington in 1950, and began practicing with his father, Ewing Emison that year. His entire career was with the firm now known as Emison Doolittle Kolb & Roellgen in Vincennes.

He was known for his work promoting opportunities in the legal profession for minorities. In 2003, he was recognized by the American Bar Association's Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession with the Spirit of Excellence Award. The ISBA’s Rabb Emison Award – named for him – “recognizes an individual and an organization that have demonstrated a commitment to promote diversity and/or equality in the legal profession and in the membership of the Indiana State Bar Association,” according to the application.

Emison was interviewed by Evansville attorney Wesley Bowers for part of an ISBA oral history project. That transcript was made available to the ISBA and the Indiana Historical Society, where members of the public can view it and other oral history interview transcripts.

Bowers’ interview topics involving Emison included his three stints in the Navy – 1942, 1952, and 1962 – and about his father and grandfather being attorneys even though they didn't go to law school.

Emison also was known for more than 50 columns he had written for “Res Gestae” during and after his time as ISBA president. In his interview with Bowers, Emison said his columns were not so much about the law but about the behavior of attorneys who practice it. The columns were recently compiled into a book that he self-published and that the ISBA would help distribute.

Visitation is from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday and the funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday. More details are available by contacting the Goodwin Family Funeral Home in Vincennes at (812) 882-5900 or www.goodwinfamilyfh.com.

More about Emison will be in Thursday’s IL daily.
 

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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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