1819-1838 - Samuel Judah
1838-1842 - Judah & Gibson
1842-1852 - Samuel Judah
1852-1854 - Judah & Usher
1854-1860 - Judah & Denny
1860-1867 - James C. Denny
1867-1868 - Denny & Reily
1868-1872 - Denny Reily & Johnson
1872-1881 - Reily and Johnson
1881-1886 - Reily Johnson & Niblack
1886-1889 - Reily & Niblack
1889-1899 - Reily & Emison
1899-1901 - James Wade Emison
1901-1907 - Emison & Moffett
1907-1917 - James Wade Emison
1917-1931 - Emison & Hoover
1931-1969 - Emison & Emison
1969-1979 - Emison Emison & Doolittle
1979-1986 - Emison Emison Doolittle & Kolb
1986-1990 - Emison Doolittle & Kolb
1990-2009 - Emison Doolittle Kolb & Roellgen
2009-2012 - Emison Doolittle Kolb & Roellgen LLP
2012-present - Kolb Roellgen & Kirchoff LLP
FAMOUS PRINT OF BATTLE OF TIPPECANOE
Lt. Emison pictured holding back General Harrison's horse
Displayed in hallway
AWARD - 2003
Displayed in reception area
A visitor to Kolb Roellgen & Kirchoff LLP is immediately immersed in the firm’s history. This is intentional. The first partner, Samuel Judah, began the practice in 1819 after walking from New Brunswick, New Jersey to Indiana. His picture, along with those of other partners, hangs on the wall facing the front door. On the same wall is the original letter of introduction of Samuel Judah, addressed to Judge Isaac Blackford of the Indiana Supreme Court, dated May 5, 1819. In 1819, this was the equivalent of a law degree. It is also proof of the law firm’s beginning date. Based on an article in the ABA Journal and an Internet search, the firm may be the fourth oldest continuing law firm in the country.
The beginning date is important, but the difficult part is continuity. The reception room wall displays the pictures of the partners who provided continuity. The firm’s 200 years of continuity up to the present primarily relies on six partners: Samuel Judah, James C. Denny, George G. Reily, James Wade Emison, Ewing Rabb Emison, and Ewing Rabb Emison, Jr.
The partners distinquished themselves in many areas. Five were judges. Four became State Attorneys or Attorney Generals. Several went on to begin businesses in banking, insurance and trust. Rabb Emison won the Spirit of Excellence award from the American Bar Association in 2003. Current lawyers are listed as Super Lawyers or Best Lawyers and have been rated as one of the ten best lawyers in Indiana. The firm itself has been an AV rated firm from the beginning of the Martindale-Hubbell rating system over 100 years ago.
In honor of the firm’s 200th anniversary, a history of the firm entitled “Lunch with the Partners: Historical Vignettes from a 200 Year Old Law Firm” was published. The book details the firm’s role in saving Vincennes University (several times), opposing slavery, creating the Brevoort Levee, getting presidents elected and building the Clark Memorial. Much of the legal work was done over many years with a never quit attitude. It is a tradition we are very proud to continue. Click the book cover below for a pdf version of the book.