Attorney, Firefighter, Musician, Writer
story and photo by Tony Coppi
By profession he is a busy Brown County attorney—in addition he is a volunteer firefighter, a musician and a writer.
Kurt Young, a 1979 graduate of the Indiana University School of Law, is in private practice in criminal defense at trial, appellate, and post-conviction relief levels.
His law career began after graduation when he became a deputy State Police defender for the Indiana State Public Defender’s Office in Indianapolis. Two years later he opened his own office in the Merchants Building in downtown Indianapolis as a public defender in Criminal Court One.
In 1985 he moved his law practice to Florida and was a prosecutor in the Brevard/Seminole County State Attorney’s office at Titusville, Florida, for three years in misdemeanor and felony cases. He also trained and supervised new staff members.
Returning to Indiana in 1988 he became a staff attorney for the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society doing civil trial work representing indigent clients in family law, landlord-tenant disputes and other civil proceedings.
Mr. Young moved to Nashville in 1993 and established his office in his home. He is also still as a contract appellate attorney with the Marion County Defender Agency in Indianapolis.
Kurt is a member and lieutenant of the Brown County Volunteer Fire Department. He signed on in 1995. “At that point we needed 140 hours worth of training for second class firefighters and then many more hours of training for first class firefighters. Plus first response training was another 70 hours—and more training in extraction for car accident victims, dealing with hazardous materials, and for use of an automatic external defibrillator,” he explained.
Young was one of the many fire crewmembers on hand to fight the Park Square Mall fire on Christmas Eve when the complex of seven businesses was destroyed.
“Shortly after noon the call came in and after that, counting being called back for a couple of times because the rubble rekindled, we were there till 5:30 on Christmas day—16 or 17 hours,” said Kurt.
During the Parkview Church of the Nazarene fire, October 12, 1999, the church was totally destroyed. “The call came in somewhere around eleven o’clock that night. The flames were already through the roof. We left shortly after noon the next day,” Mr. Young recalled.
His interest in music began while attending high school—first at Cloverdale then at Speedway—playing drums, trumpet, sousaphone, and the mellophone. “When I went to work at the Public Defenders office—it was a real small office with about a dozen attorneys—one of the attorneys was a banjo player. He had some get-togethers in his home, made chili, and had some jam sessions,” he said.
Those get-togethers evolved into the Cobblestone String Band. Playing mostly bluegrass music they performed at community festivals and at Pat’s Tavern in Mooresville.
“The best time we had with the string band was in the Circle Fest in Indianapolis. I had never before or since played before so many people. Half of the circle was full of people. It was pretty scary but a lot of fun. And when we got over the initial nervousness we didn’t want to quit,” Kurt remembered.
When Kurt and his wife Marjorie settled in Nashville they often visited the Daily Grind to “hang out” and listen to the music. The Grind’s intimate setting appealed to them so much that they brought in their guitars and performed. Margorie plays six and twelve string guitars and Kurt plays acoustic bass guitar. They decided to team together as a duo, Kurt and Marge. They have also appeared at state parks, art fairs, political gatherings, Starve Hollow, Versailles, and the Abe Martin Lodge.
Kurt was the editor of the student newspaper, Dictum, while in law school. He worked with Indiana trial judges as a research and publication assistant at the Indiana Judicial Center. He co-authored a comprehensive description of all Indiana Department of Correction facilities for use of trial judges throughout the state.
Young served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. He was stationed in Germany and for three years he was a tank driver and gunman in the Fourth Armored Division, Seventh Battalion, 37th Armed Regiment near Nuremberg.