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DTCI award recipients named

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During its 2013 Annual Meeting at the Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City Nov. 21-22, the DTCI will recognize the outstanding defense lawyers of 2013. The awards ceremony will be held during the board of directors dinner on November 20.

Defense Lawyers of the Year

dollens-lucy.jpg Dollens

Lucy Dollens, a member in the Indianapolis office of Frost Brown Todd, and Karen Withers, an associate in the Indianapolis firm Zeigler Cohen & Koch, have been named the co-recipients of the 2013 DTCI Defense Lawyer of the Year award. The Defense Lawyer of the Year award is presented to a licensed lawyer who, in the opinion of the Awards Committee, as approved by the board of directors, has promoted the interests of the Indiana Defense Bar, since the last annual meeting of the DTCI, in a most significant way in the fields of litigation, legislation, publication or participation in local, state or national defense organizations.

Dollens, who was nominated by Robert B. Thornburg, was the primary author of the DTCI amicus brief in Santelli v. Rahmatullah, which was recently decided by the Indiana Supreme Court and resulted in a favorable decision for the defense bar.

withers-karen.jpg Withers

Withers, who was nominated by Bobby J. Avery-Seagrave, was responsible for the lion’s share of the work in Plank v. Community, which defended the MMA cap. She conducted all the research and drafting of the briefs throughout the case’s progress through the trial court, Court of Appeals and Indiana Supreme Court.

Diplomats of the Indiana Defense Trial Counsel

The DTCI will also install as Diplomats of the Indiana Defense Trial Counsel two members of the Indiana bar who, in the judgment of the officers and directors of the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana, have distinguished themselves throughout their careers through outstanding contributions to the representation of clients in the defense of litigation matters. The 2013 recipients are Robert F. Parker, partner in Burke Costanza & Carberry, and John C. Trimble, partner in Lewis Wagner. Both Parker and Trimble were nominated by Thomas R. Schultz.

parker-robert.jpg Parker

Parker is a former president of DTCI, a Defense Lawyer of the Year, and a recipient of DRI’s Exceptional Performance Award. He currently serves on the editorial board of the American College of Trial Lawyers quarterly publication. In the last year he has successfully tried two complex medical malpractice claims and is seen as a leader in that area of law in the state of Indiana. He is also adjunct professor at Valparaiso Law School, where he teaches trial skills.

Trimble is a leading Indiana lawyer handling insurance coverage matters. He has been a leader in working at the state legislature promoting pro-defense positions, including the Wrongful Death Act and tort reform. In addition, he frequently speaks to defense organizations across the country about the way insurance companies evaluate their counsel;

trimble Trimble

he has assisted a number of state and local defense organizations with their long-term strategic plans. He is one of the most recognized people in both DTCI and DRI due to his tireless efforts in helping both organizations. He has led DRI’s Judicial Task Force – looking for ways to maintain a fair and impartial judiciary. A former president of DTCI, he has been DTCI Defense Lawyer of the Year and the DRI National Defense Lawyer of the Year.

Outstanding Young Lawyer

The DTCI Outstanding Young Lawyer award is presented to a member of the Defense Trial Counsel, less than 35 years old, who has shown leadership qualities in service to the Indiana defense bar, the national defense bar, or the community. The 2013 recipient is Crystal Wildeman, who was nominated by Greg J. Freyberger and is an associate with Kahn Dees Donovan & Kahn.

wildeman-crystal.jpg Wildeman

Wildeman graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice, then earned her J.D. from DePaul College of Law. Wildeman is licensed to practice law in three states and has been admitted to U.S. District Courts for the Southern District of Indiana, Northern District of Indiana, Eastern District of Kentucky, Western District of Kentucky, Central District of Illinois, and Southern District of Illinois.

She has been recognized as a Rising Star in general personal injury defense by Indiana Super Lawyers magazine. Her impact is felt through her service to Youth First, Inc. as a member of the board of directors, board development committee and executive committee; as chair of the Arc Child Life Center Parent Advisory Board; as a volunteer judge for junior high and high school speech meets; as a Leadership Evansville program alumnus and volunteer; and as a member of Young Professionals Network and A Network of Evansville Women.•

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  1. Call it unauthorized law if you must, a regulatory wrong, but it was fraud and theft well beyond that, a seeming crime! "In three specific cases, the hearing officer found that Westerfield did little to no work for her clients but only issued a partial refund or no refund at all." That is theft by deception, folks. "In its decision to suspend Westerfield, the Supreme Court noted that she already had a long disciplinary history dating back to 1996 and had previously been suspended in 2004 and indefinitely suspended in 2005. She was reinstated in 2009 after finally giving the commission a response to the grievance for which she was suspended in 2004." WOW -- was the Indiana Supreme Court complicit in her fraud? Talk about being on notice of a real bad actor .... "Further, the justices noted that during her testimony, Westerfield was “disingenuous and evasive” about her relationship with Tope and attempted to distance herself from him. They also wrote that other aggravating factors existed in Westerfield’s case, such as her lack of remorse." WOW, and yet she only got 18 months on the bench, and if she shows up and cries for them in a year and a half, and pays money to JLAP for group therapy ... back in to ride roughshod over hapless clients (or are they "marks") once again! Aint Hoosier lawyering a great money making adventure!!! Just live for the bucks, even if filthy lucre, and come out a-ok. ME on the other hand??? Lifetime banishment for blowing the whistle on unconstitutional governance. Yes, had I ripped off clients or had ANY disciplinary history for doing that I would have fared better, most likely, as that it would have revealed me motivated by Mammon and not Faith. Check it out if you doubt my reading of this, compare and contrast the above 18 months with my lifetime banishment from court, see appendix for Bar Examiners report which the ISC adopted without substantive review: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS

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  3. So if I am reading it right, only if and when African American college students agree to receive checks labeling them as "Negroes" do they receive aid from the UNCF or the Quaker's Educational Fund? In other words, to borrow from the Indiana Appellate Court, "the [nonprofit] supposed to be [their] advocate, refers to [students] in a racially offensive manner. While there is no evidence that [the nonprofits] intended harm to [African American students], the harm was nonetheless inflicted. [Black students are] presented to [academia and future employers] in a racially offensive manner. For these reasons, [such] performance [is] deficient and also prejudice[ial]." Maybe even DEPLORABLE???

  4. I'm the poor soul who spent over 10 years in prison with many many other prisoners trying to kill me for being charged with a sex offense THAT I DID NOT COMMIT i was in jail for a battery charge for helping a friend leave a boyfriend who beat her I've been saying for over 28 years that i did not and would never hurt a child like that mine or anybody's child but NOBODY wants to believe that i might not be guilty of this horrible crime or think that when i say that ALL the paperwork concerning my conviction has strangely DISAPPEARED or even when the long beach judge re-sentenced me over 14 months on a already filed plea bargain out of another districts court then had it filed under a fake name so i could not find while trying to fight my conviction on appeal in a nut shell people are ALWAYS quick to believe the worst about some one well I DID NOT HURT ANY CHILD EVER IN MY LIFE AND HAVE SAID THIS FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS please if anybody can me get some kind of justice it would be greatly appreciated respectfully written wrongly accused Brian Valenti

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