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. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.