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DTCI: Meet your 2013 Board of Directors

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At the November annual meeting of the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana, the following officers and directors were elected. They assumed office on Jan. 1, 2013.

Officers

huelat Huelat

Jerry E. Huelat

Jerry Huelat, the 2013 president of DTCI, is a partner with the firm of Huelat Mack & Kreppein P.C., with an office in Michigan City. He has more than 29 years of litigation experience in all areas of insurance defense work and has substantial trial experience in the areas of motor vehicle and trucking litigation, arson, fraud, product liability, construction, wrongful death, premises liability, municipal liability, Title VII claims, bad faith, insurance coverage, complex litigation and insurance coverage issues.

Mr. Huelat was born in Chicago, Ill., and was admitted to the Indiana bar in 1981. He is also admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court; United States Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit; and the United States District Court, Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana. Mr. Huelat attended college at Pennsylvania State University where he graduated in 1977 and obtained his J.D. at Northern Illinois University in 1981.

Mr. Huelat is a member of the LaPorte County Bar and Indiana State Bar associations and is a member of the DRI. He is also a former member of the Legal Ethics Committee of the Indiana State Bar Association. He was named a Super Lawyer for 2013. He is the author of several articles and is a regular lecturer at insurance defense seminars.
 

johnson Johnson

James D. Johnson

Jim Johnson, the 2013 president-elect, is a partner in the litigation department at Rudolph Fine Porter & Johnson LLP in Evansville, where he focuses his practice on commercial litigation, covenants and trade secrets, insurance law, product liability and appeals. He was for many years the chair of the DTCI Amicus Committee. He received his B.S. from Florida State University and his J.D. from Indiana University, cum laude. In addition to the DTCI, Mr. Johnson is a member of the Evansville, Indiana State, and American bar associations, the DRI and the Brooks American Inns of Court.
 

hays-thomas-mug.jpg Hays

Thomas C. Hays

Tom Hays, the 2013 vice-president, is a partner in the firm of Lewis Wagner LLP in Indianapolis. Mr. Hays focuses his practice on litigation and defense in the areas of tort law, product liability and commercial litigation. He received his B.A. in 1973 from Indiana University and J.D. from Woodrow Wilson in 1977. He was admitted to the bar in 1977 and is admitted to practice in the United States District Court, Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana, and the state of Georgia.

In addition to DTCI, Mr. Hays is a member of the American Bar Association, Indiana State Bar Association, Indianapolis Bar Association, Georgia State Bar Association, DRI, International Association of Defense Counsel, and the American Board of Trial Advocates. He served as the 2006 president of the Indiana chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. In 2009, he was installed as Diplomat in DTCI, and he received the Indiana State Bar Association’s Civility Award in 2005. He is also a certified mediator.
 

hehner Hehner

James W. Hehner

Jim Hehner, the new DTCI secretary, is a member of the Indianapolis law firm of Hehner & Associates LLC. He graduated from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, B.S. 1980, and Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, J.D. 1983. Mr. Hehner frequently serves as a civil mediator and is admitted to practice in Indiana, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. For many years, he was chair of the Trial Tactics Section of DTCI. He is also a member of DRI. Mr. Hehner is active in numerous civic organizations and currently serves on the board of trustees of the Carmel Clay Public Library.

bryant-michele-mug.jpg Bryant

Michele S. Bryant

Michele Bryant, the newly elected treasurer, is a graduate of DePauw University and the Indiana University Maurer School of Law. She is a partner at Kahn Dees Donovan & Kahn LLP in Evansville. Ms. Bryant’s practice is focused on the defense and trial of medical malpractice claims, representing both individual health care providers and hospitals. She also practices in the areas of health care and hospital law, employment law and commercial litigation.

Ms. Bryant was appointed several years ago by the Indiana Supreme Court to the Indiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program Committee, which provides assistance to judges, lawyers and law students suffering from physical or mental impairments affecting their ability to practice law. Ms. Bryant is a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel, DRI and the American Health Lawyers Association.

Ms. Bryant is an active member of her church, Aldersgate United Methodist, and of the Kiwanis Club of Northside Evansville, serving as president of its foundation for many years. She also is a youth basketball coach. She and her husband, John, live in Newburgh with their two children.

johnson-lonnie-mug.jpg Johnson

Lonnie D. Johnson

Lonnie Johnson, the DTCI immediate past-president, received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Indiana University and his J.D., cum laude, from Indiana University. Mr. Johnson is a partner with Clendening Johnson & Bohrer P.C. in Bloomington and practices predominantly in the areas of construction law, insurance defense, commercial litigation and environmental law. He is admitted to practice in Indiana, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Johnson is a member of the Indiana State and American bar associations, the Litigation Counsel of America, and is also active in the DRI and Association of Defense Trial Attorneys.

kyrouac Kyrouac

Scott Kyrouac

Scott M. Kyrouac, the Indiana representative to DRI, is a partner in the Terre Haute firm of Wilkinson Goeller Modesitt Wilkinson & Drummy LLP. Mr. Kyrouac’s practice areas include alternative dispute resolution, insurance defense, medical malpractice defense, product liability, motor vehicle accidents, trucking and transportation law, environmental law, employment law and municipal law.

Mr. Kyrouac received his B.S. in business administration, with high honors, from the University of Illinois in 1982 and his J.D. from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 1985. He is a member of the Terre Haute, Indiana State, and American (member of Litigation, Environmental Law, Sports & Entertainment Law sections) bar associations; the DRI; and is vice-president of the Indiana chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, where he enjoys the rank of Advocate. Mr. Kyrouac was president of DTCI in 2011. He is also a member of the Association of Defense Trial Attorneys. He has published extensively for the DTCI, Indiana Continuing Legal Education, National Business Institute and other organizations. Mr. Kyrouac was defense trial counsel of the year for Indiana in 2008, and he has been recognized as one of the highest-rated lawyers by AVVO from 2009 to the present. He serves as pro bono counsel for the Terre Haute Humane Society, Clay County Humane Society, Miss Softball America and St. Joseph’s Church.

Mr. Kyrouac is a registered mediator.

Directors

demoss Demoss

David A. DeMoss

David DeMoss is the managing attorney for State Farm Litigation Counsel in Indianapolis. Mr. DeMoss focuses his practice on first- and third-party personal injury defense and insurance coverage litigation. He serves as the chair of the DTCI Legislative Committee and is a member of the Trial Tactics and Insurance Coverage sections.

Mr. DeMoss received his B.A. from Purdue University and is a 1987 graduate of Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. He also received his Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation in 1995. He is a member of the Indianapolis Bar Association and the Indiana State Bar Association. Mr. DeMoss is active in the community, currently serving on the local advisory board for Indianapolis Local Initiatives Support Corporation.

drenth Drenth

Marian Drenth

Marian Drenth is a partner with O’Neill McFadden & Willett LLP in Dyer. She concentrates her practice in civil litigation with an emphasis in health care law and medical malpractice defense. In addition to representing physicians, hospitals and other health care providers in medical negligence claims, Ms. Drenth’s practice areas also include general liability, employment law and insurance defense. She has successfully defended clients in numerous jury trials in matters involving general negligence and medical malpractice claims.

Ms. Drenth received her B.A. from Loyola University, cum laude, in 1992 and her J.D. from Valparaiso University School of Law in 1995. She recently served as vice-chair of the Health Law Section for DTCI. She is currently a member of the Indiana State Bar Association, the Porter County Inns of Court and she is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Ms. Drenth previously served as a board member for the Porter County Inns of Court from 2006 to 2010, serving as president from June 2009 to June 2010.

freyberger Freyberger

Greg J. Freyberger

Greg Freyberger is a native of Jasper and is a partner in the litigation section of the Evansville firm Kahn Dees Donovan & Kahn LLP. He is a trial attorney whose practice is concentrated on employment law, workers’ compensation, commercial litigation, products liability, personal injury defense and municipal law.

Mr. Freyberger has served as the chairman and co-chair of DTCI’s Trial Tactics Section in 2009 and 2010 respectively, and was named a 2010 and 2012 Rising Star for Indiana Super Lawyers. He was also named one of Evansville’s 20 rising leaders under 40 years old for 2011. He is active in the community and serves as the president of Leadership Evansville and the treasurer of Brooks American Inns of Court in Evansville. He is a member of the Evansville, Indiana State and American bar associations, and DRI.

greene Greene

J. Curtis Greene

J. Curtis Greene is a partner in the litigation department of Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Indianapolis office. Mr. Greene represents individuals as well as private and publicly traded companies regionally and nationally in a variety of civil litigation matters. His practice focuses primarily in business/commercial disputes and products liability defense. Mr. Greene joined the firm after nearly 10 years in both the public and private sectors serving in various operational and executive business management roles.

Mr. Greene currently serves on the executive committee and as chair of DTCI’s Business Litigation Section. He is also a member of the Marion County Local Rules Committee and is active in the Indianapolis community and state and local bar associations. Mr. Greene graduated magna cum laude from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, where he served as editor-in-chief of Volume 15 of the Indiana International & Comparative Law Review.

kalamaros Kalamaros

Philip E. Kalamaros

Phil Kalamaros is a partner with Hunt Suedhoff Kalamaros LLP. He works mostly out of his car, as he is licensed in Indiana and Michigan and divides his practice between the two states at the local, federal and appellate levels. He has a broad litigation practice, including all types of professional malpractice, D&O, E&O, EPL, coverage, premises, products, trucking, dram shop general tort defense, workers’ compensation and business planning. He is a two-time graduate of the University of Notre Dame. He is a past Amicus Committee chairman and director of DTCI, past director of ICLEF and a Life Fellow of the Indiana Bar Foundation. In addition to DCTI, he is also a member of DRI; Claims & Litigation Management Alliance; Michigan Defense Trial Counsel; National Council of Self Insurers; Notre Dame Law Association; the 7th Circuit; and the St. Joseph County, Berrien County, Indiana State and Michigan State bar associations.

He has been included in Indiana Super Lawyers (2004-2009) and Michigan Super Lawyers (2010-2012), Best Lawyers in America (1995-2007), and is Martindale-Hubbell rated AV.

Most important, he is the husband of Lynn, and father of Hunter, Anna, and Rachel.

lee Lee

Christopher D. Lee

Chris Lee is a partner with the Evansville law firm Kahn Dees Donovan & Kahn LLP. Mr. Lee is a trial attorney and has been recognized by his peers for his representation in insurance defense and commercial litigation matters. He manages complex litigation cases and is a frequent speaker on trial practice and trial advocacy. He is also an active member in DRI.

Kori L. McOmber

Kori L. McOmber is a partner at Schultz & Pogue LLP. She received her bachelor of arts in international studies from Miami University in 1998, and received her J.D. in 2001 from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. She currently represents physicians, hospitals and other health care providers in medical negligence claims as well as representing both insureds and insurers in insurance coverage matters.

mcomber-kori-mug.jpg McOmber

In addition to being a board member of DTCI, Ms. McOmber is a member of the Indiana State and Indianapolis bar associations and is a past chair of the Young Lawyers Division of the Indianapolis Bar Association. In 2008, Ms. McOmber was named Young Lawyer of the Year by the Indianapolis Bar Association. In 2009, DTCI named Ms. McOmber Young Lawyer of the Year for her leadership qualities in service to the Indiana defense bar, the national defense bar and the community. Ms. McOmber was appointed by Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2011 to the board of the Indiana Commission for Women. She is also a member of DRI.

mortimer Mortimer

Renee Mortimer

Renee Mortimer is the partner-in-charge of the Indiana office of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP. She is the business development partner of the firm’s defense litigation department and is a member of the firm’s executive committee.

In October 2012, Ms. Mortimer received the Indiana State Bar Association’s Defense Lawyer Civility Award for 2012. Ms. Mortimer was selected for the honor by the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, which recognizes one Indiana defense attorney each year for outstanding civility and professionalism in dealings with fellow judges, attorneys, parties, witnesses and the public.

In 2011, Ms. Mortimer was one of only 11 women to receive the Influential Women of Northwest Indiana Award. She was honored for her influence in the legal industry.

Ms. Mortimer is a Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America, a member of the Calumet American Inn of Court, a member of the Council on Litigation Management, and the DRI.

moss-libby-mug Moss

Libby Valos Moss

Libby Valos Moss is a partner with Kightlinger & Gray LLP. She is a trial attorney who concentrates her practice in the areas of employment law and defense of employers before the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board. She is a frequent speaker on the issues employers face when confronted with workers’ compensation claims. She is admitted to practice in Indiana and before the U.S. District Court, Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana.

Ms. Moss is a 1995 graduate of Ball State University and graduated from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 1999. She has served as the chair of the DTCI Worker’s Compensation Section and is currently the Webinar chair for the Worker’s Compensation Committee of DRI. In addition to being an active member of DTCI, she is a member of the Indianapolis Bar Association, Indiana State Bar Association, Litigation Counsel of America and DRI. Ms. Moss was recognized as a Rising Star by the Indiana Super Lawyers for 2010, 2011 and 2012.

smith Smith

Donald S. Smith

Don Smith is a partner in the Indianapolis law firm of Riley Bennett & Egloff LLP. He limits his practice to representing employers in employment matters. Mr. Smith graduated with honors from DePauw University in 1978 and the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 1981. Since then, he has defended employers before state and federal courts, the National Labor Relations Board, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Indiana Civil Rights Commission, U.S. Department of Labor, Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board, various arbitrators and at the collective bargaining table, in addition to advising them concerning day-to-day employment issues.

Mr. Smith was the chairman of the DTCI Worker’s Compensation Section in 2012.

James Strenski Strenski

James Strenski

Jim Strenski is a partner at the Indianapolis firm of Cantrell Strenski & Mehringer LLP. He concentrates his practice in the areas of insurance bad faith, insurance coverage and third-party defense of insureds. He received his B.S.F.S., cum laude, from Georgetown University in 1990 and his J.D., magna cum laude, from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 1994.

Mr. Strenski is a member of the Indiana State Bar Association, Indianapolis Bar Association, the DRI and DTCI, where he currently serves as the chair of DTCI’s Insurance Section. He has been repeatedly recognized as a Super Lawyer in the area of insurance coverage.

Mr. Strenski is involved with CYO Athletics as well as coaching at Broad Ripple Haverford Little League in Indianapolis.

thompson Thompson

Stacy F. Thompson

Stacy F. Thompson, a partner at Clendening Johnson & Bohrer P.C., graduated from Indiana University in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree with high distinction in public health. In 2002, she graduated from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law. Ms. Thompson concentrates her practice in the representation of health care professionals; including individual physicians and nurses, hospitals, physicians’ practice groups and health care-related organizations; in a variety of health care law matters. She also has experience in criminal law, employment law, general litigation and insurance defense.

In 2010, DTCI named Ms. Thompson the Young Lawyer of the Year for her leadership qualities in service to the Indiana defense bar, the national defense bar and the community. In 2010, 2011 and 2012, she was named a Rising Star by the Indiana Super Lawyers publication list. Ms. Thompson also served DTCI in the past as the chair of the Health Law Section. She is also a member of the DRI and the Association of Defense Trial Attorneys.

thornburg Thornburg

Robert B. Thornburg

Rob Thornburg is a member of Frost Brown Todd LLC who concentrates his practice in the areas of product liability, commercial litigation, breach of warranty and tort litigation. He routinely represents product manufacturers against product liability and breach of warranty claims and suits throughout Indiana and the Midwest. Mr. Thornburg also defends clients against premises liability and automobile negligence cases. He has experience in Indiana’s state and federal courts and has defended suits brought in at least 11 other states. Mr. Thornburg has also testified before the Indiana Legislature on issues of importance to Indiana insurers.

He is an active member of the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana and has served DTCI in the past as chair of the Product Liability Section and received the Outstanding Young Lawyer Award in 2005. Mr. Thornburg is a member of DRI and the Indianapolis Bar Association. He received his B.S. degree, cum laude, from Ball State University and his J.D. from Indiana University Maurer School of Law.

tyra Tyra

Kevin C. Tyra

Kevin Tyra is the principal in The Tyra Law Firm P.C. in Indianapolis. The primary focus of the firm’s practice is insurance defense and insurance coverage litigation.

Mr. Tyra graduated from Purdue University in 1978 and Vanderbilt Law School in 1981. After serving in the U.S. Navy JAG Corps from 1981 to 1987, he practiced civil litigation in Indianapolis. His experience includes four years as in-house counsel for a medical malpractice insurance carrier in Indianapolis, serving as insurance defense counsel or as an adjuster on some 200 malpractice suits. He has extensive experience at both the trial and appellate levels in general liability insurance defense, workers’ compensation defense, medical malpractice defense, insurance coverage and insurance fraud investigation.

Mr. Tyra is a member of the Indiana State Bar Association, the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana (Insurance Section Chair, 2008-09), and the National Society of Professional Insurance Investigators. He is a registered civil and family mediator. He is also the founder and director of the Frederic Ozanam Free Legal Clinic, a permanent project of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.•

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  1. "Am I bugging you? I don't mean to bug ya." If what I wrote below is too much social philosophy for Indiana attorneys, just take ten this vacay to watch The Lego Movie with kiddies and sing along where appropriate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etzMjoH0rJw

  2. I've got some free speech to share here about who is at work via the cat's paw of the ACLU stamping out Christian observances.... 2 Thessalonians chap 2: "And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to everyone in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last."

  3. Did someone not tell people who have access to the Chevy Volts that it has a gas engine and will run just like a normal car? The batteries give the Volt approximately a 40 mile range, but after that the gas engine will propel the vehicle either directly through the transmission like any other car, or gas engine recharges the batteries depending on the conditions.

  4. Catholic, Lutheran, even the Baptists nuzzling the wolf! http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-documents-reveal-obama-hhs-paid-baptist-children-family-services-182129786-four-months-housing-illegal-alien-children/ YET where is the Progressivist outcry? Silent. I wonder why?

  5. Thank you, Honorable Ladies, and thank you, TIL, for this interesting interview. The most interesting question was the last one, which drew the least response. Could it be that NFP stamps are a threat to the very foundation of our common law American legal tradition, a throwback to the continental system that facilitated differing standards of justice? A throwback to Star Chamber’s protection of the landed gentry? If TIL ever again interviews this same panel, I would recommend inviting one known for voicing socio-legal dissent for the masses, maybe Welch, maybe Ogden, maybe our own John Smith? As demographics shift and our social cohesion precipitously drops, a consistent judicial core will become more and more important so that Justice and Equal Protection and Due Process are yet guiding stars. If those stars fall from our collective social horizon (and can they be seen even now through the haze of NFP opinions?) then what glue other than more NFP decisions and TRO’s and executive orders -- all backed by more and more lethally armed praetorians – will prop up our government institutions? And if and when we do arrive at such an end … will any then dare call that tyranny? Or will the cost of such dissent be too high to justify?

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