Leadership in Law 2013: David J. Cutshaw

Partner, Cohen & Malad LLP, Indianapolis Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

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david-cutshaw02-15col.jpg (IL Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

David J. Cutshaw is described by his peers as a tough litigator who aggressively advocates for his clients but also practices a great deal of civility in and out of the courtroom. His clients are often impressed by his approachability and empathy for their situations. In fact, one client who did not receive a favorable outcome in his case sent a letter to David thanking him for his work on the case involving the soldier’s wife. The client, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, included with the letter a U.S. flag flown in Afghanistan in David’s honor. For the last eight years, David has been heavily involved in the hundreds of trials involving Dr. Mark Weinberger of Merrillville, who is being sued for medical malpractice. David has been mentoring young associates at the firm for more than 30 years and is the “go to” guy for those seeking guidance in their practice.

If you could take a sabbatical from the law for a year to work your fantasy job, what job would you choose?
Major League Baseball umpire or do some acting in community theater.

What civic cause is the most important to you?
Take Justice Back:

If a drink or sandwich were to be named after you, what would it be called and what would be in it?
I would name a sandwich “The Cut,” my nickname, which seems to have developed from my cut through the BS and get to the point persona. It would contain lean cuts of antipasto-type meats and cheeses.

If you could go back in time, “when” would you go to and what would you do?
I would go back to a certain football game in my college career and run a different route so as to not blow up my knee. Arthritic knees suck.

In life or law, what bugs you?
Lawyers and insurance companies delaying the inevitable. Too much time and money is dedicated to defending cases for which there is no defense.

What do you find scary?
The extreme polarization in politics today.

If you could pick a theme song to describe your life, what would it be?
“Breathe” by Pink Floyd, “Dark Side of the Moon.” Best line: “Don’t be afraid to care.”

Would a world without 24/7 technology be a good or bad thing?
That would be a great thing, as lawyers would have to talk to each other and get along without the nasty, immediate emails.

What advice would you give your 25-year-old self?
Stay intense and compassionate about what you do, but quit taking yourself so seriously.

What class in law school did you find the most difficult?
Property. I still have no idea what the Rule Against Perpetuities is.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
To read the minds of judges and juries would be fun.


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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.