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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: www.takejusticeback.com.

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. One can only wonder whether Mr. Kimmel was paid for his work by Mr. Burgh ... or whether that bill fell to the citizens of Indiana, many of whom cannot afford attorneys for important matters. It really doesn't take a judge(s) to know that "pavement" can be considered a deadly weapon. It only takes a brain and some education or thought. I'm glad to see the conviction was upheld although sorry to see that the asphalt could even be considered "an issue".

  2. In response to bryanjbrown: thank you for your comment. I am familiar with Paul Ogden (and applaud his assistance to Shirley Justice) and have read of Gary Welsh's (strange) death (and have visited his blog on many occasions). I am not familiar with you (yet). I lived in Kosciusko county, where the sheriff was just removed after pleading in what seems a very "sweetheart" deal. Unfortunately, something NEEDS to change since the attorneys won't (en masse) stand up for ethics (rather making a show to please the "rules" and apparently the judges). I read that many attorneys are underemployed. Seems wisdom would be to cull the herd and get rid of the rotting apples in practice and on the bench, for everyone's sake as well as justice. I'd like to file an attorney complaint, but I have little faith in anything (other than the most flagrant and obvious) resulting in action. My own belief is that if this was medicine, there'd be maimed and injured all over and the carnage caused by "the profession" would be difficult to hide. One can dream ... meanwhile, back to figuring out to file a pro se "motion to dismiss" as well as another court required paper that Indiana is so fond of providing NO resources for (unlike many other states, who don't automatically assume that citizens involved in the court process are scumbags) so that maybe I can get the family law attorney - whose work left me with no settlement, no possessions and resulted in the death of two pets (etc ad nauseum) - to stop abusing the proceedings supplemental and small claims rules and using it as a vehicle for harassment and apparently, amusement.

  3. Been on social security sense sept 2011 2massive strokes open heart surgery and serious ovarian cancer and a blood clot in my lung all in 14 months. Got a letter in may saying that i didn't qualify and it was in form like i just applied ,called social security she said it don't make sense and you are still geting a check in june and i did ,now i get a check from my part D asking for payment for july because there will be no money for my membership, call my prescription coverage part D and confirmed no check will be there.went to social security they didn't want to answer whats going on just said i should of never been on it .no one knows where this letter came from was California im in virginia and been here sense my strokes and vcu filed for my disability i was in the hospital when they did it .It's like it was a error . My ,mothers social security was being handled in that office in California my sister was dealing with it and it had my social security number because she died last year and this letter came out of the same office and it came at the same time i got the letter for my mother benefits for death and they had the same date of being typed just one was on the mail Saturday and one on Monday. . I think it's a mistake and it should been fixed instead there just getting rid of me .i never got a formal letter saying when i was being tsken off.

  4. Employers should not have racially discriminating mind set. It has huge impact on the society what the big players do or don't do in the industry. Background check is conducted just to verify whether information provided by the prospective employee is correct or not. It doesn't have any direct combination with the rejection of the employees. If there is rejection, there should be something effective and full-proof things on the table that may keep the company or the people associated with it in jeopardy.

  5. Unlike the federal judge who refused to protect me, the Virginia State Bar gave me a hearing. After the hearing, the Virginia State Bar refused to discipline me. VSB said that attacking me with the court ADA coordinator had, " all the grace and charm of a drive-by shooting." One does wonder why the VSB was able to have a hearing and come to that conclusion, but the federal judge in Indiana slammed the door of the courthouse in my face.

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