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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. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  2. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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  4. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  5. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

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