DTCI: Meet your 2014 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 Jan. 1, 2014.


James D. Johnson

johnson Johnson

Jim Johnson, the 2014 DTCI president, is a partner with Rudolph Fine Porter & Johnson LLP in Evansville, where he focuses his practice on commercial and civil litigation, appellate and insurance law, and products liability. Mr. Johnson earned his B.S. in criminology from Florida State University in 1984 and his J.D. from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 1987. He served as chair of the DTCI Amicus Committee for several years and was named Defense Lawyer of the Year by the DTCI in 2007. Mr. Johnson is a member of the Evansville, Indiana State and American bar associations, DRI, and the Brooks American Inns of Court. He was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America®, Appellate Practice, 2012-2014.

Thomas C. Hays

hays-thomas-mug.jpg Hays

Tom Hays, the 2014 president-elect, is a partner with 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 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. He received the Indiana State Bar Association’s Civility Award in 2005. He is also a certified mediator.

James W. Hehner

hehner Hehner

Jim Hehner, the new DTCI vice president, is a member of the Indianapolis law firm of Hehner & Associates LLC. He graduated from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business in 1980 with distinction and Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 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. He has authored several articles on insurance defense issues and frequently speaks on insurance defense and trial advocacy issues. He and his wife, Darcy, live in Indianapolis with their three children.

Michele S. Bryant

bryant-michele-mug.jpg Bryant

Michele Bryant, the newly elected secretary, is a graduate of DePauw University and Indiana University Maurer School of Law. She is a partner in 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 has just completed nine years of service on 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. She continues to chair the Evansville Bar Association’s Lawyers Assistance Committee. 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.

Robert B. Thornburg


Rob Thornburg, the 2014 treasurer of the association, is a member of Frost Brown Todd LLC. He concentrates his practice in the areas of products liability, commercial litigation, breach of warranty and tort litigation. He routinely represents product manufacturers against products-liability and breach-of-warranty claims and suits throughout Indiana and the Midwest. Mr. Thornburg also defends clients in 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.

Jerry E. Huelat


Jerry Huelat, the immediate past-president, is a partner with the firm of Huelat Mack & Kreppein P.C. in Michigan City. He has more than 32 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; 7th Circuit Court of Appeals; and 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 and Indiana State bar associations and is a member of 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.


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 in Indianapolis. 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.

Marian Drenth


Marian Drenth is a partner with O’Neill McFadden & Willett LLP in Schererville. 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, professional liability 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 of 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.

Greg J. Freyberger


Greg Freyberger is a native of Jasper, Ind., 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 served as chairman and co-chair of DTCI’s Trial Tactics Section in 2009 and 2010 respectively, and was named a 2010, 2012 and 2013 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 served as the president of Leadership Evansville and is 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.

J. Curtis Greene


J. Curtis Greene is a partner in the litigation department of Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Indianapolis office. Mr. Greene represents private and publicly traded companies regionally and nationally in a variety of civil litigation matters, including defending numerous market leaders and serving on multiple regional and national litigation teams. His practice focuses on business and commercial disputes and products liability defense. In addition to his litigation experience, Mr. Greene has nearly 10 years experience in both the public and private sectors serving in various operational and executive business management roles. This experience serves as a foundation for his legal practice.

Mr. Greene will serve on DTCI’s Long-Range Planning Committee for 2014; serves on DTCI’s Business Litigation Section Executive Committee, where he was chair for four years; is a member of the Marion County Local Rules Committee; serves on the Marion County Court Technology Committee on Electronic Filing, and will serve on the Indiana Bar Foundation’s board of directors for 2014. He is a graduate of Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

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, past director of DTCI and ICLEF, and a life fellow of the Indiana Bar Foundation. He also serves on the Amicus Committee and is an editor of the Indiana Civil Litigation Review. 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, and the 7th Circuit, 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 (2010-2011), 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.

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.

Jason M. Massaro

jason massaroMassaro

Jason M. Massaro owns The Massaro Legal Group LLC in Fishers, where he focuses his practice primarily in complex civil, business, commercial and real estate litigation. He is AV Distinguished Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards. Mr. Massaro is also listed as one of Indiana’s Top Rated Lawyers. For more than 17 years, Mr. Massaro has represented the interests of businesses of almost every size, individuals, insurance carriers and other professionals on wide and varied matters, and his experience includes the defense and prosecution of complex litigations in various jurisdictions.

Kori L. McOmber


Kori L. McOmber is an attorney and liability claim specialist with Indiana University Health Inc. She received her B.A. 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 manages medical, professional and general liability claims for IU Health Risk Retention Group Inc., which insures IU Health facilities and health care providers, as well as other practitioners throughout Indiana.

In addition to being a board member of DTCI, Ms. McOmber is a member of the Indianapolis Bar Association and is a past chair of the Young Lawyers Division. 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 has been appointed by both Govs. Mitch Daniels and Mike Pence to the board of the Indiana Commission for Women. She is also a member of DRI.

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 category.

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, DRI, and International Association of Defense Trial Counsel.

Libby Valos Moss

libby valos mossMoss

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 has served as the chair of the DTCI Worker’s Compensation Section and is currently the vice chair for the Worker’s Compensation Committee of DRI. In addition to being an active member of DTCI and DRI, she is a member of the Indianapolis Bar Association, Indiana State Bar Association and Litigation Counsel of America. Ms. Moss was recognized as a Rising Star by the Indiana Super Lawyers for 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Jaime M. Oss

jaime ossOss

Jaime Oss is a partner at Huelat Mack & Kreppein P.C. in Michigan City. Her preparatory education at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis earned her a B.A. in psychology in 2000. She obtained her J.D. at Valparaiso University in 2003, where she was a member of the Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity. Ms. Oss was admitted to practice law in Indiana and before the U.S. District Court, Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana in 2003. She was admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court in 2012. Her practice centers on insurance defense, civil litigation, personal injury and insurance coverage. Ms. Oss is the president of the LaPorte County Bar Association and was on its board of governors from 2011-2012. She is a member of DRI. Ms. Oss is a graduate of the Indiana State Bar Association’s Inaugural Leadership Development Academy. She is currently the chair of the Service Committee, a council member at-large for the Litigation Section, and is a member of the Legal Ethics Committee and the Improvements in the Judiciary Committee of the Indiana State Bar Association. Ms. Oss is also on the LaPorte County Symphony Orchestra’s board of directors.

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 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

james strenksiStrenski

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., 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, DRI and served as the 2013 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.

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, high distinction, in public health. In 2002, she graduated from 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 DRI and the Association of Defense Trial Attorneys.

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 has practiced civil litigation in Indianapolis. His experience includes four years as in-house counsel for a medical malpractice insurance carrier in Indianapolis. He has extensive experience at both the trial and appellate levels in general liability insurance defense, product liability 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), DRI and the National Society of Professional Insurance Investigators (Indiana board of directors, 2010-present). He is a registered civil and family mediator. He is also the founder and director of the Frederick Ozanam Free Legal Clinic, a permanent project of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

DRI state representative

Scott Kyrouac

scott kyrouacKyrouac

Scott M. Kyrouac, the Indiana state 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 and Indiana State bar associations; DRI; and is president-elect 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 an invited member of Association of Defense Trial Attorneys. He has published extensively for the DTCI, Indiana Continuing Legal Education, National Business Institute, Thompson Reuters 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 offers pro bono services to the Terre Haute Humane Society, Clay County Humane Society, Miss Softball America and St. Joseph’s Church.

Mr. Kyrouac is a registered civil and domestic mediator.•


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  1. I like the concept. Seems like a good idea and really inexpensive to manage.

  2. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  3. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  4. 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.

  5. 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;