2023 Defense Lawyer, Diplomat, Young Lawyer honorees

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By DTCI

Please join us in honoring the DTCI 2023 award recipients!

Jerry Huelat

Defense Lawyer of the Year: Jerry Huelat, Huelat & Mack P.C., LaPorte

This award is presented to a licensed lawyer who, in the opinion of the Awards Committee, as approved by the board of directors, has promoted the interests of the Indiana defense bar since the last annual meeting of DTCI in a most significant way in the fields of litigation, legislation, publication or participation in local, state or national defense organizations.

Jerry, a former president of DTCI, is one of the most highly respected defense trial attorneys in Indiana, whose work reveals his creativity, knowledge of the law and client advocacy. He was nominated primarily for his 2023 mentorship of several colleagues who attested to the vital help they received from Jerry in their own work. He does not limit his help to his own firm or co-counsel but reaches out to other defense lawyers across Indiana with his vast knowledge and creative ideas.

Michael O’Neill

Diplomat of the Indiana Defense Law Counsel: Michael O’Neill, O’Neill McFadden & Willett LLP, Schererville

This award is given to members of the Indiana bar who, in the judgment of the officers and directors of DTCI, have distinguished themselves throughout their careers through outstanding contributions to the representation of clients in the defense of litigation matters and, therefore, have been designated recipients of the award Diplomat of the Indiana Defense Law Counsel.

Mike, who received the 2016 Defense Lawyer of the Year award, has also been voted an Indiana Super Lawyer for more than 10 years. During his career, he has been instrumental in the development of numerous attorneys, many of whom have received DTCI awards themselves. Mike has probably tried more professional malpractice cases to verdict than any other defense attorney in the state and has extensive appellate experience. Many of his cases have resulted in reported opinions. While an aggressive advocate, he consistently maintains the highest degree of ethics and professionalism, which has been acknowledged by his colleagues and praised in McKeen v. Turner.

John Stringfield

Outstanding Young Lawyer: John Stringfield, Clendening Johnson Bohrer P.C., Indianapolis

This award is presented to a member of the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana, less than 35 years old, who has shown leadership qualities in service to the Indiana defense bar, the national defense bar or the community.

In his nomination, John was praised for the professionalism he affords clients and colleagues and for his highly successful efforts in expanding young lawyers’ involvement in DTCI.•

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