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Meet the 2016 DTCI board of directors

January 13, 2016

At the November annual meeting of the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana, the following officers and directors were elected. They assumed office on Jan. 1, 2016.

Officers

James W. Hehner

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Jim Hehner, the 2016 president of DTCI, is a member of the Indianapolis law firm of Hehner & Associates LLC. He graduated from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business (B.S. 1980, with distinction) and Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law (J.D. 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

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Michele Bryant, the new DTCI president-elect, is a graduate of DePauw University and Indiana University Maurer School of Law. She is a partner with Wooden McLaughlin LLP in its Evansville office. Ms. Bryant’s practice is focused on the defense and trial of medical negligence claims, representing both individual health care providers and hospitals. Her practice also includes health care and hospital law, employment litigation, and commercial litigation.

Ms. Bryant served for many years on the Indiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program, which is a committee of the Indiana Supreme Court providing assistance to judges, lawyers, and law students suffering from impairments affecting their ability to practice law. She continues to chair the Evansville Bar Association’s Lawyers Assistance Committee. Ms. Bryant is also a member of DRI and the American Health Lawyers Association. She has been included on the Indiana Super Lawyers list since 2011 in the area of medical malpractice defense and has achieved an AV rating in Martindale-Hubbell. In 2010, she received the ISBA Women in the Law Committee Recognition Award.

Ms. Bryant is an active member of her church, Aldersgate United Methodist, and volunteers as a youth basketball coach. She is also a board member for Meals on Wheels and on the Kiwanis Club of North Side Evansville Foundation, serving as president for many years. She and her husband, John, live in Newburgh with their two children.

Robert B. Thornburg

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Rob Thornburg, the newly elected vice-president, is a member of Frost Brown Todd LLC and concentrates his practice in the areas of product liability, commercial and business litigation, breach of warranty, and tort litigation. He routinely represents manufacturers against product liability and breach of warranty claims in suits throughout Indiana and the Midwest. He has experience in Indiana’s state and federal courts and has defended clients in states throughout the Midwest, Mid-south, South, and Southwest.

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.

Renee Mortimer

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Renee Mortimer, the 2016 secretary of the association and Indiana representative to DRI, is the partner-in-charge of the Indiana office of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP. She is a leader of the firm’s personal injury and property damage practice group 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. In 2015, she was selected for inclusion in “The Best Lawyers in America” in the areas of Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants, Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants, and Product Liability Litigation.

Ms. Mortimer is a fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America, a member of the Council on Litigation Management, DRI, and International Association of Defense Trial Counsel.

Donald S. Smith

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Don Smith, the new treasurer of DTCI, 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.

Thomas C. Hays

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Tom Hays, immediate past-president, is a partner of 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, construction, and transportation litigation. He received his B.A. in 1973 from Indiana University and J.D. from Woodrow Wilson College of Law 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 the state of 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.

Directors

Kori L. Chambers

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Kori L. Chambers is associate general counsel (litigation) 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. Chambers is a member of the Indianapolis Bar Association and is a past chair of the Young Lawyers Division. In 2008, Ms. Chambers was named Young Lawyer of the Year by the Indianapolis Bar Association. In 2009, DTCI named her Young Lawyer of the Year for her leadership qualities in service to the Indiana defense bar, the national defense bar, and the community. Ms. Chambers has been appointed by Gov. Mitch Daniels and Gov. Mike Pence to the board of the Indiana Commission for Women.

Marian Drenth

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Marian Drenth is a partner with O’Neill McFadden & Willett LLP in Schererville. She concentrates her practice in civil litigation with an emphasis on professional liability, including health care law, medical malpractice defense, and legal 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 has 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 Inn of Court, and she is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Ms. Drenth previously served as a board member for the Porter County Inn of Court from 2006 to 2010, serving as president from June 2009 to June 2010. She holds an AV Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

Greg J. Freyberger

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Greg Freyberger is a native of Jasper, Indiana, and is a partner with Wooden McLaughlin LLP in Evansville. He is a trial attorney whose practice is concentrated on employment law, commercial litigation, product liability, insurance litigation, personal injury defense, and municipal law.

Mr. Freyberger has served as chairman and co-chair of DTCI’s Trial Tactics Section in 2009 and 2010 respectively, and was named a 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 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 has served as the president of Leadership Evansville and is the president-elect of Brooks American Inn of Court in Evansville. He is a member of the Evansville and Indiana State Bar Associations, as well as DRI.

J. Curtis Greene

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Curt 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 product 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 served 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, and serves on the Indianapolis Bar Foundation’s board of directors. He is a graduate of Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

Philip E. Kalamaros

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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. Mr. Kalamaros is a past Amicus Committee chairman and director of DTCI, and past director of ICLEF. He is 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 DTCI, 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 and Michigan Super Lawyers, and Best Lawyers in America, and is Martindale-Hubbell rated AV.

Most important, he is the husband of Lynn, and father of Hunter, Anna, and Rachel.

Matthew R. King

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Matt King is a member in Frost Brown Todd LLC’s Indianapolis office, where he concentrates his practice in product liability litigation. He has defended manufacturers of automobiles, seat belts, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, personal watercraft, medical devices, and other products in state and federal courts across the country. He also has extensive experience in premises liability, insurance defense, and general tort litigation.

He has been an active member of DTCI since his admission to the bar in 2003. Mr. King is a past chair of DTCI’s Product Liability Section and Young Lawyers Committee, a past recipient of DTCI’s Outstanding Young Lawyer Award, and he has presented at multiple DTCI seminars.

Christopher D. Lee

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Chris Lee is a partner in the Evansville office of Wooden McLaughlin 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

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Jason M. Massaro is the owner of The Massaro Legal Group in Fishers, where he focuses his practice primarily in complex business, commercial, contract, and real estate litigation. His experience ranges from counseling individuals as well as emerging, small, local, and mid-sized businesses in a variety of matters including litigation, contract issues, real estate matters, closely held and minority shareholder disputes, limited liability company and partnership disputes, negotiations, corporate and partnership structuring, and corporate compliance.

Mr. Massaro has been in practice for almost 20 years and is consistently recognized for both his legal ability and ethics. He has earned an AV Distinguished Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, is a fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America, and is also listed as one of Indiana’s Top Rated Lawyers. He is a the immediate past-chair of the Business Litigation Section of DTCI, the immediate past-chair of the Litigation Section of the Indiana State Bar Association, a master in the Indianapolis American Inn of Court, and an active committee member of Fishers Rotary and the Fishers Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Massaro received his B.S., with distinction, in economics from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University and his J.D., magna cum laude, from Valparaiso University School of Law.

Libby Valos Moss

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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 chair of 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. She has more recently been named to the Super Lawyers List for 2014 and 2015.

Jaime M. Oss

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Jaime Oss is the managing partner of 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 in the 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. She served as a judge pro tem for Hon. Kathleen Lang, LaPorte Superior Court No. 1, from 2012-2014.

Along with serving on the DTCI board and serving as chair of its Rules Committee, Ms. Oss is the immediate past-president of the LaPorte County Bar Association, where she served as president in 2013 and 2015, and is again on its board of governors (2011-2012, 2014, & 2016). She is a member of DRI and the Women Lawyers Association of Indiana. Ms. Oss is a graduate of the Indiana State Bar Association’s Inaugural Leadership Development Academy. She served on the Nominating Committees for the Indiana State Bar Association in 2015. She is currently the secretary for the Litigation Section and is a member of the Legal Ethics Committee, the Improvements in the Judiciary Committee, Women in the Law Committee, Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, and the Service Committee (chair, 2012-2014, and Annual Day of Service Director 2015) of the Indiana State Bar Association.

Ms. Oss is also the vice-president of the LaPorte County Symphony Orchestra’s board of directors. She received the 2014 Most Influential Woman of Northwest Indiana in Law. Ms. Oss was recently selected as a Super Lawyers 2016 Rising Star.

Elliott I. Pinkie

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Elliott Pinkie is a partner of Cline Law Group LLC in Indianapolis. Mr. Pinkie specializes in civil litigation for the defense with a concentration in medical malpractice, licensing litigation, peer review, health care litigation, and products and premises liability defense. After graduating from Munster High School in 1991, he earned a B.S. degree in criminal justice and criminology from Ball State University (1995), and a J.D. from The Claude W. Pettit College of Law, Ohio Northern University (2000).

Mr. Pinkie is a frequent speaker on topics germane to the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act, health care provider liability issues in Indiana, and medical professional licensing issues. He is admitted to practice before all state and federal courts in Indiana. He is a member of DRI, and previously served DTCI as chair of the Trial Tactics Section. He is also a member of the American Bar Association, Indianapolis Bar Association, and Indiana State Bar Association.  In addition, he is an active member in the Indiana Society for Healthcare Risk Management and belongs to its parent organization, the American Society of Healthcare Risk Management. Elliott was also selected for inclusion in the listing of Indiana Rising Stars for the years 2009, 2012 and 2013. He has been an active supporter of the Social Health Association of Indiana Inc., a United Way Agency, where he previously served as president on the Executive Committee for the board of directors.   

James Strenski

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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, and 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 on the board of directors at Broad Ripple Haverford Little League and has been involved in Catholic Youth Organization athletics for a number of years

Stacy F. Thompson

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Stacy F. Thompson, a partner at Clendening Johnson & Bohrer P.C., graduated from Indiana University in 1999 with a B.A., 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

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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 DRI and the National Society of Professional Insurance Investigators (Indiana Board of Directors, 2010-present). He was chair of the DTCI Insurance Section for 2008-2009. He is a registered civil and family mediator and is also the founder and director of the Frederick Ozanam Free Legal Clinic, a permanent project of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

Louis Voelker

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Lou Voelker, now of LaPorte, Indiana, was born in Gary and grew up in Columbus. He attended Purdue University, graduating in 1991. He attended law school at Indiana University Maurer School of Law, graduating cum laude in 1995. He started as an associate with Eichhorn & Eichhorn LLP in 1995 and today is a general partner with the firm, working in the firm’s Hammond and Mishawaka offices. Mr. Voelker was selected Defense Lawyer of the Year for 2012 and is a member of the Indiana chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. His practice is focused upon civil litigation generally and professional liability defense including medical malpractice defense. He has successfully represented clients at the trial and appellate levels.•

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