DTCI: Award Recipients Named


In conjunction with its 2016 annual meeting in Fort Wayne Nov. 17-18, the DTCI will recognize the outstanding defense lawyers of the year.

Defense Lawyer of the Year

Michael O’Neill has been named the 2016 DTCI Defense Lawyer of the Year. He is a partner in the Schererville firm of O’Neill McFadden & Willett. The Defense Lawyer of the Year award is presented to an attorney who has promoted the interests of the Indiana defense bar in a most significant way in the fields of litigation, legislation, publication or participation in local, state or national defense organizations. Mr. O’Neill has obtained defense verdicts in four jury trials in the first nine months of 2016 and has an appeal pending before the Indiana Court of Appeals to challenge the Campbell v. Chambers ruling. He has presented many CLE seminars on legal ethics and two presentations on “Defeating the Reptile” before national audiences.

Diplomats of the Indiana Defense Trial Counsel

The DTCI will also install as Diplomats of the Indiana Defense Trial Counsel two members of the Indiana bar who, in the judgment of the officers and directors of the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana, have distinguished themselves throughout their careers through outstanding contributions to the representation of clients in the defense of litigation matters. The 2016 recipients are Jerry Huelat, partner in the Michigan City firm of Huelat Mack & Kreppein, and Lonnie D. Johnson, partner in the Bloomington firm of Clendening Johnson & Bohrer.

Outstanding Young Lawyer

The DTCI Outstanding Young Lawyer award is presented to a member of the Defense Trial Counsel, less than 35 years old, who has shown leadership qualities in service to the Indiana defense bar, the national defense bar or the community. The 2016 recipient is Jennifer Fisher, an associate with Hinshaw & Culbertson. Ms. Fisher is actively involved in the DTCI Young Lawyers Section and has helped organize two of its northern Indiana events. Before joining Hinshaw, she worked as a solo practitioner and clerked for Lake County Judges John Pera and Diane Kavadias Schneider.

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