Todd, Craig take home top honors from ITLA: Trial lawyers awarded Lifetime Achievement, Young Lawyer honors

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Left: Alexander Craig holds the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association’s 2023 Max Goodwin Young Lawyer Award. Right: Indianapolis attorney Terri Todd holds the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association’s 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award at the ITLA annual awards event on May 2. (Photos courtesy of ITLA)

A pair of Indianapolis attorneys were recognized with two of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association’s highest honors at the association’s annual meeting and awards ceremony in May.

Terri Todd of the Teresa L. Todd Law Office received ITLA’s Lifetime Achievement Award, while Alexander Craig of Craig Kelley & Faultless LLC was honored as the Max Goodwin Young Lawyer of the Year.

“I think it’s a great honor. It’s a very nice feeling,” Todd said of receiving the ITLA award.

Todd is a trial lawyer and mediator who was admitted to the Indiana bar in October 1980.

According to the ITLA, Todd has approximately 40 years of experience representing plaintiffs in personal injury litigation and has been a mediator since 1995.

A member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, Todd has served on the ITLA Board of Directors since 1992 and is an association past president. She is also a member of ITLA’s College of Fellows and has served as the editor of ITLA’s quarterly publication, “Verdict.”

Craig has been part of the ITLA since he was admitted to the bar in 2013.

According to Craig Kelley & Faultless’ website, Craig has been chosen as a Top 40 Under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers every year since 2015.

Craig said he grew up around the law, with his father, David, currently serving as managing partner at the Craig Kelley & Faultless firm.

“Since being a kid, I’ve always been around it. He’s always been great at sharing what he does,” Craig said of his father.

Todd known for legal writing, research, mentoring

Lynn Gray

Lynn Gray, an attorney with Johnson Gray & Johnson, supported Todd’s nomination for the Lifetime Achievement Award and spoke about her at the ITLA awards ceremony in May.

Gray said she has known Todd for about 35 years and began trying cases in Johnson County as local counsel with her in the late 1980s.

“We frequently mediated cases together,” Gray said.

She called Todd a prolific legal researcher and writer and described her as someone who helps people without any expectation of anything in return.

Todd is also keen on helping young attorneys as a mentor, Gray said.

Gray often asks for Todd’s opinion on legal matters and the value of cases, she said, and Todd always has the legal research to back up her answers to Gray’s questions.

Betsy Greene

Betsy Greene, a partner at Greene & Schultz Trial Lawyers in Bloomington, wrote Todd’s nomination for the Lifetime Achievement Award along with other attorneys.

Greene and Todd went to law school at the same time, but Greene said she didn’t get to know Todd well until later in her career.

After graduating from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 1982, Greene didn’t become a personal injury lawyer for another five or six years. That’s when she began to get to know Todd in the late 1980s, and the two have become close friends since then.

“There weren’t a lot of women doing what we were doing back then,” Greene said.

Greene said Terri is a “lawyer’s lawyer,” works hard and is diligent.

“She just has so much integrity,” Greene said.

Todd is a past president of the Indiana chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates and the co-author of a three-volume treatise on Indiana tort law, according to ITLA.

An anthropology and history major in college, Todd said she thought about becoming a forensic pathologist as an undergraduate student before deciding on law school. She has always done plaintiff’s work throughout her legal career.

One of the biggest changes Todd said she’s seen during her time as an attorney happened during the COVID-19 pandemic, when attorneys had limited face-to-face interaction with other attorneys and judges.

“We got in the habit of doing things remotely,” she said.

Todd said she feels for younger attorneys who either started practicing just before or during COVID and haven’t been able to build relationships and get know attorneys on the other side of their cases.

“I’m grateful I’ve had the opportunity to do that and still have those relationships,” she said.

Another change Todd has seen is the size of case files, which she says are much larger than when she started practicing.

Ultimately, after more than 40 years, she said she doesn’t have any plans to retire.

“I still enjoy it,” Todd said.

Craig admired for calm demeanor

Samantha Stevens

Samantha Craig Stevens, an attorney with Craig Kelley & Faultless, nominated Craig — her brother — for the young lawyer award. They were both law clerks at the same time, with Craig two years ahead of Stevens in law school, she said.

Stevens said Craig always stays calm and collected and continues to think logically, even when he’s under a lot of stress or preparing for a trial.

Craig is good at what he does and cares about his clients, she said. She added that he does his research and attends seminars, keeping up on the latest legal trends.

“He’s a good person to have when you’ve got a lot on the line,” Stevens said.

Craig said he worked as a courier for the firm in high school. He also learned a lot about the law being around his father and attorney Scott Faultless.

Craig attended Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business earning his undergrad degree there before enrolling in Saint Louis University to earn his MBA. He then enrolled in Saint Louis University School of Law before transferring to the IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law
in Indianapolis.

Craig said it was a great honor to receive the young lawyer award, although he noted that he didn’t know if he would be considered a “young” lawyer anymore with 10 years of practice behind him.

He said he’s heard that Max Goodwin, the award’s namesake, was a great attorney, although he never met him.

His advice to younger attorneys would be to ask a lot of questions.

“As a young attorney, there’s a lot to learn,” he said.

In his practice, Craig said there are several good attorneys at his firm who are helpful in answering his questions.

“They never make me feel like I’m dumb for asking questions,” he said.

The biggest change Craig said he has seen since he started practicing is that the insurance companies he deals with have become more difficult. It’s become more challenging to resolve a case without going to trial, he said.•

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