Saturday, January 25, 2020
            
Excellence in Civil Litigation
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Section Chairs

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Workers' Comp


Sonia Das Sturm
ssturm@inmanfitzgibbons.com

Sonia Das Sturm has been defending worker’s compensation claims throughout the State of Indiana for over eighteen years. In 2015, Sonia joined the law firm of Inman & Fitzgibbons, Ltd., a defense firm focused on providing high quality worker’s compensation legal services. Inman & Fitzgibbons proudly represents employers in worker’s compensation cases in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Missouri.  Sonia has experience advising clients and litigating disputes arising before the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board, including compensability, calculation of average weekly wage, entitlement to temporary total disability or temporary partial disability, offsets to benefits due, permanent partial impairment, permanent total disability, medical treatment, medical causation, apportionment of liability, bad faith or lack of diligence, statute of limitations, employee vs independent contractor, affirmative defenses (including intoxication, self-inflicted injury, failure to utilize a safety device, and failure to follow employer’s posted rules), as well as provider fee claims. She guides employers and insurance adjusters on compliance with the requirements of the Worker’s Compensation Act, mediates settlements, tries claims in formal hearings, makes argument on reviews to the Full Board, and handles all aspects of any appeals.  Sonia also has experience litigating worker’s compensation issues in civil courts, including the exclusive remedy defense, threshold questions (employee vs independent contractor, secondary liability), and coverage. She is a frequent author and speaker on worker’s compensation topics.  She also represents defendants in other civil disputes.

 


Trial Tactics


Susan Shan
sshan@k-glaw.com

Susan R. Shan focuses her practice on Commercial Litigation, Product Liability, Professional Liability, Construction, Insurance Defense Litigation, and Subrogation and Fire Related Casualties. Before relocating to Indianapolis, Susan lived in China, Texas, Hawaii, Pittsburgh, London, New York City, St. Louis, and Georgia. She is fluent in Mandarin, and can speak conversational Spanish.  Susan earned her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Georgia School of Law, where she served as an editor of the Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law and competed as a member of the nationally-ranked mock trial team. In her third year of law school, Susan served as a judicial intern to United States District Court Judge Steve C. Jones in Atlanta.  Susan currently serves as the Vice President of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Indiana (APABA-IN) and the Vice-Chair of the DTCI Trial Tactics Section.  Prior to law school, Susan worked in casino management and as a sportswriter. Her diverse background and experiences have enabled her to view and approach issues comprehensively and sometimes with creative, out-of-the-box solutions. Susan is also an avid fan of the Texas A&M Aggies, Kentucky Wildcats, Pittsburgh Steelers, and St. Louis Cardinals.


Employment Law


Lucy Bednarek
lucy.bednarek@ogletreedeakins.com

Lucy Bednarek is Of Counsel with Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. She defends employers and management in a wide array of litigation matters with a particular emphasis on employment and civil rights litigation. She has extensive jury trial experience in both state and federal court. In 2015, Lucy was awarded the Trial Lawyer Excellence Award from Law Bulletin Publishing for Outstanding Defense Verdict in a Civil Rights Case against a $13 million jury demand. Lucy is licensed in Indiana, Illinois and the District of Columbia. She is also an active member of the DRI. Prior to joining Ogletree Deakins, Lucy was a litigation partner at a Chicago law firm and defended municipalities and school districts throughout Illinois and the surrounding areas in civil rights, employment, and tort litigation. 


Insurance Coverage


Justin Curtis
jcurtis@heplerbroom.com

Justin Curtis is a litigation attorney with the law firm of HeplerBroom. Mr. Curtis concentrates his practice on first and third-party insurance defense and insurance coverage actions, representing insurance companies from the investigation of a claim through litigation. He has extensive experience in insurance fraud and bad faith litigation. Mr. Curtis has filed and effectively prosecuted numerous affirmative litigation actions on behalf of his insurance company clients.  Apart from insurance defense and coverage, Mr. Curtis has extensive litigation experience in a variety of fields, including professional liability, construction and education law. He is licensed to practice in Indiana, Illinois and United States District Courts in Indiana, Illinois and Ohio.


Health Law Litigation


Heather Gilbert
hgilbert@cassiday.com

Heather T. Gilbert is partner in the firm’s Merrillville and Indianapolis offices. She concentrates her practice in civil litigation, with an emphasis on medical negligence, construction, and transportation.

Heather defends health care practitioners and organizations in medical negligence cases. She also represents clients in complex construction, correctional healthcare, employment, products liability, insurance coverage litigation, premises liability, transportation and wrongful death matters. Heather continues to maintain an aggressive motion practice, has obtained numerous pretrial dismissals for her clients and has argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and for the Indiana Court of Appeals.  

Prior to joining Cassiday Schade, Heather worked as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago, where she represented the City and its employees in personal injury cases. Her work included successfully drafting and arguing several motions to dismiss and motions for summary judgment, as well as serving as lead counsel at numerous arbitrations and jury trials in Cook County. Heather also worked for a Chicago law firm where she focused her practice on medical negligence, with an emphasis on hospital liability and handled cases involving a wide range of medical specialties.  While in law school, Heather served as an extern for the Honorable Kenneth F. Ripple of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. She was also a member of the Student Bar Association and served as Executive Articles Editor for Health Matrix: Journal of Law and Medicine.  Heather is a member of several professional organizations including the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management, Chicagoland Healthcare Risk Management Society, Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana, Indiana State Bar Association, Porter County Bar Association and the Women Lawyers’ Association of Indiana.


Business Litigation


Ian Goodman
ian@paganelligroup.com

Ian is a business and insurance litigator with trial experience beyond his years. He understands that the most effective way to represent clients is to invest time in building close-knit, long-term relationships with them. Regardless of the nature or size of a client, Ian’s approach is to first determine what the client wants to achieve; next, identify options; and then create and execute a plan of attack.


Product Liability


Jazzmin Gordon
jazzmin.gordon@quarles.com

Jazzmin Gordon is a member of the firm's Product Liability Practice Group. She focuses her practice in manufacturing matters, toxic tort, and personal injury. Jazzmin’s experience includes defending domestic and international companies in product litigation matters, including:

  • Serving as national counsel for a major engine manufacturer in mass tort litigation
  • Serving as national counsel for a large medical device company in product liability matters
  • Defense of product manufacturers against product defect claims, warnings claims, and complex multiparty toxic exposure claims

In addition to her product liability work, Jazzmin has extensive experience representing clients in the automotive industry. Specifically, she provides counsel to a large motor vehicle manufacturing company regarding distribution network operating standards, policies, and regulations. Jazzmin also defends companies in general business litigation matters.

Jazzmin is active in the firm’s pro bono program, successfully representing clients in settlement conferences before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana


Construction Law


Barath Raman
braman@lewiswagner.com

An associate in Lewis Wagner's litigation group, Barath S. Raman’s practice area includes the defense of personal injury, product liability, construction accident and defect, and environmental insurance coverage cases.  Before law school, utilizing his B.S. from Purdue University in Construction Engineering, Barath worked as a Field Engineer for Mass Electric Construction Company.  In connection with the light rail mass transit expansion project in Houston, Texas, Barath coordinated with and drafted contracts for sub-contractors; and, he also served as the project’s Environmental Compliance Manager.  Mass Electric later asked Barath to serve as its Conduit & Utilities Field Engineer in Los Angeles, California for the I-405 Highway Expansion Project, where Barath edited civil engineering drawings to reflect as-built installations and coordinated with the various trades on work schedules, procurement of materials, and safety compliance.  Barath embarked on his legal career in 2011 by enrolling at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, where he hoped to leverage his engineering background to develop a law practice including construction and environmental law. Prior to joining the Firm in 2014, Barath worked as a summer associate for Lewis Wagner and the Marion County Public Defender Agency in the Major Felony and Appeals Divisions. He performed legal research and assisted in the preparation of numerous court documents for various jury trials. Barath earned his J.D. cum laude from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, where he served as the President of the Student Bar Association.