Saturday, December 07, 2019
Excellence in Civil Litigation
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Section Chairs

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Trial Tactics

David Beach

Workers' Comp

Sonia Das Sturm

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.


Product Liability

Marie Alexander Kuck

Marie Kuck first joined the firm as a law clerk while attending school at Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis. Upon being admitted to the Indiana State Bar, Marie joined the firm full time as an attorney. Her practice focuses on Product Liability, Subrogation and Fire Related Casualties, and Insurance Defense Litigation. Marie routinely practices in State and Federal courts and is active in several local legal organizations.  Marie has been selected for inclusion on the Super Lawyers Rising Stars list published in Indiana Super Lawyers Magazine (2016- 2018).

Employment Law

Lucy Bednarek

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. 

Business Litigation

BJ Brinkerhoff

BJ offers clients a wealth of experience from a wide variety of litigation matters, representing individuals, small and family businesses, large corporations and Fortune 500 companies in multiple forums.  He focuses his practice on business disputes, such as employment matters, shareholder claims, director and officer liability and day-to-day business disputes.  BJ also has litigation experience handling products liability cases, restaurant and retail liability, civil rights matters, contract disputes, insurance matters, personal injury and appeals.   BJ has spent a substantial amount of time working with small business owners and entrepreneurs to guide them through their legal issues including: negotiation of real estate disputes; franchising and intellectual property matters; issues between partners and founders, and counseling business owners on how to avoid legal risks.  Indiana has a vibrant startup community and BJ has been at the forefront, working with entrepreneurs to address their unique concerns and challenges.  BJ graduated with a B.A. from Vanderbilt University, and remains a die-hard Commodores fan. He received his J.D. from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law. While in law school, BJ was a finalist and later served as Chief Justice for the Sherman Minton Moot Court Competition.

Insurance Coverage

Justin Curtis

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

Construction Law

Barath Raman