Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Excellence in Civil Litigation
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Officers  |  Board of Directors  |  Section Chairs  |  Committee Chairs  |  Past Presidents  |  Award Recipients


Michele S. Bryant

Michele S. Bryant is a graduate of DePauw University and the Indiana University School of Law in Bloomington. She has developed extensive experience in the defense and trial of medical malpractice claims, representing both the individual health care providers and hospitals. Michele maintains an active practice defending individuals and businesses involved in litigation regarding accidents, contracts, and insurance coverage issues. She also has experience in health care and hospital law involving physician contracting, peer review, regulatory issues, and corporate compliance. Michele is committed to the Evansville community, as illustrated by her involvement with her church and active participation in the Northside Kiwanis Club. Michele is also active in the legal community, holding leadership positions in the Evansville Bar Association. She was recently appointed by the Indiana Supreme Court to serve on the Indiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Committee, which provides assistance to judges, lawyers, and law students who suffer from physical or mental disabilities that impair their ability to practice law.


Robert B. Thornburg

Mr. Robert Thornburg is a Member of Frost Brown Todd, and a trial attorney who has tried more than 20 jury trials to verdict, including product liability, breach of warranty, lemon law, premises liability, warranty claims and automobile negligence cases. Mr. Thornburg has experience in Indiana State and Federal courts and in other jurisidictions. He has also testified before the Indiana Legislature on issues of importance to Indiana insurers.


Renee Mortimer

Renee Mortimer is the Partner-in-Charge of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP’s sole Indiana office. She has a broad litigation practice with particular emphasis in managing large risks and exposures, and litigating large and excess risks. Ms. Mortimer’s clients in this area have included large corporations and financial institutions.  Ms. Mortimer’s defense litigation practice includes retail and hospitality liability, professional liability, medical malpractice, general liability, products liability, municipal liability, ERISA benefits litigation and trucking and heavy vehicle litigation. Her commercial litigation practice includes UCC matters.  Ms. Mortimer is a national counsel for the American National Red Cross, handling general liability, personal injury and property damage litigation for them. In addition, she manages a recommended preferred counsel bank in 47 states for the American National Red Cross.  She appears regularly in state and federal courts in both Indiana and Illinois, and has tried multiple cases to verdict in both states.



Donald S. Smith

Donald S. Smith is a partner in the Indianapolis law firm of Riley Bennet & Egloff, LLP.  He limits his practice to representing employers in employment matters.  Mr. Smith graduated with honors from Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis 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 the collective bargaining table, in addition to advising them concerning day-to-day employment issues.


Kori Chambers

Kori L. Chambers received her Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from Miami University in 1998, and received her juris doctorate in 2001 from Indiana University McKinney School of Law  in Indianapolis. She is an Attorney/Liability Claim Specialist with Indiana University Health Risk Retention Group where she manages the defense of medical negligence and general negligence cases involving Indiana University Health facilities.  She is licensed to practice in the state of Indiana and before the Federal District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana. She is a member of the Indianapolis Bar Association where she has previously served as the Young Lawyers Division Chair. In 2008, Ms. McOmber was named Young Lawyer of the Year by the Indianapolis Bar Association. In 2009, DTCI named Ms. Chambers the Young Lawyer of the Year for her leadership qualities in service to the Indiana defense bar, the national defense bar, and the community. She has also been named a "Rising Star" by the Indiana Super Lawyers publication in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. She is also a member of the Defense Research Institute. Ms. Chamber was appointed by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and reappointed by Governor Mike Pence to the Indiana Commission for Women.

Immediate Past President

James W. Hehner

Jim Hehner is a member of the Indianapolis law firm of Hehner & Associates. He has over twenty years of experience conducting jury trials and representing clients in both state and federal court, primarily in the areas of first party and third party insurance defense. He graduated from Indiana University (BS 1980) and Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis (JD 1983). Mr. Hehner is also a civil mediator and frequently serves on arbitration panels. He 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, and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Hehner is also active in numerous other civic organizations including the Carmel Clay Public Library Foundation and the Carmel Dad’s Club sports program. He and his wife Darcy live in Carmel with their three children.