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Thomas C. Hays


T: 317.453.8638 | Mobile: 317.258.2307
F: 317.630.2790

Legal Assistant

Debi Alexander

T: 317.237.0500


A veteran trial lawyer, Tom is at his best in front of a jury, as his years of trial experience and matter-of-fact style give him significant jury appeal. For more than 40 years, Tom has litigated civil cases, including those involving product liability, wrongful death, construction, trucking and premises liability. In an age when most cases settle through mediation, Tom still finds himself in front of a jury on a regular basis.

One of Tom’s many strengths is his thorough investigation of his client’s matter, followed by a thoughtful, strategic preparation of their case and a straight-forward appraisal of their legal situation and possible options.

He served as managing partner at Lewis Wagner and was a Diplomat to the National Institute of Trial Advocacy in 1989. In 1994 he was elected to the American Board of Trial Advocates and served as President of the Indiana Chapter in 2006. Tom received the Indiana State Bar Association Litigation Section Civility Award in 2005 and was installed as a Diplomat of DTCI in 2009. He has been a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel since 2002 and has been listed in Indiana Super Lawyers® and selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America®. He served on the Board of Directors of the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana from 2005-2016 and served as the president of DTCI in 2015. Tom is also a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals.


Filter Experience
Trial victory in underinsured motorist case
Lewis Wagner, LLP in Indianapolis, Indiana, successfully defended an insurance company client in an underinsured motorist jury trial in Hamilton County, Indiana.
The lawsuit arose from an automobile accident that occurred in Florida in March of 2010.  The plaintiffs alleged physical injuries resulting in damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. The parties stipulated to the fault of the underlying tortfeasor for negligently causing the accident.
The wrongdoer’s insurance carrier paid its policy limits of $100,000 and then, approximately one month prior to trial, the underlying UIM carrier settled out of the case for its policy limits of $400,000. Plaintiffs were seeking the remaining allowable limits of $500,000 from their own UIM carrier as occupants of the owner’s car.  Mr. Hays and Mr. Ehrie defended the case solely with regard to damages.
Plaintiff was claiming approximately $205,000 in medical bills and produced expert testimony from a vocational economics expert who opined that the plaintiff’s loss of earning capacity was in the range of $224,264 to $315,534 and her loss of usual and customary household services was in the range of $91,652 to $366,607. Plaintiff’s husband brought a claim for loss of consortium. 
Plaintiffs requested $1.45 Million in final argument. The jury returned a verdict of $420,451.03 for both plaintiffs, which resulted in a zero dollar payout on behalf of the UIM insurance company client.
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld longstanding Indiana law on the application of set-off in the context of an uninsured/underinsured motorist policy endorsement.
49A05-0809-CV-528The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld longstanding Indiana law on the application of set-off in the context of an uninsured/underinsured motorist policy endorsement.
Case Summary

Honors & Awards

  • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rated AV® Preeminent
  • The Best Lawyers in America® in the fields of Arbitration; Mediation; Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants, 2010-2018
    • Best Lawyers’ 2018 Indianapolis Arbitration - Lawyer of the Year
    • Best Lawyers’ 2016 Indianapolis Arbitration - Lawyer of the Year
  • Indiana Super Lawyers®, 2005–2017
    • Top 50, Indiana Super Lawyers®, 2012-2017
  • Distinguished Barrister, The Indiana Lawyer, 2016
  • Indiana State Bar Association, Litigation Section's Civility Award, 2005

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association, 1977 - present
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, 1994 - present
    • President, Indiana Chapter, 2006
  • Defense Research Institute
    • State Liaison
    • Trial Tactics Committee
  • Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana, 1982 - present
    • President, 2015
    • President-Elect, 2014
    • Board of Directors, 2004 - present
    • Diplomat, 2009
    • Trial Tactics Chair, DTCI Annual Meeting, 1999 - 2004
    • Chair, Spring Business Seminar at the Indianapolis Speedway, 2004
  • Georgia State Bar Association, 1977 - present
  • Indiana State Bar Association, 1979 - present
  • Indianapolis Bar Association, 1979 - present
  • Litigation Section
  • Indianapolis Bar Foundation
    • Fellow, 2007
  • International Association of Defense Counsel, 2002 - present
  • Johnson County Bar Association, 1986 – present
  • National Institute for Trial Advocacy
    • Diplomat, 1989
  • The National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, 2015



  • "Negotiating and Litigating the Damages: Defense Perspective," Damages in Personal Injury, National Business Institute, Indianapolis, IN, March 15, 2018.
  • Advanced Civil Mediation Roundtable, Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, French Lick, IN, November 9-10, 2017.
  • 9 Ancillary Issues in Personal Injury Litigation, Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN, September 28, 2016, Speaker.
  • Structuring the Closing Argument in the TBI Case, Trying the Traumatic Brain Injury Case, Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, December 18, 2013.
  • Sharpening Your Tools of Persuasion, Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana annual meeting, French Lick, IN, November 16 – 18, 2011, Chair.
  • It's Not A Crap Shoot!, Trial Skills, IndyBar Las Vegas Destination CLE, October 2011.
  • Opening Statements, DTCI 2010 Annual Meeting, Trial Tactics Section.
  • Taking Depositions that Win or Lose Your Case, Indianapolis Bar Association, March 2009.
  • Trying Cases for Premises Owners, Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, February 2009.
  • Are you Prepared for Accidents? Legal Considerations for the Construction Employer, National Business Institute,  August 2008.
  • 60 Minutes to Better Jury Instructions, Indianapolis Bar Association; August 2008.
  • New Trial Rules, Strategies and Tips, ISBA Indiana Solo and Small Firm Conference, 2007.
  • Mediation and Jury Trial In Indiana, Zurich North America, 2006.
  • Premises Liability – Slip, Trip and Fall, Closing Arguments From a Defense Perspective,  Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, 2005.

Civic & Community Involvement

  • Indianapolis Bar Association - Homeless Program, 2006 - Present
  • NCAA Final Four—Special Events Committee, 1997
  • Indiana University School of Law
    • Judge, mock trial, 1997
    • Volunteer, mock interview program, 1997

In The News

    Media Mentions

  1. Dec 03, 2014

    Thomas Hays Will Lead DTCI as it Embarks on New Long Range Plan
    The Indiana Lawyer

    Published Articles

  1. May 02, 2018

    Prepare to break through mediation impasses
    Indiana Lawyer

  2. May 03, 2017

    Do Not Treat Mediation as Routine and Ordinary
    The Indiana Lawyer

  3. Sep 30, 2009

    There's more to Arbitration than you think
    The Indiana Lawyer

  4. Dec 24, 2008

    DTCI: Note New Interpretation of additional insured
    The Indiana Lawyer

        Seminars and Speaking Engagements

      1. Mar 15, 2018

        "Negotiating and Litigating the Damages: Defense Perspective," Damages in Personal Injury, National Business Institute, Indianapolis, IN

        Press Release

        1. Aug 15, 2017

          Lewis Wagner Attorneys Selected For Inclusion In The Best Lawyers In America® 2018

        2. Feb 15, 2017

          Twenty Lewis Wagner, LLP Attorneys Named on 2017 List of Indiana Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

        3. Aug 15, 2016

          Lewis Wagner attorneys selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2017

        4. May 04, 2016

          Tom Hays recognized by The Indiana Lawyer as a Distinguished Barrister.

        5. Feb 12, 2016

          Lewis Wagner Attorneys Selected by Indiana Super Lawyers as Top Attorneys
          Indiana Super Lawyers Magazine

        6. Aug 17, 2015

          90% of Lewis Wagner, LLP’s Equity Partners Selected For Inclusion in The Best Lawyers In America 2016; Four Named ‘Lawyer Of The Year’

        7. Feb 13, 2015

          100% of Lewis Wagner's Equity Partners Named Indiana Super Lawyers

        8. Jan 01, 2015

          Thomas C. Hays Installed as President of DTCI

        9. Oct 15, 2014

          DRI And the Defense Wins: A Jury Returned a Full Defense Verdict in a Case Involving Injuries Suffered by a Forty-four Year Old Indianapolis Woman
          DRI And the Defense Wins

        10. Aug 18, 2014

          80% of Lewis Wagner’s Equity Partners Selected for Inclusion in The Best Lawyers In America 2015; Three Named ‘Lawyer Of The Year’

        11. Feb 12, 2014

          70% of Firm Partners named Indiana Super Lawyers®

        12. Aug 15, 2013

          Robert Wagner, Tom Hays, John Trimble, Jerry Hammond, Rick Shoultz, Susan Cline, Dina Cox, Rich Blaiklock & Kyle Lansberry Selected for Inclusion in The Best Lawyers In America 2014

        Practice Areas

        Bar Admissions

        • State of Georgia, 1977
        • State of Indiana, 1979

        Courts of Practice

        • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia, 1977
        • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, 1979
        • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, 1979


        • Woodrow Wilson College of Law, Atlanta, Georgia, J.D., 1977
        • Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, B.A., dean's list, 1973