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John C. Trimble

John maintains a practice that is dominated by catastrophic, complex, and class action litigation in the State and Federal Courts. He focuses much of his time on insurance coverage disputes, bad faith defense, lawyer and insurance agent malpractice, business litigation, and catastrophic damages caused by all types of casualty risks, including transportation, construction, product liability, fires, and governmental liability, to name a few. He has also argued numerous appeals in the State and Federal appellate courts as counsel for a party and as amicus counsel for lawyer and trade associations. Through the years, he has been admitted pro hac vice in more than 20 jurisdictions, and is frequently hired by out-of-state firms to serve as local counsel in Indiana.

In the last 20 years, John has earned a reputation as one of Indiana's most sought after mediators. Because of the complexity of his litigation practice, John keeps the mediation to a manageable level, but he is frequently hired by judges and lawyers to mediate some of Indiana's largest and highest profile cases. He is also frequently named as an arbitrator in bodily injury, business dissolution, employment, and commercial disputes.
For many years, John has distinguished himself as a bar leader. He has been president of the state defense bar, and was named Defense Lawyer of the Year in 1991. He has also served on the Board of Directors of DRI, the largest national association of defense lawyers. In 2000, DRI named John its outstanding defense bar leader of the year. More recently, John has chaired DRI's national Judicial Task Force to explore and offer recommendations on how DRI can assist in maintaining a fair and impartial judiciary. John also serves as First Vice President of the Indianapolis Bar Association; Secretary of the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society; and Vice Chair of the Board of Visitors of Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.
John has been repeatedly listed in state and local polls of attorneys as one of the top lawyers. From 2004-2014 he was selected for inclusion in Indiana Super Lawyers. In 2009 and 2010 he was one of Indiana's top 10 Indiana Super Lawyers, received the second highest point total in 2010, and the highest point total in 2011 - 2014. He was also selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2010-2015 in the fields of Insurance Law; Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants. He was named Best Lawyers’ 2013 Indianapolis Insurance Law - Lawyer of the Year and Best Lawyers’ 2015 Indianapolis Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants - Lawyer of the Year. 
Education:
  • Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 1981
    • Honors: Am Jur Award for High Paper in Contracts, 1979; Ben. F. Small Fellowship for outstanding achievement, 1980; · Phi Delta Phi Legal Fraternity Area IV Graduate of the Year (Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan), 1981; Faculty Award - Outstanding Graduate of the Year, 1981;  Executive Director, Indiana Law Review, Vol. 14, 1981
  • The Citadel, Charleston, South Carolina, 1973-1975
  • Hanover College, Hanover, Indiana, B.A., 1977
    • Honors: John Finley Crowe Citation, Hanover College (outstanding male graduate), 1977
  • ICLEF Civil Mediation Training (40 Hours), 1989

Bar Admissions:
  • State of Indiana, 1981

Courts of Practice:
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, 1981
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, 1990
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 1991

Pro Hac Vice Admissions:
  • Superior Court, Sacramento, California
  • California, Superior Court, San Bernardino, California
  • Superior Court, Washington, D.C.
  • Fulton Superior Court, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Cook County Circuit Court, Chicago, Illinois
  • Laurel County Circuit Court, Commonwealth of Kentucky
  • Fayette Circuit Court, Lexington, Kentucky
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern Division, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Wicomico Circuit Court, Salisbury, Maryland
  • Saratoga Circuit Court, Saratoga, New York
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York
  • Court of Common Pleas, Stark County, Canton, Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio Western Division, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Harris County Circuit Court, Houston, Texas

Honors & Awards:
  • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rated AV
  • The Best Lawyers in America® in the fields of Insurance Law; Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants, 2010-2015
    • Best Lawyers’ 2015 Indianapolis Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants - Lawyer of the Year
    • Best Lawyers’ 2013 Indianapolis Insurance Law - Lawyer of the Year
  • Indiana Super Lawyers©, 2004-2014
    • Top 10,  Indiana Super Lawyers©, 2009 (Highest point total 2011-2013), 2014
  • Presidential Citation, Indiana State Bar Association, 2013
  • Award of Recognition for Legislative Assistance in the area of tort liability law,  Insurance Institute of Indiana, 1999
  • Exceptional Performance Citation, Defense Research Institute, 1999
  • President’s Award, Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana, 1999
  • Fred H. Sievert Award for National Outstanding Defense Bar Leader of the Year, Defense Research Institute, 1999
  • Alumni Achievement Award, Hanover College, 1998 
  • “Who’s Who in Law,” Indianapolis Business Journal, 1998
  • One of Indianapolis’ Top Lawyers, Indianapolis Monthly Magazine, 1993
  • 1991 Indiana Defense Lawyer of the Year, Indiana Defense Lawyers Association, 1992

 
Representative Cases:
 
Published Appeals:
  • Bush v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 905 N.E.2d 1003 (Ind. 2009).  The issue involved parents’ attempts to recover uninsured motorist coverage for the death of their adult son who did not reside in their home.
  • Tri-Etch, Inc. v. Cincinnati Insurance Company, Amicus counsel for the Indiana Institute of Indiana  Inc., addressing the issue of whether an insurance company must waive the late notice defense if it raises other unrelated coverage issues (2008).
  • Richard J. and Delores J. Pflanz v. Merrill Foster, Individually, Merrill Foster d/b/a Friendly Foster’s Service and Sunoco, Inc (R & M), Amicus Counsel for Insurance Institute of  Indiana on the issue of the statute of limitation to bring an insurance claim for environmental clean-up damages.
  • Indiana Bell Telephone Co. v. Indiana Payphone Association, Amicus counsel for the American Public Communication Council arguing issues relating to utility rates for pay telephones.
  • Cain v. Griffin, 2006 Indiana Supreme Court.  This case decided that there is no duty of good faith owed by an insurance carrier to a Third-Party Beneficiary of and insurance contract.
  • Midtown Chiropractic v. Illinois Farmers Insurance Company, 2006. Counsel for Insurance Institute of Indiana and Property Casualty Insurers Assoc. of America, on the issue of whether creditors of plaintiffs can bring direct actions against defendant insurance carriers.
  • Minnet v. State Farm, Indiana Court of Appeals, 2001.  Counsel for Insurance Institute of Indiana on the issue of whether Indiana should judicially adopt a third party tort of bad faith.
  • Jesse v. American Community Mut. Ins. Co., Counsel for Insurance Institute of Indiana (III), arguing the issue of material misrepresentation on an application for insurance.
  • Ammerman v. Ford, Indiana Supreme Court, 1999.  Counsel for Defense Research Institute (DRI), arguing admissibility of expert witness testimony.
  • Ross v. Cheema, Indiana Supreme Court, 1998.   Counsel for Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana, Inc., arguing against the expansion of damages for negligent infliction of emotional distress.
  • Mortell v. State Farm Insurance, 1996.  Indiana Court of Appeals.  Counsel for Indiana Insurance Institute, arguing procedures for review of insurance company conduct in the administration of claims.
  • Collins v. Economy Fire & Casualty, Indiana Supreme Court, 1995.  Counsel for Indiana Insurance Institute, arguing issue of insurance company liability for excess verdicts.
  • Richey v. Chappell, Indiana Supreme Court, 1990. Counsel for Indiana Defense Lawyers Association, arguing issue of discoverability of insurance claim files.
 
Recent Presentations:
  • “Make it Rain! Inside Tips for Transitioning from Associate to Rainmaker," Indianapolis Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division, May 16, 2014.
  • “Evolve or Perish: Leading your Firm in an Increasingly Competitive Market,” Faculty Member and Presenter on Strategic Planning for Law Firms, 2014 Managing Partner Forum, Atlanta, GA,  May 7-8, 2014.
  • “Retaining Diverse Employees for Years to Come”, Indianapolis Bar Association, April 17, 2014.
  • “What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You – HIPAA Compliance for Law Firms,” Indianapolis Bar Association, March, 2014.
  • Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Public Policy Mediation Course, January 9, 2014.
  • “What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You: A Discussion about How Metrics and Analytics Can Affect Your Practice, ”DRI Committee Leadership Conference, January 9, 2014.
  • "Under Attack!” How to Respond to Physical and Internet Threats Against Your Firm and Clients," Kentucky Defense Counsel Fall Meeting Lexington, KY, November 8, 2013.
  • "Behind the Curtain:  What Young Lawyers Should Know About Insurance and Business Metrics," Kentucky Defense Counsel Fall Meeting Lexington, KY, November 7, 2013.
  • "Civil Forms," Indianapolis Bar Association's presentation for Solo and Small Practice Committee Indianapolis, IN, October 30, 2013. 
  • Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Public Policy Mediation Course, August 22, 2013.
  • "Metrics & Analytics:  The New World of Litigation Management," ITLA Advanced Mediation Training Seminar, July 18, 2013.
  • "Proper Handling of Trust Accounts and Other Risk Management Issues for Solo and Small Practice Lawyers," Indianapolis Bar Association, Solo and Small Practice Section, May 29, 2013.
  • Suing the Sovereign – Tort Claims, “Tort Claims against the State of Indiana and Municipalities” ICLEF, February 20, 2013.
  • Year in Review: ICLEF, 2012.
  • Negotiating to Win: How to Win in Mediation, Kentucky Defense Council, 2012.
  • Advanced Insurance Law Masters Roundtable, Chair; ICLEF, October 2012.
  • CME For Civil Mediators, Avoiding Pessimism in Mediation, ICLEF, September 27, 2012.
  • “The Worst Case and Fall on Your Sword Scenario” (Panel Discussion), Indiana Supreme Court Agency Seminar; September, 20, 2012.
  • Mediating Governmental Liability and Public Policy Disputes: Special Considerations and Practical Tips, Professional Mediation Institute, August 23, 2012.
  • Outside Counsel’s Perspective of Corporate Litigation, “Let’s Talk: In-House to In-House” Webinar, DRI, August 16, 2012.
  • “Negotiating to Win:  Techniques for How You Can “Win” in Mediation,” Indianapolis Bar Association, June 15, 2012.
  • “How the Business and Insurance Worlds Grade Their Law Firms,” Indianapolis Bar Association, June 15, 2012.
  • “Demystifying the Judicial Selection Process” I.U. Robert H. McKinney School of Law, June 7, 2012.
  • Two Parties…One Oath, A Conversation on Civility, I.U. Robert H. McKinney School of Law (Sponsored by Indiana Trial Lawyers Association and Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana) May 24, 2012.
  • Mediating Public Policy/Public Entity Disputes:  A Mediator’s Trials and Errors, The Association of Attorney/Mediators  Annual Meeting, May 2012.
  • Two Parties…One Oath, A Conversation on Civility, I.U. Robert H. McKinney School  of Law (Sponsored by Indiana Trial Lawyers Association and Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana,  May 24, 2012.
  • Judicial Selection Class, Lecture on Judicial Nominating Process and Merit Selection, Indiana University Robert McKinney School of Law, February 2012.
  • Public Policy Mediation Within State Government (Basic Civil Mediation), January 2012.
  • “Year In Review”, Recent Developments in Insurance Law, ICLEF, December 2011.
  • Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana Annual Meeting, “Negotiating to Win: Techniques for How You Can ‘Win’ in Mediation,” November 2011.
  • “Negotiating to Win:  Techniques for How You Can ‘Win’ in Mediation,” Indianapolis Bar Association, October 2011.
  • Mediation Tips, "Know When (Not) Walk Away" Las Vegas Destination CLE, October 13-16, 2011.
  • Young Lawyers Survival Skills, “Initial Case Assessment to Answering a Complaint-Laying the Groundwork for a Successful Defense” DRI Webcast, October 12, 2011.
  • Chair, Insurance 101:  A Basic Insurance Course for Practitioners, ICLEF, September 2011.
  • “Year In Review”, Recent Developments in Insurance Law, ICLEF, September 2011.
  • Wrangling to Win: Techniques for How You Can “Win” in Mediation, DRI Young Lawyers Seminar, June 10, 2011.
  • Effective Use of Consultants and Experts in Mediation, Indianapolis Bar Association,  June 7, 2011.
  • “Networking for New Attorneys,” Indianapolis Bar Association Young Lawyer Section, March 2011.
  • “Foreshadowing, Discussing, Avoiding and Dealing with Pessimism,” Association of Attorney/Mediators Annual Meeting, March 2011.
  • Anticipating and Avoiding Pessimism and Impasse in Mediation, Association of Attorney Mediators, 2011.
  • National Trends in Assaults on the Judiciary, IU of Law, 2011.
  • Long Range Planning, State and Local Defense Organization Committee of DRI, 2011.
  • “Insurance Coverage for Defective Construction: Does Sheehan Change the Rules of the Game?” Construction Law & Surety Committee of the Indiana State Bar Association, December 2, 2010.
  • Year in Review on the Recent Developments in Insurance Law, ICLEF, December 7, 2010.
  • Public Policy Mediation Within State Government (Basic Civil Mediation) Training, Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis, Professional Skills & Knowledge, August, 2010.
  • Advanced Insurance Law, Faculty Chair, Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Master’s Series Conference, July 2010.
  • Disaster Preparation and Recovery for Law Firms and Courts, April 15, 2010.
  • Professional Skills & Knowledge, “Public Policy Mediation Within State Government (Basic Civil Mediation) Training, Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis, January 2010.
  • Public Policy Mediation Within State Government (Basic Civil Mediation) Training, Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis, Professional Skills & Knowledge, January 2010.
  • “Year In Review”, Recent Developments in Insurance Law, ICLEF, December 2009.
  • Revisiting the Tripartite Relationship: A Review of Common Ethical Problems Facing Defense Attorneys, Annual Meeting of the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana, November 20, 2009.
  • Preparation, Protection and Planning for Risk Transfer,” MJ Insurance construction client seminar, November, 12, 2009.
  • Indiana Insurance Coverage Law Update, Allstate Insurance Company, October 2009.
  • Claims Handling:  What Your Client’s Loss Looks Like, (a demonstration of a mediation in a fire product liability case) CHUBB Insurance Company, September 2009.
  • Public Policy Mediation Within State Government (Basic Civil Mediation) Training, Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis, Professional Skills & Knowledge, August 2009.
  • “Mapping the Legal Frontier: The Uncertain Boundary between Federal and State Law” (Organizing Committee) National Foundation for Judicial Excellence, July 2009.
  • “Mediation Strategies,” Indianapolis Bar Association, June 2009.
  • “Legislative Update from the Defense Perspective” IADC Regional Meeting, April 2009.
 
Professional Associations:
  • American Bar Association
  • Association of Attorney/Mediators
  • Defense Research Institute
    • Chair, Law Practice Management Committee, 2013
    • Indiana State Representative, 2001-2003
    • Board of Directors, 2003-06
    • Chair, Judicial Task Force on the Independence of the Judiciary 2005-2008
    • Chair, State and Local Defense Organization Relationship Committee, 2007-2009
    • Chair, Public Policy Committee, 2010
  • Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana
    • Diplomat, 2013
    • Board of Directors, 1993-2000
    • President, 1998-1999
    • Legislative Chairman, 1991-1999
  • Indiana State Bar Association
    • Chair of the State Legislation Committee 1996
    • Committee on Improvements to the Judicial System, January 2008
  • Indianapolis American Inn of Court, 2004 - present
  • Indianapolis Bar Association
    • President Elect, 2014
    • Discipline/Grievance Committee D, 1996 - present
    • Litigation Section, 1981-present
    • Board of Managers, 2002-2004
  • Indianapolis Bar Foundation
    • Fellow, November, 2001
  • Indianapolis Law Cub, 1994 - present
  • Indianapolis Lawyers Club, 1998 - present
  • Indianapolis Legal Aid Society, Inc., Board of Directors 2009 - present
  • Indiana Arson and Crime Association, Inc.
  • International Association of Defense Counsel, 1994 - present
  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, 2009
    • Vice-Chair of the Defense of the Judiciary Committee
    • Judicial Excellence Political Action Committee (JEPAC), September 2007 - present
  • Kentucky Defense Counsel
  • Seventh Circuit Bar Association
 
Professional Associations:
 
Civic & Community Involvement:
  • Castleton Rotary Club
    • President, 1991-1992
    • Board of Directors 1988-1992
  • Greater Indianapolis Republican Finance Committee
    • Board of Directors 1988-1994
    • Vice-Chairman, 1993-1994
  • Hanover College
    • Board of Trustees, 2000-Present; Board Secretary 2005-2006
    • Alumni Association Board of Directors, 1985-1992; President 1991-1992
  • Hanover College Club of Indianapolis
    • President 1988-1990
  • Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Board of Visitors
    • Vice Chairmen, 2010-present
    • Chairman of Board, 1996-1998; Member 1988 - present
  • Lawrence Township Republican Roundtable, Chairman, 1991-1995
  • Marion County Indiana Republican Ward Chairman; Assistant Republican Township Chairman, Lawrence Township, 1990-2000
  • Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township Education Foundation
    • President, Board of Directors, 2004-2005
    • Board of Directors, 2000-2006
  • National Junior Tennis League, Indianapolis Chapter
    • Board of Directors, 1999-2003
 
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