Over 3 decades of experience providing dedicated and results-oriented legal counsel to Indiana.
I started as an insurance defense lawyer at Miller Faires Hebert & Woddell. Dick Faires let me jump right into his cases. We represented the owner of a calf that was found in the median of I-65 south of Indianapolis. Trooper J.D. Richards, who later became the head of the Indiana State Police, stopped his car with red lights flashing and ran to corral the calf. A motorcyclist stopped to help him. The plaintiffs were driving north and were passed by a driver who saw the commotion in the median and moved quickly to the right lane and braked hard while watching the spectacle. The plaintiffs’ car slammed into his rear. Dick took a deposition that was very funny to read of Trooper Richard’s attempts to grab the calf by the tail. The calf was in the grassy median away from traffic when the accident occurred. The owner had earlier in the day received a shipment of black angus cattle that was one short. We never knew how that calf made it to I-65.
Judge Larry McKinney, who was appointed to the federal bench shortly after this case, granted us summary judgment but then was persuaded by plaintiffs’ counsel with their motion to correct error, that proximate cause was always a question for the jury.
Dick let me take charge of the appellate briefs. The Court of Appeals reinstated the first ruling. Plaintiffs’ lawyers and tort professors have been critical of this ruling for decades. Maybe it should have been decided on the absence of duty, like Palsgraf.