Christopher R. Whitten
Mr. Whitten has been involved extensively in trial litigation primarily in cases involving truck accidents, cargo claims, and commercial disputes for nearly 25 years. He is routinely called upon by motor carriers and their insurers to investigate catastrophic truck accidents shortly after they occur. Mr. Whitten also handles insurance coverage questions, product liability, and general insurance defense litigation. Mr. Whitten has successfully defended jury and bench trials including those involving wrongful death and traumatic brain injury claims. He has represented clients in binding arbitration proceedings, and regularly helps clients achieve favorable settlements of their disputes. Mr. Whitten has spoken on truck accident litigation and other related topics before numerous industry groups and private motor carriers. He has also provided continuing legal education to attorneys in Indiana regarding truck accident litigation. Mr. Whitten is admitted to practice before all state and federal courts within Indiana, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth and Seventh Circuits. He is a member of the Defense Research Institute, Trucking Industry Defense Association, Transportation Lawyers Association, and Transportation & Logistics Council. Mr. Whitten has been selected as a 2021 Super Lawyer. Each year, only 5% of Indiana lawyers are selected to belong to this prestigious list. Mr. Whitten graduated from the University of California, San Diego (B.A.) and Valparaiso University (J.D., magna cum laude).
Jason J. Hoy
Mr. Hoy has concentrated his law practice in defense litigation over the last 20 years. His primary area of practice is defending commercial trucking companies from personal injury and workers compensation claims. However, Mr. Hoy has handled general liability, construction, employment, and general business matters. He has successfully tried cases to juries and argued in hearings before the Indiana Workers Compensation Board. He has written articles and spoken at seminars on managing litigation matters. He has presented to trade groups and spoken on trucking litigation matters before the Indiana Motor Truck Association. In 2009 and 2011, he was selected as a “Rising Star” amongst Indiana lawyers by the Indiana Super Lawyers magazine. Mr. Hoy graduated from Indiana University – Bloomington (B.A.) and Indiana University – Indianapolis (J.D.). He has served as an officer and member of a non-profit organization that provides hope and support for cancer patients and their families.
James L. Culp
Mr. Culp’s practice has been focused on defense litigation for more than a decade. He has successfully represented clients in the areas of personal injury, trucking, premises liability and product liability. Mr. Culp also assists clients in the areas of estate planning and probate practice. For multiple years, including 2021, Mr. Culp received the distinction of “Rising Star” amongst Indiana lawyers by the Indiana Super Lawyers magazine. He is admitted to all Indiana state and federal courts and is a member of the Indianapolis bar association and the Indiana state bar association. Mr. Culp graduated from Indiana State University (B.S., Finance) and Valparaiso University School of Law (J.D.).
Michael T. Terwilliger, Of Counsel
Northwest Indiana, Valparaiso
Admitted only in: Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky & Michigan
Assistant: Nikki Sarkkinen,
Mr. Terwilliger is licensed in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky, including the federal courts of these states as well as the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Mr. Terwilliger defends businesses and individuals in commercial, auto, premises liability, and professional liability cases and has extensive jury trial experience, including the trial of catastrophic injury cases involving traumatic brain injury and wrongful death. He also handles first party coverage cases, including UM/UIM and bad faith claims. His appellate practice has yielded, among others, the following published opinions: Hoker Trucking, LLC v. Robbins, 43 N.E.3d 677 (Ind.Ct.App. 2015); Walker v. Emplrs. Ins. of Wausau, 846 N.E.2d 1098 (Ind.Ct.App. 2006); Madden v. INDOT, 832 N.E.2d 1122 (Ind.Ct.App. 2005); Mesman v. Crane Pro Services, 409 F.3d 846 (7th Cir. 2005); Monroe Guaranty Ins. Co. v. Berrier, 827 N.E.2d 158 (Ind.Ct.App. 2005); Messer v. Cerestar USA, Inc., 803 N.E.2d 1240 (Ind.Ct.App. 2004); Cload ex rel. Cload v. Copley Memorial Hospital, 767 N.E.2d 486 (2d Dist. 2002), appeal denied 786 N.E.2d 181 (Ill. 2002); and Palmer & Sons Paving, Inc. v. NIPSCO, 758 N.E.2d 550 (Ind.Ct.App. 2001). He has been a presenter at Continuing Legal Education seminars focusing on injury cases including UM/UIM claims. He is OSHA 30 Certified. Mr. Terwilliger graduated from the University of Illinois (B.Arch., with Distinction) and the Valparaiso University School of Law (J.D., with Honors) where he served as Symposium Editor of the Valparaiso University Law Review.
William T. Donnell
Admitted only in: Kentucky & Tennessee
Assistant: Marissa Clark,
William T. Donnell has 25 years of experience representing clients throughout Kentucky. Mr. Donnell is regularly called upon by trucking companies, insurers, and third-party administrators to investigate catastrophic accidents and defend lawsuits. Mr. Donnell has tried numerous transportation cases to verdict and has extensive experience defending transportation companies. Mr. Donnell often defends extra contractual “bad faith” claims involving automobile or transportation policies and insurers. Mr. Donnell has been a presenter at continuing legal education seminars on trucking accidents, automobile liability and insurance matters. Mr. Donnell is a member of the Trucking Industry Defense Association, the Transportation Lawyers Association, and the Defense Research Institute. Mr. Donnell is admitted to practice before all state and federal courts in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Mr. Donnell graduated from the University of Tennessee (B.A. in Economics with High Honors) in 1990 and from the University of Kentucky, College of Law (J.D., with Distinction) in 1993.
Emily M. Gettum
Admitted only in: Indiana, North Carolina & South Carolina
Assistant: Angie Russell,
Ms. Gettum is originally from North Carolina. She is licensed to practice law in Indiana State Courts, United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, North Carolina State Courts, United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina and South Carolina State Courts. Her primary area of practice is transportation defense litigation. However, Ms. Gettum has handled a wide array of general litigation matters, including real estate, contracts, personal injury, medical malpractice, employment, business and other tort litigation over the years. She is a member of the Indianapolis Bar Association and Johnson County Bar Association. Ms. Gettum was recently selected as a 2019 “Rising Star” amongst Indiana lawyers by the Indiana Super Lawyers Magazine. She is an alumni of Leadership Johnson County and serves on multiple committees for the organization. Ms. Gettum received her Juris Doctor, Cum Laude, from Roger Williams University in 2009 and her bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2002.
Richard V. Evans
Admitted only in: Kentucky
Assistant: Marissa Clark,
Mr. Evans has a broad range of trial, arbitration, and appellate experience gained while in private practice, while in-house counsel for a Fortune 5 company, and while serving as an Assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He has successfully litigated complex commercial, transportation, products liability, and personal injury cases before trial and appellate courts throughout the country. His trial experience includes trial before the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky in which he obtained a $5.5 million dollar compensatory-damages and $22.5 million dollar punitive-damages award for his client, a major insurance company with operations in Kentucky. Examples of his appellate practice include Nat’l. Coll. Of Ky., Inc. v. Wave Holdings, LLC, 536 S.W.3d 218 (Ky. Ct. App. 2017), Aesthetics in Jewelry, Inc. v. Estate of Brown, 339 S.W.3d 489 (Ky. Ct. App. 2011), and General Electric Co. v. Latin American Imports, S.A., 126 Fed. Appx. 209 (6th Cir. 2005). Mr. Evans is admitted to practice before all state and federal courts in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He graduated from the University of Miami (B.B.A.), received a master’s degree from Southern Seminary (M.Div.), and graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law (J.D.).
Mr. Phillips' primary area of practice is transportation defense litigation. However, in addition to transportation defense, Mr. Phillips has over ten years of experience handling a variety of litigation matters, including first party insurance claims, insurance coverage, bad faith, professional liability, civil rights, family law, and appeals. He is an active member of the Indianapolis Bar Association, and he has been a speaker for several professional groups concerning insurance law and litigation. Mr. Phillips is licensed to practice in all Indiana state and federal courts. He received his Juris Doctor from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 2009, and he received his Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, in Mathematics from the University of Evansville in 2006.
Chad M. Sizemore
Admitted only in: Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee & District of Columbia
Assistant: Torey Lacey
Chad Sizemore has focused his practice on the transportation industry for over 15 years. Chad litigates cases involving disputes over personal injury, wrongful death, property damage and business interruption, cargo loss and damage (including household goods), insurance coverage, and violations of employment contracts. Chad is also proactive with his clients to help them avoid going to court in the first place by identifying areas of risk in their businesses. Chad is accessible to his clients 24-hours a day for emergency response across multiple jurisdictions. He has coordinated over 200 emergency responses to accidents across Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Chad prides himself on being the central contact for his clients from the moment the emergency response call is placed until the case is concluded, whether that be with a settlement, dispositive motion, jury verdict, or an appeal. Chad's prior experience working in the insurance industry gives him a unique insight into his clients' needs. Chad also belongs to several transportation industry organizations that allow him to share his experiences and gain from experiences of his colleagues across the country.
Lia M. Gucciardi Bowers
Admitted only in: Indiana, Michigan & Ohio
Assistant: Angela Russell,
Ms. Bowers is originally from southeast Michigan. She is licensed to practice law in Michigan, Indiana, and all Indiana federal courts. For more than a decade, her primary practice areas have been transportation defense litigation and worker’s compensation. However, she has also represented clients in matters involving medical malpractice, premises liability, personal injury, probate, and family law. Ms. Bowers has successfully defended employers and worker’s compensation insurance carriers, as well as represented injured workers, before the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board. She has also presented at worker’s compensation seminars held by insurance carriers. Ms. Bowers received her Juris Doctor from Valparaiso University School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, from Wayne State University.
Admitted only in: Kentucky
Assistant: Marissa Clark,
Ms. Rule, originally from Lexington, Kentucky, grew up in rural East Tennessee. For seventeen years, her practice has been focused on the defense of tort claims including personal injury, premises liability, products liability, and governmental sovereign immunity claims. Ms. Rule received her Bachelor’s Degree from Berea College, a Masters Degree from University of Kentucky, and Juris Doctorate from Salmon P. Chase College of Law. She is licensed to practice in Kentucky state courts, and the United States District Court for the Eastern and Western Divisions of Kentucky.
M. Salman Shah (Sal) is originally from northeast Ohio. Sal is licensed to practice in all state and federal courts in Ohio. Sal focuses his practice on representing transportation and logistics companies, along with their insurers and drivers, in trucking claims and litigated matters from the routine to catastrophic. Sal is a member of the firm’s emergency response team and coordinates investigations following serious truck accidents. Sal has successfully defended trucking companies, logistics companies, and an airline in contested matters. Sal received his Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Arts degree from The Ohio State University.