Since the day our firm was founded by attorney Mark Ladendorf, Ladendorf Law has been exceptionally fortunate to represent so many good people over the years who have turned to us for a voice when they are hurt by the most unfortunate circumstances.  Without our clients, our work would be meaningless, and it is our clients who push us to want to work harder every day.  The greatest reward we can receive is a satisfied client who leaves our representation knowing we did all we could to restore his or her life in the only way we know possible–by navigating the complex legal system to obtain fair compensation from the responsible party.

Sometimes our efforts are recognized by people in our community other than our direct clients.  This past Thursday, November 7, 2013, was one of those days for Dan Ladendorf.

In his nearly fourteen years as a civil trial lawyer, Dan has always gone the extra mile to resolve claims for hundreds of personal injury victims who seek our counsel.  In addition to his “day job,” Dan has served for the last six years as the Chair or Co-Chair of the Government Affairs Committee for the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA).  This Committee is charged with the extraordinary task of coordinating bipartisan efforts among ITLA membership to push for pro-civil justice legislation and oppose bills that would seek to diminish the fundamental rights of Hoosiers to trial by jury.

This past General Assembly legislative session was particularly significant for Dan and the ITLA, but more importantly, for our clients.  As a result of tireless research, bill drafting, lobbying, alliance building, vote counting, and a few breaks along the way, Dan’s relentless pursuit of changes to the Indiana Hospital Lien Statute came to fruition.  Effective July 1, 2013, hospitals no longer have a first-priority “super lien” for the full amount of their charged bill against a claim for bodily injuries resulting from a third party’s negligent conduct.   (The details of the changes to the Hospital Lien Statute will be explored in subsequent posts.)

This past summer, Dan received multiple nominations from his peers for the high honor of the ITLA’s 2013 Trial Lawyer of the Year.   Although there were several other distinguished attorneys nominated for this year’s award, Dan received a large majority of the ballots, and on November 7, 2013, he was presented with the award by none other than his older brother and 2013-2014 ITLA President Mark Ladendorf.

2013-2014 ITLA President Mark Ladendorf congratulates Dan Ladendorf with the Trial Lawyer of the Year plaque
2013-2014 ITLA President Mark Ladendorf congratulates Dan Ladendorf with the Trial Lawyer of the Year plaque
The plaque presented to Dan Ladendorf
The plaque presented to Dan Ladendorf

“We are members of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association.  It is the only statewide association dedicated to open access to the courts and preservation of your right to a jury trial.  I am very humbled by this award, which might be best expressed in this: Even if we are occupied with important things, even if we attain honor or fall into misfortune, still let us remember how good it once was here, when we were all together, united by a good and a kind feeling which made us perhaps better than we are.’”

Congratulations, Dan, on this prestigious award and what it represents: A life of service to the improving our system of justice in Indiana.

For more photos from the Awards Ceremony and post-event reception at Loughmiller’s Pub in downtown Indianapolis, enjoy the following:

Dan Ladendorf dines with family and friends at Table 1
Dan Ladendorf dines with family and friends at Table 1
(Left to Right): Amy Van Ostrand; Dustin Fregiato; Tim Devereux; Cheryl Brockman; Lance Ladendorf; Dan Ladendorf; Julie Weiler; Mark Ladendorf
(Left to Right): Amy Van Ostrand; Dustin Fregiato; Tim Devereux; Cheryl Brockman; Lance Ladendorf; Dan Ladendorf; Julie Weiler; Mark Ladendorf
Dan Ladendorf entertains his audience with musings about growing up, mentoring, and the “architects” of the changes to the Indiana Hospital Lien Statute.
Dan Ladendorf entertains his audience with musings about growing up, mentoring, and the “architects” of the changes to the Indiana Hospital Lien Statute.
Lance (left), Dan (center), and Mark Ladendorf (right)
Lance (left), Dan (center), and Mark Ladendorf (right)
Ladendorf Law spends a night on the town to celebrate the Trial Lawyer of the Year
Ladendorf Law spends a night on the town to celebrate the Trial Lawyer of the Year
A living tribute to Bob and Shirley Ladendorf
A living tribute to Bob and Shirley Ladendorf

 

On the heels of his induction as 2013-2014 President of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA), Mark Ladendorf caught up with Dave Stafford of The Indiana Lawyer to discuss law and life.  The full article can be viewed here.  

Regarding his role as ITLA President:

Q. What are some major practice concerns for trial lawyers that you’ll talk about during your term as president? 

A. I view my role as a facilitator for the growth of the ITLA in the many endeavors in which we already partake. Our outreach includes legislative, administrative, PAC, interaction with the judiciary, fundraising, CLE seminars and social events. All of these efforts are undertaken with the promotion of a strong civil justice system in mind. With the pervasive overview of the ITLA in the many aspects of the legal profession, I will attempt to balance many roles and bring my 33 years of legal experience to the table.

I feel fortunate to serve my administration under the guidance of Micki Wilson, Jason Bell, Lindsay Meyer and Bridget Gross as well as the executive committee who steer this great organization.

On being a trial lawyer:

Q. What is your favorite thing about being a trial lawyer? 

A. I take great pride in being a trial lawyer, not for myself, but for being able to serve others who seek representation when the odds are stacked against them. Not that I have a “Robin Hood” persona, but it is always gratifying to assist someone who needs you most, especially against some of our society’s most powerful interests.

His most challenging case?

Q. Is there one particular case you’ve worked on that stands out as the most difficult?

A. By far, the toughest case I worked on was seeing my friend and fellow attorney, Joan Irick, pass as a result of malpractice. To everyone who knew Joan, she was a terrific person and consummate professional. My representation of her in the last years of her life was one of the most heartbreaking and wrenching experiences I have been part of. She will be endeared and missed forever.

Mark’s advice to new lawyers: “[T]here are enormous opportunities for a person who holds a legal degree as it is the most versatile degree in society. Go forth and serve and good things will happen.”

For the rest of The Indiana Lawyer‘s interview with Mark Ladendorf, check out http://www.theindianalawyer.com/ladendorf-takes-helm-as-itla-president/PARAMS/article/31612.

Attorney Mark Ladendorf was recently recognized as a finalist for the 2013 Inspire Awards presented by College Mentors for Kids.  The Inspire Awards, presented by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, are dedicated to recognizing outstanding mentors in the workplace and community.  On February 27, 2013, a reception was held at The Indiana Roof Ballroom where Mark and other nominees were honored for their efforts in mentoring future generations of leaders in Central Indiana.

Mark was acknowledged in part for his involvement as a young lawyer in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.  Through the program, Mark mentored and developed a lifelong bond with James “Jamie” Pheifer, now an assistant general counsel and human resources counsel at OneAmerica in Indianapolis.   What started with Star Wars films and Indiana Pacers basketball games evolved into a more mature friendship once Pheifer turned 18 and the program technically ended.  In 1996, Mark stood as a groomsman in Pheifer’s wedding, and in 1998, Mark proudly watched Pheifer receive his juris doctor (J.D.) from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Mark’s alma mater.  Fourteen years later, Pheifer was present to celebrate my own graduation from that same law school with his “big brother” and my father, Mark Ladendorf.  The circle, in a sense, had been completed.

Erin Peckinpaugh of WTHR-TV, who nominated Mark for this award, said the following of the people who inspire us: “There are people who inspire simply because that’s who they are.  If you are in their presence, you feel empowered to give back; to leave your mark on the world.  There isn’t a single meeting with Mark where I don’t leave feeling motivated to do more for the community.”

We are proud of Mark and Jamie for not only their professional achievements, but more importantly, for the principle their friendship embodies: that profound experiences can result from unlikely beginnings.   As Memorial Day approaches, may all of us be thankful for and commemorate those mentors in our lives who help shape us into the people we are today.