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James W. Hehner, partner

James W. Hehner

Partner

Practice Areas:

  • Business & Commercial

Biography

Jim Hehner is a partner in the law firm Clendening Johnson & Bohrer, P.C., with offices in Indianapolis and Bloomington, consisting of several litigation attorneys and paralegals. He has over thirty years of experience conducting jury trials and representing clients in both state and federal court, primarily in the areas of first party and third party insurance defense. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business and his law degree from the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis. During law school, he was a member of the Indiana Law Review, where he served as a Note and Development Editor and was also a Moot Court participant. Jim also attended the Indiana Law Enforcement Training Academy, where he obtained a commission as a Police Officer, and worked as a Police Officer for several years while attending college and law school.

He is admitted to practice in Indiana, the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. He is the past president of the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana (DTCI) and is a member of the Defense Research Institute (DRI). Jim has achieved the Martindale Hubbell Preeminent Peer Review Rating of "AV" (5 out of 5, the highest available) and has been named as an Indiana Super Lawyers ©, for several years. He has also received a lifetime achievement award as one of America's Top 100 Attorneys. Jim is also active in numerous other civic organizations including the Carmel Clay Public Library Board of Trustees and the Carmel Clay Public Library Foundation.

Since obtaining his law degree, Jim has been engaged in the private practice of law, practicing primarily in the area of litigation. He has been lead attorney for many jury trials and tried cases to verdict, including cases involving wrongful death, auto accidents, premises liability. His practice includes cases in both State Court and Federal Court. He has litigated hundreds of cases involving wrongful death, construction law, product liability, auto accidents, premises liability, and all types of personal injury claims. Jim has acted as an arbitrator or mediator on numerous occasions and has extensive experience in both arbitration and mediation proceedings.

In 2016 Jim was asked by Chief Justice Loretta Rush of the Supreme Court of Indiana to serve on the Indiana Civil Justice Initiative Roundtable led by Indiana Justice Geoffrey Slaughter and retired Justice Brent Dickson. The roundtable consists of a small cross section of Indiana lawyers who will make recommendations to the Supreme Court of Indiana regarding ways to improve how our courts handle civil cases.

Jim is a frequent speaker at continuing legal education seminars and has authored or co-authored legal articles including: COVID-19 Best Practices and Procedures. What Have We Learned About How to Practice Law in a New Era, March 4, 2021, Zoom Presentation, The Tri-Parte Relationship: Attorney, Client and Insurer, Downtown Continuing Education, Inc. (2016 and 2020); Litigating and Understanding the Medical Injury, Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum (1995); Litigating Lumbar Spine Injuries, Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum (1995); Stickney 1985 Amendments to the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act 19 Ind L. Rev. 403 (1986); Hehner, Smith The Indiana Insurance Guaranty Association Act: More Problems than Protection 21 Ind. L. Rev. 207 (1988), reprinted in Indiana's Guaranty Fund for the Tort and Insurance Law Seminar, Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum (1988).

Specialties: Insurance Defense (first party and third party),wrongful death, construction law, product liability, agricultural claims including defective feed and other agricultural products, auto accidents, premises liability, all types of personal injury claims, business formation, and business litigation.

Education

  • Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Indianapolis, Indiana
    • J.D. - 1983
    • Honors: Indiana Law Review, Note and Development Editor 1983
    • Honors: Moot Court Society
  • Indiana University – Kelley School of Business
    • B.S. - 1980
    • Major: Business Economics and Public Policy
  • Indiana Law Enforcement Training Academy
    • Honors: Commissioned Police Officer 1978-1979

Bar Admission

  • Indiana, 1983
  • United States Supreme Court, 2009
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit
  • Supreme Court of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Indiana

Published Works

  • “Photo of Car Admissible to Show Lack of Injury”, Indiana Lawyer, August 31, 2011
  • “Hands-Free Cell Calls While Driving Are Not Safer”, Indiana Lawyer, September 1, 2010
  • “A New Standard for Expert Hypothetical Questions?” Indiana Lawyer, September 2, 2009
  • “Objecting to An Indepenent Physician” Indiana Lawyer, September 3, 2008
  • The Indiana Guaranty Association Act: More Problems Than Protection, 21 Indiana Law Review 223 (1988)

Honors

  • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rated AV (Preeminent Rating). Peer rated for highest level of professional excellence
  • America’s Top 100 Attorneys, Lifetime Achievement Award 2020
  • DRI (Defense Research Institute) Indiana State Representative 2019-2021
  • Beta Gamma Sigma Honorary Society
  • Indiana Super Lawyers©, 2015 to 2021

Classes & Seminars

  • Presentation at the DRI North Central Regional Meeting: COVID-19 Best Practices and Procedures. What Have We Learned About How to Practice Law in a New Era, March 4, 2021, Zoom Presentation.
  • Presentation at the Downtown Continuing Education, Inc.: “The Tri-Parte Relationship: Attorney, Client, and Insurer”; November 24, 2020; Indianapolis, IN
  • Presentation at the Defense Trial Counsel Rookie Seminar: “Tips for Young Lawyers”; Panel of Past Presidents of DTCI, April 28, 2017; Indianapolis, IN
  • Presentation at the Downtown Continuing Education, Inc.: “The Tri-Parte Relationship: Attorney, Client, and Insurer”; November 29, 2016; Indianapolis, IN
  • Chairman of the 19th Annual Conference and Meeting of Defense Trial Counsel Indiana; November 15 and 16, 2012; Nashville, IN
  • Presentation at the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana Annual Conference: “Mediation Opening Statement” and “Mediation Practice and Pointers” with Richard Kraege, November 16, 2012; Nashville, IN
  • Presentation at the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana Annual Conference: “Trial Tactics: Strategies to Advance Your Case Using the Five Main Areas of Trial”; November 18, 2010; Michigan City, IN
  • Presentation at the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana Annual Conference, Economic Loss Claims and Projection of Loss of Future Earnings, November 19, 2009; Bloomington, IN
  • Presentation at the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana: Insurance Coverage Section, “Insurance Primer, Types of Coverage” June 12, 2008; Indianapolis, IN
  • Presentation at the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana Annual Conference, Indiana Supreme Court Project for Electronic News Coverage in Indiana Trial Courts, November 17, 2006; Lafayette, IN
  • Presentation at the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana: “Trial Preparation Including Use of Trial Notebooks, Exhibit Preparation, The Care and Handling of Your Client and Witnesses” September 23, 2005; Indianapolis, IN
  • Presentation at the Indianapolis Bar Association: “Pre-trial Motion Practice” April 15, 2005; Indianapolis, IN
  • Presentation at the Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Litigating and Understanding the Medical Injury: Litigating Lumbar Spine Injuries 520 (1995); Indianapolis, IN

Professional Associations

  • DRI (The Voice of the Defense Bar) Board of Directors
  • DRI (The Voice of the Defense Bar) Past Indiana State Representative
  • Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana (DTCI) Past Chairperson of the Trial Tactics Section
  • Monitor/Volunteer with the Indiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program (JLAP)
  • Indiana Law Review, Note and Development Editor
  • Carmel Clay Public Library Board of Trustees – Trustee and Past President
  • Carmel Clay Public Library Foundation – Board Member

Current Employment Position

  • Partner