Bryce Bennett is a business and trial lawyer who has practiced in Indianapolis since 1978. He represents businesses, including insurance companies, product manufacturers, construction contractors, real estate and development companies, hospitals, nursing homes, and transportation companies; professionals, including doctors, lawyers, insurance and real estate agents; non-profits and professional and fraternal associations, political subdivisions and municipalities including the City of Indianapolis and State agencies. He has successfully handled thousands of matters to closing through business negotiations as well as successfully litigating disputes to a favorable conclusion through pleadings, dispositive motions, negotiated settlements, mediations, arbitrations and numerous bench and jury trials in state and federal courts.
Bryce is an experienced director of business entities, and has served in leadership positions on numerous corporate and not-for-profit boards for the last 30 years. He represents and counsels business and not-for-profit entities as well as their members, directors and shareholders on various issues, including governance, fiduciary duties and disclosure requirements, contractual matters, intellectual property registration and protection, litigation and risk management, recognizing and minimizing liability exposure, employment issues, non-compete, non-piracy and confidentiality agreements, regulatory and governmental relations, real estate and environmental issues, acquisitions, creditors rights, member and shareholder rights and exit strategies.
Bryce is also a certified Alternative Dispute Resolution mediator and has experience as an arbitrator and as judge Pro Tempore in the Marion Superior Courts and as Administration Law Judge with the Indiana Secretary of State, Securities Division.
Bryce is active on numerous community service committees and has experience as an Officer, Director and Counsel to several boards, including:
- Indiana Secretary of State, Securities Division, Hearing Officer
- Indiana Election Commission, Chairman (2014-Present), Commissioner (2012-Present)
- Arts Council of Indianapolis, Chairman (2012-2014), Director and Officer (2002-2016), Treasurer, Secretary, Vice Chair
- Greater Indianapolis Republican Finance Committee (GIRFCO), Chairman (2013-Present)
- Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, Board of Directors (2013-Present)
- Fox Eagle Lake Association, Inc., Treasurer (2013-Present)
- Indiana Health Care Policy Institute, Chair (2011-2014)
- Indianapolis Marion County Public Library Foundation, Board of Directors (2009-Present)
- Skyline Club Board of Governors (1994-Present)
- Indiana Health Care Foundation, Board of Directors (2009-2010)
- Indiana Political Subdivision Risk Management Commission (2007-2010)
- Indianapolis Marion County Public Library Strategic Planning Committee (2008)
- Central Indiana Better Business Bureau, Chair of the Board (2006-2008); Member, Board of Directors (2002 - 2008), General Counsel (2009 – Present)
- Central Indiana Small Business Development Center, Board of Advisors (1999-2000) (2003-2007)
- Historic Indianapolis City Market Foundation, Chair, Board of Directors (2004-2007)
- Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Board of Directors (2004-2007)
- Indiana Chamber of Commerce: Small Business Council; Economic Development and Congressional Affairs Committees (2004-Present)
- Indianapolis Philharmonic Orchestra, Vice President, Board of Trustees (1995-2004)
- Rotary Club of Indianapolis (1991-2004)
- Indianapolis Bar Association, Board of Managers (1995-1997) (2001-2003)
- Indiana State Bar Association, House of Delegates, (1996-2003)
- Indianapolis Bar Foundation Board of Directors (1995-2002); President (2001)
- Sylvan Beach Resort Company, Director, President (1999-2001)
- Indianapolis City Market Corporation, President, Board of Directors (1998-2000)
- American Pianists Association, Vice President and Director (1994-2000)
- Hemophilia of Indiana, Inc. , Sr. Vice President and General Counsel (1991-1999)
- Indianapolis Press Club, General Counsel and Treasurer (1991-1998)
- City of Indianapolis Equal Opportunity Advisory Board, Chair (1994-1996)
Since 1978 Mr. Bennett has represented businesses, including product manufacturers, construction contractors, real estate and development companies, hospitals, nursing homes, and transportation companies as well as professionals, including doctors, lawyers, insurance and real estate agents, professional and fraternal associations, political subdivisions and municipalities including the City of Indianapolis in thousands of matters, many litigated to conclusion through dispositive motions, negotiated settlements, mediations, arbitrations and numerous bench and jury trials in State and Federal courts. He has argued appeals before the 7th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals and before the Indiana Supreme Court. He has been admitted to practice pro hac vice in various jurisdictions throughout the United States and has been admitted to the United States Supreme Court since 1991. His broad experience includes the following matters.
- Represented insurers in action where the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the insurers against a city seeking insurance coverage for costs related to an underlying USEPA action demanding that the city upgrade its sewer system to prevent future combined sewer overflows. City of Evansville, et al. v. United States Fidelity and Guaranty Company, et. al. (Ind. Ct. App. 2012).
- Defended insurance carrier in a nine-figure environmental coverage action brought by utility company, in which numerous Indiana Appellate Courts determined, in serial appeals, that there was no insurance coverage for the utility’s defense and indemnity costs, when such costs were incurred because of the utility company’s failure to comply with the Clean Air Act: Cinergy Corp. v. St. Paul Surplus Lines Ins. Co., 785 N.E.2d 586 (Ind. Ct. App. 2003), trans. denied; 865 N.E.2d 571 (Ind. 2007), reh’g denied; 873 N.E.2d 105 (Ind. Ct. App. 2007), trans. denied; 915 N.E.2d 524 (Ind. Ct. App. 2009), reh’g denied, trans. denied.
- Defended title company in a negligence action brought by a mortgage holder, in which Indiana Supreme Court elaborated upon an important exception to the economic loss doctrine: U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Integrity Land Title Corp., 929 N.E.2d 742 (Ind. 2010).
- Argued before the Indiana Supreme Court in a case of first impression, in which Court held, in cases mediated under Indiana’s ADR Rules, settlement agreements must be memorialized in a signed writing to be enforceable. Vernon v. Acton, 732 N.E.2d 805 (Ind. 2000)
- Argued before the Indiana Supreme Court on behalf of landowner alleged to have breached duty to invitee to prevent criminal acts of third parties, in which the Court affirmed grant of summary judgment in favor of landowner, on the grounds landowner did not breach duty to take reasonable steps to prevent foreseeable criminal acts against invitees. L.W. v. Western Golf Ass’n., 712 N.E.2d 983, 136 Ed. Law Rep. 538 (Ind. 1999).
- Defended nursing home against negligence action premised on the nursing home’s liability for the conduct of a volunteer, in which the Court affirmed grant of summary judgment to nursing home based on the gratuitous servant doctrine and doctrine of non-delegable duty. Gilbert v. Loogootee Realty, LLC d/b/a Loogootee Nursing Center, 928 N.E.2d 625 (Ind. Ct. App. 2010), reh’g denied.
- Represented the parents of Sue Ann Lawrance in Indiana’s Right-to-Die case: In the Matter of Lawrance, 579 N.E.2d 32 (Ind. 1991).
- Prosecuted patent infringement claims on behalf of table pad manufacturer. Obtained summary judgment in favor of manufacturer, in which court found that manufacturer’s patent had been infringed, and that a competitor’s patent was invalid. Berger v. Ohio Table Pad Co., 539 F.Supp.2d 1069 (N.D. Ind. 2008).
- Prosecuted multi-million-dollar mechanic’s lien claim on behalf of general contractor in both state court and bankruptcy court. PCL/Calumet v. EnterCitement, LLC, 760 N.E.2d 633 (Ind. Ct. App. 2001).
- Defended municipality against negligence action, in which Court affirmed grant of summary judgment in favor of town, on the basis that the town was statutorily immune from the plaintiff’s claim. Babinchak v. Town of Chesterton, 598 N.E.2d 1099 (Ind. Ct. App. 1992).
- Defended property owners in a negligence action, in which Court directed the trial court to enter summary judgment in favor of homeowners and against plaintiff, on the basis that, in response to a summary judgment motion, a plaintiff may not change her testimony. Frampton v. Hutcherson, 784 N.E.2d 993 (Ind. Ct. App. 2003).
- Defended property owners against negligence action brought by visitor, in which Court affirmed grant of summary judgment in favor of property owners. Reed v. Beachy Const. Corp., 781 N.E.2d 1145 (Ind. Ct. App. 2002).
- Defended vendors in action for fraud by purchasers of a home, in which Court affirmed grant of summary judgment in favor of vendors. South v. Johnson & Dudley Real Estate, 437 N.E.2d 494 (Ind. Ct. App. 1982).
Seminars | Presentations
Bryce is recognized as a leading authority in business and legislation matters
- He has served as Chairman, Moderator and Faculty Member for business and litigation seminars on Maximizing Cash Flow, Trial Techniques, Evidence, Case Evaluation and Negotiation, Legal Ethics and Malpractice, Dispute Resolution, Handling Media Inquiries, Legal Ethics of Social Media, Fraternity Risk Management, and has been a featured speaker at a meeting of the Indiana Fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
- As part of the Indiana Election Administrators Conference, Bryce chaired a CLE seminar on ethical issues in election law as part of his role as chairman of the Indiana Election Commission. (December 16, 2014)
- Bryce delivered the luncheon address to the Indianapolis Public Relations Society in honor of Donna Shea, who was honored as the 2014 “Indy PR Legend Award” recipient. (December 17, 2014)
- Bryce was the keynote speaker delivering the commencement address to MBA graduates of the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. (May 2010)
Bryce has published and been the subject of articles in the Indianapolis Business Journal,Indiana Lawyer, Insurance Institute of Indiana Policy Maker and various trade publications and newsletters, including the following:
- DTCI: Find your technology balance, The Indiana Lawyer (2010)
- When I started in the private practice of law in 1978, the most impressive room in a law office was the library. It contained shelves and shelves of beautifully bound books which were essentially the source of all legal knowledge. Yes, the law school did have one computer in its library, but it was primarily an educational tool, available across town by appointment only and its database was severely limited. It was not a viable substitute for legal research by the books.READ MORE
- Forty Under 40 , Indianapolis Business Journal (1993)
- Cheaper Lawyers Can End Up Costing You More Money, Indianapolis Business Journal (1994)
- Prepare For A Successful Mediation, RBE Blog (2017)
- Mediation offers something for everyone: Plaintiffs with legitimate claims have an opportunity for early compensation. Defendants exposed to an adverse judgment can promptly eliminate their contingent liability. Insurers can liquidate their indemnity obligation, terminate defense cost and close their files sooner. READ MORE
- SCALES OF JUSTICE “Attractive Nuisance”, IU Law Magazine (2008)
- Engage Cost Effective Legal Counsel, RBE Blog (2016)
- Dispute resolution and litigation has become a cost of doing business in the United States of America. For uninsured losses, the cost of litigation goes directly to the business owners’ bottom line. For insured losses, litigation costs and indemnity payments impact future insurance premium payments. Insurance premium expenses are impacted by claims and litigation. Therefore, no successful business owner can ignore legal risk assessment, early dispute resolution or the cost of litigation. READ MORE
Beyond the Office
Bryce enjoys staying physically active outdoors and interest in protecting nature and the physical beauty of his environment has motivated him to serve in leadership positions of both his local neighborhood associations.
- Fox Eagle Lake Association, Inc., Treasurer (2013-Present)
- Sylvan Beach Resort Company, Director, President (1999-2001)
Rankings | Awards
Bryce has received awards and recognitions during his career including the following:
- Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ are the gold standard in attorney ratings, and have been for more than a century. Attorneys looking to refer a client, as well as individuals researching lawyers for their own legal needs, use these ratings to identify, evaluate and select the most appropriate lawyer for their legal issue. Combined with the Martindale-Hubbell® Client Review Ratings,self-reported professional credentials and other fact-based performance data, a Peer Review Rating contributes to the comprehensive view of a lawyer and benefits the entire legal community. An AV® Rating signifies that the lawyer has reached the heights of professional excellence. He or she has usually practiced law for a number of years, and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity.
Indiana Bar Association Fellow
- Bryce has been named an Indiana Bar Association Fellow. Fellows are chosen on the basis of outstanding legal ability, commitment to the community and advancement of the legal profession.
Indianapolis Bar Association Fellow
- Bryce has been named as an Indianapolis Bar Association Distinguished Fellow. This small but select group is chosen by the Directors of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation to become Distinguished Fellows as a result of their significant contributions to the legal profession and to our community.
“Grand Buffalo” of Indianapolis Press Club
Recipient, American Jurisprudence Award in Business Associations
Listed in several “Who’s Who” publications, including “Who’s Who in America” and “Who’s Who in American Law”; “Who’s Who in the World”
Member, Charter Class of Indianapolis Business Journal’s top 40 “hotshots” from various professions and businesses who made their mark in Indianapolis before their 40th birthday.
Indiana Lawyer’s Distinguished Barrister Award for Leadership in Law 2012
- The Indiana Lawyer annually honors members of the legal community who have shown a commitment to their profession and the clients they serve with Leadership in Law Distinguished Barrister and the Up and Coming Lawyer Awards.
Indiana Super Lawyers (2004-2016)
- Each year, Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in Indiana via a patented multiphase selection process involving peer nomination, independent research and peer evaluation. The Indiana lawyers who receive the highest point totals during this selection process are further recognized in Indiana Super Lawyers Top Lists.
Super Lawyer Blue Ribbon Panelist
Distinguished Barrister (2012)
- Through professional commitments, social and civic involvement, and volunteer efforts, lawyers serve a diverse citizenry and business community. The Indiana Lawyer annually honors members of the legal profession who have shown a commitment to their peers and the clients they serve with Leadership in Law Distinguished Barrister and the Up and Coming Lawyer Awards. This year, we asked each of the honorees to complete a series of statements, including advice for other lawyers and what they'd be doing if they weren't attorneys.
- Indianapolis Bar Association
- Indiana State Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- International Association of Defense Counsel
- Seventh Circuit Bar Association
- Defense Research Institute
- Kelley School of Business, Indiana University-Bloomington, B.S. Finance, with high distinction and Beta Gamma Sigma (1975)
- Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, Associate Editor, Indiana Law Review (1978)
- Indiana (1978)
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana (1978)
- Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (1984)
- U.S. Supreme Court (1991)
- Numerous pro hac vice admissions in state and federal courts throughout the United States