Justin O. Sorrell
Justin is an experienced litigator who represents and advises business clients in many types of disputes in federal and state courts across Indiana. He regularly defends employers in lawsuits including wage and retaliation claims, trade secret and confidentiality claims, non-competition and non-solicitation covenants, and breach of contract claims. Additionally, Justin has experience in defending claims involving construction-related commercial property damage, products liability, insurance coverage, collections, and appeals, and he has served as local counsel in federal and state courts across Indiana. He defends employers before the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board, and has experience in other business-related areas, including bank loan transactions, loan work-outs, and bankruptcy. He also has significant experience in discovery of electronically-stored information (“ESI”), and advises clients on how to maximize value and minimize expense.
He is a problem-solver, and seeks creative solutions to his clients’ issues while emphasizing the business impact of litigation choices to help guide his clients’ decision-making. When an amicable resolution is not possible, he aggressively and diligently pursues his clients’ interests.
Representative cases include successfully petitioning the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse a punitive damages award against a business owner, and successful defense of a home repair contractor against a breach of contract lawsuit. He also has helped numerous clients amicably resolve contentious disputes, saving their businesses significant time and money.
After earning his law degree, Justin served as a judicial clerk for the Honorable L. Mark Bailey at the Court of Appeals of Indiana. Before beginning his legal career, Justin grew up in Vermont, and was a professional musician with experience performing around the globe, including for Princess Cruises, Disneyland, and Walt Disney World.
- Prosecuted appeal of denial of summary judgment sought on behalf of truck leasing company. Won partial reversal of trial court’s decision, and entry of summary judgment on one of the plaintiffs’ claims.: Penske Truck Leasing Co., L.P. v. McGrath, 157 N.E.3d 5 (Ind. Ct. App. 2020).
- Defended adverse party’s appeal of entry of summary judgment and dismissal of lawsuit in favor of truck leasing company and truck driver: White v. Holland, 19A-CT-967 (Ind. Ct. App. 2019) (memorandum decision), trans. denied.
- Prosecuted appeal of punitive damages award entered in favor of adverse party. Won reversal of punitive damages award: West v. J. Greg Allen Builder, Inc., 92 N.E.3d 634 (Ind. Ct. App. 2017), trans. denied.
- Prosecuted appeal of summary judgment entered in favor of adverse party. Won reversal of summary judgment and remand for new trial in favor of patron: Miller v. Rosehill Hotels, LLC, 45 N.E.3d 15 (Ind. Ct. App. 2015).
- After three-day bench trial, obtained defense verdict in favor of a contractor alleged to have negligently maintained a lift station that malfunctioned and caused damage to commercial property in excess of $1 million.
- Prosecuted large claims for negligence and breach of contract on behalf of general contractor against subcontractors relating to substantial renovations to a large industrial facility. Case settled favorably prior to trial.
- Defended business property owner against mechanics’ liens asserted by numerous subcontractors following general contractor’s filing for bankruptcy protection. All disputes were settled favorably prior to trial.
- Defended breach of contract lawsuit brought against home repair contractor. The plaintiff alleged that our client failed to perform specific repairs in a workmanlike manner, thus breaching its contract. Our defense focused on the doctrine of accord and satisfaction, because the plaintiff had accepted a check along with a contractual reduction in price. The Court entered judgment for our client, with costs.
- Assisted real estate developer with replatting and rezoning real estate in Marion County.
- Defended logistics company in federal lawsuit against allegations under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Case settled favorably prior to trial.
- Prosecuted claims for breach of employment agreement against former employee of automobile business, including covenants not to compete and covenants not to solicit. Case settled favorably prior to trial.
- Prosecuted claims for breach of employment agreement against former employee of industrial services provider, including covenants not to compete and covenants not to solicit. Dispute settled favorably pre-suit.
- Defended volunteer fire department against allegations of negligence by former volunteer firefighter. Case settled favorably prior to trial.
- Defended internet marketing company against allegations of website content “scraping.” Case settled favorably prior to trial.
Business and Transactions
- Defended software developer against allegations of breach of contract and prosecuted allegations of breach of contract. Case settled favorably prior to arbitration.
- Prosecuted large breach of contract claim on behalf of industrial services provider. Case settled favorably prior to trial.
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of recreational facility operator against claims of negligence.
- Served as local counsel for an international technology company in defending against allegations of negligence in both federal and state court. Case settled favorably prior to trial.
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Awards & Recognition
Best Lawyers “Ones to Watch” (2021-Present)
- Attorneys must be nominated for The Best Lawyers in America and undergo a meticulous peer review before they can be listed. A nominee’s professional expertise, achievements, career history, and influence in the legal community are assessed to determine whether a listing is warranted. Only the top 6% of private practicing lawyers in the United States are honored on this list.
Indiana Super Lawyers Rising Star (2020 – Present)
- 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.
Indianapolis Bar Association – Young Lawyers Division Distinguished Leadership Award (2018)
Beyond the Office
Justin’s hobbies include golfing, cycling, and skiing.
Indiana State Bar Association
- Chair, Lawyer Advertising Rules Review Committee (2021-Present)
- Vice Chair, Lawyer Advertising Rules Review Committee (2019-2021)
- Leadership Development Academy – Class VII (2018)
Indianapolis Bar Association
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana – Local Rules Advisory Committee
Sagamore American Inn of Court
Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana
Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Indiana
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana (2013)
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana (2014)
Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, B.M., Piano Performance, French Minor (2006)
Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, M.M., Jazz Studies (2009)
Indiana University Maurer School of Law, J.D. (2012)