Kathleen Hart concentrates her practice in civil and commercial litigation, frequently pursuing or defending cases that involve injunctive relief, such as breach of non-competition agreements, trade secret misappropriation, and unfair competition claims; contract and property disputes; shareholder and corporate control battles; failed business transactions; and RICO, fraud, embezzlement and business tort claims. She helps clients evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their claims and defenses in order to position themselves to resolve disputes. Due to her experience with federal procedural matters, Kathleen regularly serves as local counsel in cases pending before the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, many of which involve complex contract or intellectual property claims.
In addition, Kathleen serves as outside general counsel for various privately-held businesses, and uses her combined employment law and litigation experience to prepare and negotiate employment, non-competition, confidentiality/non-disclosure, and severance agreements. For more than a dozen years, Kathleen has also assisted women and minority businesses in obtaining MBE/WBE/DBE certification with governmental or other certifying agencies.
Indiana Federal Community Defenders, Inc., Board Member (2019)
- The Indiana Federal Community Defenders, Inc., a non-profit corporation formed in 1993, is led by Chief Federal Defender Monica Foster. Its mission is to provide high quality, client-centered representation to indigent defendants charged with a federal crime, as well as to provide resources and training to Federal Criminal Justice Act panel attorneys. The Board, comprised of 13 attorneys selected by the judges of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, is charged with overseeing, supporting, and charting the best possible course for the IFCD to provide the best service to clients and the court.
Assistance League of Indianapolis, Advisory Council to the Board (2007-present)
- Assistance League of Indianapolis is a nonprofit all volunteer organization committed to serving the needs of children and adults through ongoing philanthropic programs developed and managed by its members.
Upon request of various schools or non-profit programs, Kathleen serves as an inspirational speaker to empower challenged teenage students
- Webster v. Methodist Occupational Health Centers, Inc., 141 F.3d 1236 (7th Cir. 1998)
- Indiana Dept. of Ins. v. Vernon General Ins. Co., 784 N.E.2d 556 (Ind. Ct. App. 2003)
- Sherrell v. N. Cmty. Sch. Corp. of Tipton County, 801 N.E.2d 693 (Ind. Ct. App. 2004)
- Allgood v. Meridian Sec. Ins. Co., 836 N.E.2d 243 (Ind. 2005)
- Lawler Mfg. Co. v. Bradley Corp., 2009 WL 1159577 (S.D. Ind. 2009)
- Hoosier Energy Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. v. John Hancock Life Insurance Co., 582 F.3d.721 (7th Cir. 2009)
- In re Miller, 935 N.E.2d 729 (Ind. Ct. App. 2010)
Publications & Presentations
Three Areas Of Legal Risk To Address Early And Often, RBE Blog (20109)
- Counsel representing businesses, their owners, or executives regularly earn their legal fees by resolving problems that arise from poor business practices. Those practices often evolved from temporary “fixes” to resolve emergencies or decisions that were never evaluated before they became the standards. Start-up or newly-successful companies often fail to allocate any portion of their budgets toward professional advice to advance their sophistication level in the marketplace. READ ARTICLE
Trade secret protection requires customized measures, The Indiana Lawyer (2018)
- A trade secret is a statutorily created form of intellectual property that exists only when its owner takes “reasonable” measures to protect it from exposure. The definition of reasonableness varies depending on a multitude of factors applicable to the sophistication level of the owner’s business. Because there is “no one size fits all” analysis to determine whether something qualifies as a trade secret — including whether its owner took reasonable measures to protect it — a lawyer tasked with protecting a client’s trade secrets must be intimately familiar with the client’s protectable interests. This article outlines the factors that should be considered to best protect a client’s trade secrets under Indiana’s trade secret laws. READ ARTICLE
Safeguard Your Secrets to Protect Your Company's Future, RBE Blog (2017)
- What is the secret to the success of your company? What have you worked hard to create, improve, perfect, and maintain? What would cause you grave concern if a competitor got ahold of your hard-earned information? Do your employees know what information to protect – and do they know they can use it only for your company and not for themselves or anyone else? READ ARTICLE
Kathleen has spoken at many seminars on the topics of injunctive relief cases, non-competition agreements, trade secret misappropriation, and various employment law issues faced by businesses. She regularly consults with clients on ways to avoid litigation.
- “Covenants Not to Compete,” ICLEF, Program Chair (May 22, 2012)
Awards & Recognition
- Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.
Distinguished Fellow, Indianapolis Bar Association (2011)
Distinguished Senior Fellow, Indianapolis Bar Foundation (2014)
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana (1998 to present)
- Member of the Local Rules Advisory Committee
- Indianapolis Bar Association
- Member (1994-present)
- Board Member (2014-2015 and 2011-2012)
- Counsel to the Board (2013)
- Co-Chair of Standing Committee on Professionalism (2010)
- Federal Bar Association, Indianapolis Chapter
- President (2008-2009)
- Officer/Executive Committee Member (2002-2010)
- Sagamore American Inn of Court
- Executive Committee/Barrister (2000-2010)
- Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, J.D. (1994)
- Indiana University, B.A., with distinction (1990)
- National Institute for Trial Advocacy (Boulder, Colorado 2000), Graduate
- ICLEF Civil Mediation Training (40 hours, Summer 2010), Graduate
- Indiana (1995)
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
- United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
- United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit