David R. Phillips
An experienced attorney, David R. Phillips, has been in practice for over 28 years. His clients reside primarily in Lake, Porter, and LaPorte counties in Indiana; he can also refer clients to colleagues in Illinois when appropriate. Prior to his present firm in Chesterton, Phillips had practiced at one of the area's most prominent, large law firms and has experience representing clients in civil litigation and insurance cases. He has successfully represented clients in dozens of jury trials throughout Indiana.
Phillips went to work for the largest insurance defense firm outside Indianapolis in 1988, when he joined Spangler, Jennings & Dougherty, P.C. (Merrillville, Indiana). There he honed his litigation skills while working for some of the largest insurance firms in the world on personal injury defense cases, including American Family Insurance Company, Allstate Insurance Company, Farm Bureau Insurance Company, Progressive Insurance Company, Erie Insurance, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Indiana Insurance, GEICO and many, many others.
Phillips record in jury trial defense cases was impressive winning the great majority of jury trials. He was able to master the Indiana Rules of Evidence and Rules of Trial Procedure.
In 1998, Phillips decided to change sides and joined his friend, Jeff JJ Shaw in representing Indiana residents who had been injured due to the fault of somebody else, in Portage, Indiana. Shaw and Phillips law firm moved to Valparaiso, Indiana in 1999, after winning a wrongful death case of a minor child in Hammond, Indiana before the Honorable Judge Jeffrey Dywan (Indiana Insurance Company defending). The child had died in a home fire in a rental house that did not have a working smoke detector. Phillips was instrumental in achieving the victory performing examinations of all fire experts for the Plaintiff and the defense. He also did the closing rebuttal argument. The verdict of $1.75 Million Dollars was (at the time) the largest verdict in the State of Indiana for an injured person against a single landlord (not an apartment complex or corporation).
The seminal moment in the case, which displayed Phillips' quick-thinking ability, came when the defense fire expert for Indiana Insurance answered a question about his investigation by saying "this wasn't a large claim like the one I did a few months later involving a tire fire where thousands of tires were involved." Phillips reply was cutting and decisive: "So, to you, an experienced fire investigator, a tire fire is more important than a child's life?" The verdict came quickly thereafter.
In his family law practice, he takes the collaborative approach to law whenever possible, leading to the best possible outcome for all involved. His passion for justice, freedom, and civil rights drive him to maintain his personal integrity and the dignity of his clients in every case. He strives to keep the individual needs of each client first and foremost. Phillips has been 'Highly Rated' by his peers and honored as 'Notable in Legal Ability and Ethical Standards.'
Phillips is the architect of four separate jury verdicts of $500,000 or more including a $1,750,000 Wrongful Death jury verdict and a $1,460,000 jury verdict for a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) client.
Phillips is active in his community by coaching and advocating for youth sports. He coached youth baseball for over 8 years and continues to be involved as an assistant. An animal lover, he spends free time outdoors with his family and one, or more, of his three dogs. With its natural beauty and serene trails, the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is his favorite hiking spot.
J.D., Indiana University, Robert H. McKinney School of Law, 1988
B.A. Economics, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1984
United States District Courts, Northern and Southern Districts