Brian J. Paul

Brian J. Paul

Partner, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

Brian Paul's primary concentration is appellate work, ERISA and employee benefits litigation, insurance coverage litigation, and complex tort and commercial litigation matters in the federal courts.

Brian J. Paul is a partner in the Appellate Practice and Employee Benefits Litigation Groups at Ice Miller LLP in Indianapolis. A graduate of Vanderbilt Law School, Brian personally has briefed and argued dozens of state and federal appeals, including several at the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, widely considered one of the most challenging courts in which to argue. His cases have run the gamut. He has briefed and argued everything from weighty, abstract constitutional issues to concrete, dollars-and-cents commercial issues and any number of issues in-between. The clients he has served have run the gamut too. While he has argued cases on behalf of Fortune 500 companies in a variety of different industries, he has also represented family-owned businesses and individual shareholders; state and local governmental entities; colleges and universities; trustees, guardians, attorneys in fact, and personal representatives of estates; employee benefit plans, plan administrators, and other plan fiduciaries; doctors and lawyers; trade associations; criminal defendants; and hospitals and medical practices.

Brian’s name appears on some 40 cases, and he has had a direct hand in scores of others, both published and unpublished. He worked, for example, with a team of Ice Miller lawyers to defend the constitutionality of Indiana’s billion dollar lease of the State’s Toll Road,Bonney v. Indiana Finance Authority, 849 N.E.2d 473 (Ind. 2006), and of Indiana’s wine shipment laws,Baude v. Heath, 538 F.3d 608 (7th Cir. 2008). Both cases attracted national attention and were discussed in a variety of publications, including the Harvard Law Review. Other examples of cases in which he has served the firm’s clients includeIn re Miller, 935 N.E.2d 729 (Ind. Ct. App. 2010), which involved a dispute over the rights to a $300 million-plus estate;Lemon v. Wishard Health Services, 902 N.E.2d 297 (Ind. Ct. App. 2009), a class action that involved alleged violations of Indiana’s wage payment statutes;Bell v. DaimlerChrysler Corp., 547 F.3d 796 (7th Cir. 2008), a lawsuit brought by over 200 union members under the Labor-Management Relations Act;Carlisle v. Deere & Co., 576 F.3d 649 (7th Cir. 2009), which involved the alleged breach of a product warranty;Jennings v. AC Hydraulic A/S, 383 F.3d 546 (7th Cir. 2004), where the key issue was whether a Danish manufacturer could be sued in Indiana; andZiliak v. AstraZeneca LP, 324 F.3d 518 (7th Cir. 2003), which tested the adequacy of prescription drug labeling.

His reputation as a smart, dedicated appellate lawyer earned him the opportunity in 2009 to participate in a panel discussion on appellate practice with two of the leading jurists in the country, Judge Richard Posner and Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook, both of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. In all, he has served as a panelist or lecturer on appellate-related topics in over a dozen seminars, oftentimes along side other well respected appellate practitioners and appellate court judges. He has also written widely on appellate litigation, with articles appearing in an array of publications, including the American Bar Association’sAppellate Practice Journal, the Defense Research Institute’sCertworthy, and the acclaimed publication of the Seventh Circuit Bar Association, theCircuit Rider, where he has served as associate editor since 2005.

Brian is also an active participant in several professional and legal associations. He is the current President of the Indianapolis Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, which provides a forum for civil debate about the role of the federal judiciary in American society. He is an officer of the Indiana Bar Association’s Appellate Practice Section, a position he has held since 2003. He is a graduate and former board member of the Indianapolis Bar Association’s Bar Leadership Series, which readies lawyers for leadership opportunities in the business and legal communities. And Brian is barrister in the Indianapolis chapter of the American Inns of Court, an organization designed to improve the skills, professionalism, and ethics of the bench and bar. In 2010 Brian’s dedication to the bar earned him the designation “Distinguished Fellow” by the Indianapolis Bar Association, a distinction reserved for members of the legal community who have contributed consistently to the profession and the community.

Brian translates his dedication to the legal profession and the law into action not only by providing excellent service to the firm’s paying clients, but also by zealously representing pro bono those who cannot afford to pay for their own attorney. Since 2005 he has spent hundreds of hours serving as lead appellate counsel to indigent defendants convicted of federal crimes. More than one judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has complimented him on the quality of his advocacy in these cases and thanked him and his firm for their service to the court.

  • B.A. in History, Purdue University  (1995)
  • M.A. in American History, Purdue University  (1997)
  • J.D. Vanderbilt University Law School  (2000)


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