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May 07, 2019

Pierson, Smith, Blair and Rutigliano Awarded The Indiana Lawyer's "Leadership in Law"

The Indiana Lawyer has named Faegre Baker Daniels' partners Andrea Roberts Pierson, Joe Smith, Ben Blair and Anna Rutigliano winners of the 2019 “Leadership in Law” awards for their outstanding legal work and community contributions.

Pierson and Smith were named Distinguished Barristers—an honor for lawyers who have practiced a minimum of 20 years. Indianapolis-based attorneys Blair and Rutigliano received the Up and Coming Lawyer designation, intended for outstanding attorneys who have been practicing for 10 years or less.

Pierson, who co-chairs FaegreBD’s drug and device practice group, was recognized by Indiana Lawyer as a powerhouse litigator, leader in her field, and respected community servant. She is a seasoned trial lawyer who has defended product manufacturers and sellers in more than 40 different federal and state courts across the country and in Canada. For the last decade, her primary focus has been the defense of medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturers in individual cases and multidistrict litigation, protecting the future of their most valuable products. In Indiana Lawyer’s profile, she shared important advice that she shared with young women in traditionally male-dominated practice areas such as hers. She said, “Be persistent – this is a marathon, not a sprint.”

Smith, who is a member of the firm’s Management Board, was recognized by Indiana Lawyer for his impressive work on numerous major projects in central Indiana and efforts to promote diversity in the legal profession. Smith advises clients, drafts legislation and lobbies for laws that can improve life for businesses, families and individuals in the Indianapolis community and throughout the state of Indiana. He partners with clients to solve problems and advance goals in issues related to government, labor, employment and benefits, and certified business enterprises and supplier diversity. In his profile, he was asked what the most rewarding aspect of his practice has been. He said, “Helping clients succeed and inspiring young diverse professionals to keep at it!”

Blair, a partner in FaegreBD’s construction and real estate advocacy practice, was hailed as a leader in finding solutions to taxing problems. Blair advocates for clients ranging from startups to Fortune 500 corporations in cases involving state and local taxes. He combines substantial trial experience with deep knowledge of the tax laws in representing clients nationwide across numerous industries, including gaming and hospitality, real estate, energy and natural resources, high-tech and heavy manufacturing, retail, and logistics. When asked about the most rewarding aspect of his practice, Ben said, “I love helping my clients develop ways to resolve difficult situations”.

Rutigliano, associate in FaegreBD’s product liability and environmental practice, was recognized for her success as a medical products defense lawyer, which is complimented by her background as a registered nurse. Rutigliano also was noted for her extraordinary commitment to pro bono work. In her Indiana Lawyer profile, she was asked about the drive behind her pro bono work. She said, “I really enjoy pro bono work. It is often difficult to find the time to give back to the community as a practicing attorney. Pro bono work is a good way to do that by using my legal skill set to help others. I also find pro bono projects to be very rewarding.”

Winners will be honored in a special supplement to Indiana Lawyer on May 1 and at a celebratory reception on May 8.
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