Overview

Brian J. Paul is an appellate lawyer and leads law teams in high-stakes commercial litigation. He has briefed and argued everything from weighty abstract constitutional issues to dollars-and-cents business issues and everything in-between, both on appeal and in trial courts around the country. A member of the American Law Institute, recent past-president of the Seventh Circuit Bar Association and top-tier ranked Chambers appellate lawyer, Brian had one client say about him: “He is excellent. I enjoyed working with him. He is able to put things into layman’s terms and explains things really well. His written and oral advocacy are short, crisp and to the point.”

Clients hire Brian to digest the complex, and make the complex simple and compelling for busy, generalist judges. In his writing, he strives to cut through jargon and legalese, and distill things down to what’s important. In his oral advocacy, by intense preparation, he strives to be the advocate whom judges trust for the right answers. In the dozens of cases he has argued, Brian has helped clients win on both sides of the “v.” His recent representations include:

  • Klaassen v. Trustees of Indiana Univ., 7 F.4th 592 (7th Cir. 2021) and Klaassen v. Trustees of Indiana Univ., 24 F.4th 638 (7th Cir. 2022). Representing Indiana University, Brian helped defend the constitutionality of the school’s COVID vaccine mandate policy.
  • Nat’l Collegiate Athletic Ass’n v. Finnerty, 191 N.E.3d 211 (Ind. 2022). Representing the NCAA, Brian helped overturn a discovery ruling that would have allowed high-ranking executives to be deposed without any consideration of their unique role in the organization.
  • Westwood One Radio Networks, LLC v. Nat’l Collegiate Athletic Ass’n, 172 N.E.3d 294 (Ind. Ct. App. 2021). Representing the NCAA, Brian helped defend against a request for an injunction preventing the Association from terminating an exclusive radio broadcast agreement.
  • Reid Hosp. & Health Care Servs., Inc. v. Conifer Revenue Cycle Sols., LLC, 8 F.4th 642 (7th Cir. 2021). Representing Reid Hospital & Health Care Services, Brian helped get a summary judgment ruling reversed that denied the hospital the ability to seek tens of millions of dollars in compensation for breach of a revenue collection services contract.
  • Delgado v. United States Dep’t of Just., 979 F.3d 550 (7th Cir. 2020). Representing an agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Brian helped get an agency decision reversed that declined to force an investigation into whether the agent had been retaliated against and denied promotions, in violation of the Whistleblower Protection Act, for reporting his suspicions that another agent had testified falsely during a federal criminal trial.
  • River Ridge Dev. Auth. v. Outfront Media, LLC, 146 N.E.3d 906, 911 (Ind. 2020). Representing River Ridge Development Authority, Brian helped get a six-figure attorney’s fees award reversed.
  • Indiana Off. of Util. Consumer Couns. v. S. Indiana Gas & Elec. Co., __ N.E.3d __, 2023 WL 31036 (Ind. Jan. 4, 2023). Representing the Indiana Energy Association as amicus curiae (friend of the court), Brian helped obtain a reversal of a lower appellate court ruling that misinterpreted a statute governing customer credits for excess distributed generation of electricity.

Personal Interests

When not practicing law or spending time with his family, Brian is an avid bird hunter and enjoys training his retrievers, Molly and Pepper. When not in the field, Brian enjoys bourbon, as well as starting (and occasionally even finishing) a long book.

*The comments of others regarding our work, set forth above, do not constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.

Services & Industries

Credentials

Bar Admissions

Indiana

Court Admissions

U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Education

Vanderbilt University Law School
J.D. (2000)

Purdue University
M.A. in American History (1997)

Purdue University
B.A. in History (1995)

Insights & Events

Other Perspectives
  • What Lawyers Expect at Oral Argument
    Council of Chief Judges of State Courts of Appeal, Great Educational Moments (GEMS), 2020
  • Indiana Supreme Court Round Up
    Co-presenter, The Federalist Society, Indianapolis Lawyers Chapter, Indianapolis, 2019
  • A Look at Indiana’s Appellate Courts: Statistics, Trends & Amicus Practice
    Co-presenter, Indiana State Bar Association, Indianapolis, 2017
  • State Religious Freedom Restoration Acts and the Indiana Experience
    Co-presenter, The Federalist Society, Indianapolis Lawyers Division Chapter, Indianapolis, 2017
  • State RFRAs and the Indiana Experience
    RFRA Claims: What Are the Issues?, Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, 2017
  • Avoiding the Common Pitfalls of Practicing Before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
    Co-presenter with Julie Lyons, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Indiana State Bar Association: Evening With the Appellate Judges, Indianapolis, 2017
  • Civil Breakout — The Fun and Fear of Arguing in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
    Co-presenter with Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher, Seventh Circuit Bar Association Annual Meeting, 2017
  • Constitution Day U.S. Supreme Court Roundup
    Co-presenter with Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher and Jane Dall Wilson, Appellate Practice Section of the Indiana State Bar Association, 2016
  • Civil Brief Writing
    Co-presenter, Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, 2016
  • Practicing Writing Persuasive Issue Statements, Statements of Fact and Other Portions of the Brief
    Co-presenter with Judge Margret Robb, Appellate Practice Skills Seminar, Indiana State Bar Association, 2016
  • Oral Advocacy
    Panelist, Appellate Practice Skills Seminar, Indiana State Bar Association, 2016
  • Recent Civil Case Law Update
    Co-author with Justin Olson, Res Gestae, January/February 2016
  • Seventh Circuit Civil Appeals Practice Note: Initiating an Appeal
    Co-author with Donald Morgan, Practical Law Litigation, December 2015
  • Making Oral Argument Productive: Lawyers' Edition
    Circuit Rider, Seventh Circuit Bar Association, November 2015
  • Initial Civil Appeals State Q&A: Indiana
    Co-author with Donald Morgan, Practical Law Litigation, October 2015
  • Additional Civil Appeals State Q&A: Indiana
    Co-author with Donald Morgan, Practical Law Litigation, October 2015
  • Making Oral Argument Productive: Judges’ Edition
    Circuit Rider, December 2014, and The Appellate Advocate, Winter 2015
  • Reading, Writing & Filing Appellate Briefs in the Digital Era
    Moderator, Indiana State Bar Association Annual Meeting, 2015
  • Surviving and Thriving at Oral Argument in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
    Co-presenter with Indiana Solicitor General Thomas M. Fisher, Appellate Practice Section of the Indiana State Bar Association, 2015
  • Stare Decisis in Indiana: What Does It Mean?
    Co-presenter with Judges John Baker and Margret Robb, Appellate Practice Section of the Indiana State Bar Association, 2013
  • On Joining the Appellate Bench and Other Reflections: An Interview with Indiana’s Newest Appellate Judges
    Co-presenter with Steve Creason, Chief Counsel, Appeals Division/Office of the Indiana Attorney General, Appellate Practice Section of the Indiana State Bar Association, 2013
  • The Art of the Reply Brief
    Co-presenter with Judges David Hamilton and Patricia Riley, Appellate Practice Section of the Indiana State Bar Association, 2013
  • Preserving Evidentiary Issues for Appeal
    National Business Institute, 2013
  • The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Gets a New Chief Judge
    Circuit Rider, December 2013, and The Appellate Advocate, Winter 2013

Leadership & Community

Pro Bono

  • Criminal Justice Act attorney

Professional Associations

  • American Law Institute, 2013-present
  • Seventh Circuit Rules Advisory Committee, 2012-present
  • Appellate Practice Section of the Indiana State Bar Association — Council (Chair, 2014-15; Vice Chair, 2012-13; Secretary, 2007-12; Treasurer, 2006-07; Second District Councilman, 2003-05); Amicus Rules Committee, 2015-16; E-Filing Committee, 2015; Liaison to Indiana Appellate Courts’ E-Filing Committee, 2005-06; Appellate Rules Review Committee, 2003
  • Indiana State Bar Association —  Amicus Curiae Committee, 2018-present
  • Seventh Circuit Bar Association — President, 2021-2022; First Vice President, 2019-2021; Second Vice President, 2018-19; Board of Governors, 2012-21; Circuit Rider Committee, 2005-present; 66th Annual Meeting Planning Committee, 2016-17; 58th Annual Meeting Planning Committee, 2008-09; American Jury Project Commission Facilitator, 2006
  • The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, Indianapolis Chapter — Board of Governors, 2007-11; President, 2011-present; Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Group Executive Committee Member, 2019-present
  • Indianapolis Bar Association — Bar Leader Series IV and V, Steering Committee, 2006-08; Bar Leader Series III, Graduate, 2006
  • Indianapolis American Inn of Court — Barrister, 2007-16
  • American Enterprise Institute — Leadership Network, 2015-present

Honors

  • Chambers USA — Indiana, Litigation: Appellate 
  • Faegre Drinker — Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2020-21
  • Seventh Circuit Bar Association — John Paul Stevens Pro Bono and Public Service Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Work in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, 2017
  • Indiana State Bar Association, Appellate Section — David Hamacher Public Service Award, 2016
  • Best Lawyers® — Appellate Practice, 2013-23 (Lawyer of the Year, 2020)
  • Indiana Super Lawyers — Appellate, 2012-21 (a Top 50 Lawyer, 2016-18); Rising Star, Appellate, 2009-11
  • Indianapolis Bar Foundation — Distinguished Fellow
  • Martindale-Hubbell — Peer Review Rating: AV-Preeminent®
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