James F. Bleeke has tried medical malpractice cases in federal and state courts throughout Indiana and state court in Florida. He has also tried a variety of other cases involving death, brain damage, and neurological injuries. The focus of Jim's practice is medical malpractice defense, nursing home defense, prisoner litigation, corrections cases, insurance defense and general litigation. His appellate experience includes three arguments before the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Indiana Super Lawyers has selected Jim to appear in its distinguished Super Lawyers list repeatedly since 2010, which includes only five percent of the lawyers in the state.
Prior to becoming a partner at Bleeke Dillon Crandall, Jim worked seven years at Ice Miller Donadio & Ryan in a broad-based litigation practice. In 1992, he became Litigation Manager and later Vice-President of Claims and Legal Affairs for Physicians Insurance Company of Indiana (now Pro Assurance) and served in that capacity until 1998. He continued defending medical malpractice cases on behalf of the insured physicians of Pro Assurance as an attorney for Arnold and Associates from 1998 through 2001. Since 2001, Jim has been a partner with the firm which is now Bleeke, Dillon, Crandall.
Jim learned much during his seven years at Ice Miller Donadio & Ryan, where his practice focused upon insurance defense, coal-related issues of black lung and mining regulation, UCC warranty law, and general litigation. He developed a particular affinity for working with and interrogating experts in medicine and other scientific fields, including mold cases. He also learned from one of the firm's founding partners, Jim Donadio, that an attorney's reputation for honesty, hard work and responsiveness to a client is invaluable. Jim also has handled cases involving issues such as improper sterilization and re-use of single-use medical devices, tracheotomy errors, airway injuries and brain injuries.
Jim has represented many national corporations (and their medical providers) who specialize in emergency medicine, neonatology, radiology, anesthesiology and in-patient hospitalist medicine. For 20 years, Jim also is one of a handful of attorneys who defends catastrophic excess cases against Indiana's Patients Compensation Fund, which is administered by the Indiana Department of Insurance.
Jim has spoken at seminars for the Defense Research Institute, Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, the Indiana Podiatric Association, Idaho Defense Lawyers Association, the National Business Institute and the Indiana Medical Directors Association as well as at numerous risk management presentations for physicians and medical students. Jim has published several articles on litigation and the legal profession: "How to Get Fired as a Lawyer," "Practicing Law With the End in Mind," and "Mediation Strategies: What Plaintiffs Really Want."
Jim earned his undergraduate degree from Indiana University with highest distinction. He continued his studies in Bloomington and graduated cum laude from IU School of Law in 1985. Jim was a Note Editor for the Indiana Law Journal and interned for the Honorable United States District Judge Sarah Evans Barker while in law school.
Jim attempts to provide the level of service he expected from top defense lawyers when he was supervising them as in-house counsel. The goal is to provide early practical case evaluations that do not change as cases get close to trial. We try to avoid the surprises that clients definitely do not like.