Justin was born January 29, 1981, in Indianapolis, Indiana, but grew up in Columbus, Indiana, with an attorney for a father who failed to warn him away from the practice of law. He attended Wilmington College (Ohio), where he was an Academic All-American swimmer who made the mistake of majoring in Political Science, which has absolutely no practical applications whatsoever. After a year of working on the Social Ecology of Murder in Indiana for the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute as a research assistant, he quickly discovered that living at home, making very little money, researching the death penalty, and commuting to Indianapolis was fairly unpleasant as a 23-year old.
Wisely, he decided to attend the Indiana University McKinney School of Law (Indianapolis) and intentionally take Federal Income Tax Law, which was much more unpleasant. He did, however, enjoy his time clerking at the Indiana Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health division.
Fortunate enough to graduate during the economic boom of 2008, Justin pursued his HAZWOPER certificate so that he could put his freshly-minted legal degree to work running excavators and installing ozone-sparge systems on sites contaminated with petroleum and chlorinated solvents like gas stations and dry cleaners for EnviroForensics, a leading environmental consulting firm in Indianapolis. When he wasn’t putting his mind to work using a shovel, he did extensive technical writing documenting the progress of site cleanups to be filed with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management as well as compliance audits for industrial facilities looking to avoid OSHA citations.
Eventually, the founder of EnviroForensics decided that it was unlikely, but possible, that Justin’s talents would be better used if he actually took the bar and started practicing. To absolutely no-one’s surprise, it is both significantly cheaper and more convenient to have an in-house attorney rather than trying to reach one who is golfing by 3 pm on Friday. Justin built his practice dealing with a wide spectrum of the law, but most often with the interplay of environmental cleanup and commercial general liability insurance. Over the approximately ten years as General Counsel, Justin dealt with many complex corporate transactions, issues with labor and employment, real estate purchases, a few angry City Engineers, and one 2 a.m. Sunday morning call from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department that some drunk guy had plowed a truck into a client’s (fortunately vacant) building at 40 miles-an-hour and his was the only number they had.
Justin is consistently concerned that his wife Carrie is going to recover from whatever traumatic brain injury she suffered that led her to marry him and bring his awesome kids Thomas and Jessie into the world. The Giffords have a problem rescuing dogs; their latest, Freddie Mercury, was found starving in a gutter in Kampala, Uganda, by a diplomat friend of Justin’s and ultimately shipped, under diplomatic passport, to the U.S., to join Hawk Exxon, Susan Mercedes, and Bullitt Alexander. And Holly the Cat. When Justin isn’t being Dad or Attorney, you can find him doing laps at the pool or playing video games and hoping the kids don’t notice.
J.D., Indiana University McKinney School of Law
B.A. in Political Science, Wilmington College