John Kautzman


John F. Kautzman is a life long Indianapolis resident and graduated from North Central High School in 1977. John graduated from Indiana University in 1981 and the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 1984. He joined the Ruckelshaus law firm in 1985 and also served as a Circuit Court Commissioner for several years.

Mr. Kautzman served as the 2005 President of the Indianapolis Bar Association and remains on the IBA Board of Directors.  He is the Immediate Past President of the Metropolitan Bar Caucus of the National Conference of Bar Presidents.   He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation.  He maintains memberships in several professional affiliations, including the Indianapolis Bar Association, the Indiana State Bar Association and the American Bar Association.  He is a past President of the Indiana University Foundation Board of Associates and is a Life Member of the Indiana University Alumni Association.  Mr. Kautzman is also a past Chair of the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Board of Visitors.

John is admitted to practice in all Indiana State and Federal Courts. His practice includes both civil and criminal litigation, and he has served as lead counsel on a number of high-profile State and Federal Court jury trials, including the first televised Federal Court jury trial in State history.  He has also successfully appeared before both the Indiana Court of Appeals and the Indiana Supreme Court for Oral Argument.  Mr. Kautzman is listed in Who’s Who, is a frequent seminar speaker, and is on the faculty of the ICLEF Trial Advocacy Skills College.  He has consistently placed on the Indiana Super Lawyers list for achieving peer recognition as one of the top five percent of attorneys in Indiana.

Mr. Kautzman was elected as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a nation-wide invitation only honor limited to one percent of the lawyers in any state.  He is also listed in the prestigious “Best Lawyers in America.”

John represents individuals and organizations on a broad range of legal matters, and focuses primarily in general litigation, criminal defense, personal injury, and law enforcement discipline and liability defense.

Mr. Kautzman practices in the following areas: Administrative Law, Appellate Practice, Civil and Criminal Litigation, Disciplinary Hearings, Personal Injury, Police and Firefighter Representation, DUI Defense, and Epungements.


  • Indiana University – Bloomington, Bachelor of Arts, 1981
  • Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Indianapolis, Doctor of Jurisprudence, 1984


  • State of Indiana (Trial, Appellate, and Supreme Courts) 1985
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Indiana, 1985
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Indiana, 1985
  • United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 1992

Professional Associations/Honors

  • Indianapolis Bar Association, Past President 2005; Current Member of Board of Directors
  • Indianapolis Bar Association, President’s Award for Service to the Profession, 2013
  • Indianapolis Bar Association Bar Leader Series, Chairman/Moderator, 2010
  • Indianapolis Bar Association Justice Center Task Force, Current Chair
  • Indianapolis Bar Association, Judicial Selection Working Group, Current Chair
  • Indianapolis Bar Foundation, Distinguished Fellow
  • Indiana State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • National Conference of Bar Presidents
  • Metropolitan Bar Caucus, President 2015/2016
  • IU Student Foundation Board of Associates, Past President
  • IU Foundation, President’s Award, 2003
  • IU Alumni Association, Life Member
  • Phi Delta Phi International Legal Fraternity
  • American College of Trial Lawyers – Elected/Inducted 2012
  • Listed In: Best Lawyers in America; Super Lawyers; Who’s Who in America


  • ICLEF Trial Advocacy College, Faculty, Annual Instructor
  • ICLEF Top 10 Practical Tips for State and Federal Litigators
  • Trial Advocacy Skills College Lectures, including “Examining the Expert Witness at Trial”, “Closing Arguments”, “Mechanics and Foundations of Introducing Exhibits”, “Basics of Cross Examination”, “Controlling the Difficult Witness”
  • Various Police Agencies “Crisis Intervention Training” Presentations
  • Indianapolis Bar Association CLE Presentations, including “Winning Strategies for Direct and Cross Examination”; and “Dealing with the Unexpected at Trial”
  • National Fraternal Order of Police Legal Counselors Seminar Presenter
    • 2017 Garrity Rights and Related Topics: Cases and Strategies
    • 2015 Department of Justice Investigations
    • 2014 Police Encounters with the Medically or Mentally Ill
    • 2012 The Duty to Defend and Indemnify
    • 2010 Garcetti & Brady – Legal Implications
  • Indiana State Fraternal Order of Police Conference Presenter
    • 2014 Legal Survival – The Basics
    • 2012 Top Ten Keys to Avoiding Liability
    • 2011 Internal Investigations and Critical Incident Response
    • 2009 Police Liability
  • Professional Firefighters Conference Seminar Presenter
    • 2013 Protecting your Rights in Civil and Criminal Investigations
    • 2012 Public Employee Freedom of Speech

Representative Cases

  • Served as lead counsel in more than 100 State and Federal Jury Trials including 1st televised Federal Court Jury Trial in State history; a $42 Million class action trial court judgment; and several other high profile civil & criminal trials.
  • Reported cases include more than 50 Appellate decisions, including Criswell v. State of Indiana, Littleton v. State of Indiana, State v. Fettig, Ingram v. City of Indianapolis, Arden v. State Employees Appeals Commission, and City of Indianapolis v. Fields.