Timothy L. Karns

Partner

contact info
Email: tkarns@easterandcavosie.com
Office: 317-574-0828
Direct: 317-574-0859

Fax: (317) 663-2872

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Tim is an experienced, aggressive, and tactical trial lawyer with a passion for guiding clients through the intricacies of the litigation process. Since being admitted to the Indiana Bar sixteen (16) years ago, Tim’s practice has concentrated on representing clients, including contractors and developers, engaged in complex litigation. Tim has significant experience in every facet of the litigation process and has spent numerous hours honing his trial skills before a variety of state and federal tribunals. He has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in bench and jury trials throughout Indiana. Additionally, through strategic and zealous advocacy, Tim routinely resolves many matters before trial by utilizing alternative dispute resolution mechanisms such as mediation.

While a skilled attorney, Tim is first and foremost a problem solver. He understands and appreciates that his clients’ needs extend beyond the legal minutia of their case. Tim takes the time to know his clients personally and to learn how their legal needs impact their businesses. He also strives to make himself personally available to answer all his clients’ questions in a timely, efficient, and clear manner.

Before joining Easter & Cavosie in January 2024, Tim spent eight years, including three as a member (partner), at Frost Brown Todd LLC, one of the largest law firms in the United States. While practicing at Frost Brown Todd LLC, Tim defended various businesses in construction related injuries, product liability cases, toxic tort matters, commercial disputes, and other litigation involving complex and often novel legal issues.

Additionally, from January 2019 to December 2023, Tim was a partner in a boutique litigation firm in Camel, Indiana and focused his practice on representing individuals engaged in civil litigation. Over the next five years, Tim continued to refine his construction litigation knowledge in matters involving commercial building contractors, asphalt resurfacing companies, and material manufacturers and suppliers.

Construction Experience:

Tim has litigated multiple matters involving interpretation and enforcement of various construction agreements. His experience enables him to counsel clients on breach of contract issues, risk mitigation strategies, and the legal requirements of various contractual provisions. For example, Tim served as both trial and appellate counsel in Shiel Sexton Co., Inc. v. Towe, 154 N.E.3d 827 (Ind. Ct. App. 2020), a matter in which the Indiana Court of Appeals found that the general contractor had not contractually assumed a non-delegable duty of care for a third-party vendor that was injured while delivering materials to a job site.

Tim has also successfully resolved several cases involving catastrophic injuries that have occurred in highway construction zones. These matters required him to review, interpret, and litigate various provisions of the Indiana Department of Transportation’s (“INDOT”) Contract Information Book, INDOT’s Standard Specifications and Drawings, and various prime contractors’ agreements with their subcontractors. This work has given Tim a unique perspective on the issues that contractors face during road construction and resurfacing projects, including risk allocation and reduction.

Finally, Tim has counseled past clients that have experienced injury causing incidents at their jobsite. His past work has included managing the legal aspects of his clients’ critical response team, attending and observing post-incident inspections by the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“IOSHA”), and advising his clients’ during the production responsive materials and information to other interested parties, including various government authorities. 

Real Estate Litigation Experience

Early in his legal career, Tim was involved in litigating several matters stemming from the breach of various commercial lease agreements.

Tim also served as lead defense counsel in a bench trial in Boone County that arose from the alleged improper diversion of water from his client’s real property to an adjoining parcel.  The matter was resolved by the entry of a defense verdict in favor of Tim’s client.

Professional Affiliations

  • Indianapolis Bar Association 
  • Indiana State Bar Association 
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
  • Former Social Media Vice Chair, DRI’s Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Committee 
  • Former Chair, Product Liability Section, Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana
  • 2016 Graduate of the International Association of Defense Counsel’s Trial Academy held at Stanford University
  • Graduate of the Indianapolis Bar Association’s Bar Leader Series – Class XI

Civic Involvement

  • Current Counsel to the Board, The Indianapolis Bar Foundation
  • Former Director (2022-2023) and Co-Chair of the Visibility Committee (2023), The Indianapolis Bar Foundation
  • Gubernatorial Appointee to Indiana’s Natural Resource Advisory Council  
  • Founded and Former Co-Chair of Chalk Talks, a mentorship initiative of the United Way of Central Indiana’s Emerging Leaders Program 
  • Former Member, Ivy Tech Strategic Development Council – Business and Public Services Division
  • Former Member, United Way of Central Indiana’s Emerging Leaders Program 
  • Graduate of LEAD, a Leadership Indianapolis education and development program

Education

  • Purdue University, B.S., 2004
  • Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, J.D., 2007
    • Selected to represent the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in the 2007 National Trial Competition
    • Competitor in the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law’s Moot Court Competition in the fall semester of 2005

Awards

  • Selected as Indiana Super Lawyer®, 2023-2024  
  • Selected as Indiana Super Lawyers® Rising Star, 2017-2022
  • Selected as a Distinguished Fellow of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation
Practice Areas