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Photo of John F. Kautzman

John F.


Practice Areas:

  • Civil Litigation
  • Personal Injury & Wrongful Death
  • Police & Fire Representation
  • Criminal Defense
  • Administrative & Disciplinary Hearings
  • Business Transactions
  • Appellate Practice
John F. Kautzman
Rated by Super Lawyers

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John F. Kautzman is a lifelong Indianapolis resident and attended North Central High School. 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 was elected as the 2005 President of the Indianapolis Bar Association and remains on the IBA Board of Directors. He is a Past President of the Metropolitan Bar Caucus and now serves on the Executive Council of the National Conference of Bar Presidents. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation. He maintains 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 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 teaches on the faculty of the ICLEF Trial Advocacy Skills College. 

He regularly appears 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.


  • Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Indianapolis, Indiana
    • J.D. - 1984
  • Indiana University
    • B.A. - 1981

Bar Admissions

  • Indiana, 1985
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Indiana, 1985
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Indiana, 1985
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1985

Professional Associations & Memberships

  • 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 Task Force, Past Chair
  • Indianapolis Bar Foundation, Distinguished Fellow
  • Indiana State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • National Conference of Bar Presidents, Executive Council
  • 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
  • American College of Trial Lawyers – Elected/Inducted 2012
  • Listed In: Best Lawyers in America; Super Lawyers; Who’s Who in America

Classes & Seminars Taught

  • 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”
  • Numerous Officer and Attorney "Police Liability," "Crisis Intervention Training," and "Critical Incident" Presentations
  • Indianapolis Bar Association CLE Presentations, including “Winning Strategies for Direct and Cross Examination”; and “Dealing with the Unexpected at Trial”
  • 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 and administrative disciplinary hearings, including Barnett v. Haslar; McKinney v. Duplain; and In Re: Dinnsen & Howard
  • Reported appellate cases include more than 50 decisions & opinions, including Criswell v. State of Indiana, Littleton v. State of Indiana, State of Indiana v. Fettig, Ingram v. City of Indianapolis, Arden v. State Employees Appeals Commission, and City of Indianapolis v. Fields.