Every business sector has influential players, whether they are in the public eye or wield their influence behind the scenes. In a monthly feature that runs in the first issue of the month, through October, IBJ is identifying those people in eight different industry categories.
This month, our list draws from among the city’s finest legal minds in education, public-sector law, the judicial system and the broad swath of attorneys practicing solo and in firms of all sizes. The individuals on this list have been nominated through a variety of means and vetted by their peers, culminating in the publication of this final list. Justice Frank Sullivan of Indiana’s Supreme Court and Joseph Hogsett, U.S. attorney for the Southern District, were also tapped for the list but chose not to participate.
Nelson Alexander, 43
Frost Brown Todd
Following undergraduate studiesat Wabash College and law school at the University of Chicago, Nelson Alexander joined Locke Reynolds in 1993 as a member of its product liability and business litigation practice groups. From 2005 through 2008, Alexander served as managing partner of Locke Reynolds, a position he held as the firm merged with Frost Brown Todd in 2009.
Alexander has played an instrumental role in the evolution of product liability law before Indiana’s appellate courts, including in the cases of Melroe v. Mcintosh, Owens Corning v. Cobb, Morgen v. Ford, Schultz v. Ford, Moore v. Ford and Green v. Ford. Alexander acts as both trial and appellate counsel for product manufacturers, primarily in the automotive and consumer appliance industries.
Alexander currently serves on the board of College Mentors for Kids. He has been on the boards of the American Pianists Association, the 2005 Indy Jazz Fest and the Indianapolis Bar Foundation. He was also on the bar’s board of managers.
Alexander is passionate about encouraging young people to pursue their own passions. He has returned to Wabash on occasion to speak to students: “I’ve frequently said that the world needs more poets, philosophers and historians just as much as it needs more lawyers and businessmen.” He urges kids to pursue their greatest dreams despite societal or peer expectations.
Alexander is married to Ana Alexander, owner of the commercial interior design business Maregatti Interiors. The two met as classmates in the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series and married in 2008. Alexander has three stepchildren and enjoys golfing, gardening and traveling abroad with his wife.
Robert A. Armitage, 62
Eli Lilly and Co.
Robert Armitage joined Eli Lilly and Co. as vice president and general patent counsel in October 1999. In January 2003, he assumed his current position as senior vice president and general counsel. He is also a member of the company’s executive committee.
Armitage was born in Port Huron, Mich., and received his bachelor’s in physics and mathematics in 1970 from Albion College. He earned his master’s degree in physics from the University of Michigan and his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School. Before joining Lilly, Armitage was a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Vinson & Elkins LLP; before that, he was chief intellectual property counsel for Upjohn Co. from 1983 until 1993.
Armitage is past president of the American Intellectual Property Law Association and the Association of Corporate Patent Counsel, as well as past chairman or board member of a variety of other national legal organizations. In June 2011, he was inducted into the Intellectual Property Hall of Fame in San Francisco.
He has served as an adjunct professor of law at George Washington University, a member of the board of Human Genome Sciences Inc., and president of the board of the Hospice of Southwest Michigan Inc. He has also served as a member of the boards of directors of both Intellectual Property Owners and the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation. He currently serves as a member of the advisory board for the Patent, Trademark and Copyright Journal of the Bureau of National Affairs Inc., and is a member of the Albion College Board of Trustees.
Sarah Evans Barker, 68
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana
Sarah Evans Baker was appointed judge of the U.S. District Court in 1984 and served as chief judge between 1994 and 2001. Before her appointment, Barker was U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. From 1977 until 1981, she was an associate and then partner at Bose McKinney & Evans.
Barker started her career as an assistant U.S. attorney after working as a legislative assistant to Sen. Charles Percy (Illinois) and Rep. Gilbert Gude (Maryland) in Washington, D.C., and special counsel to the Senate Government Operations Subcommittee.
Active throughout her career in judicial and bar-related organizations, Barker is on the board of the Federal Judges Association and was president of the organization 2007-2009. In 2004, she was appointed by Chief Justice William Rehnquist to serve on the special study commission on judicial conduct and disability. Barker has served on the Judicial Conference of the United States, its executive committee, long-range planning committee, standing rules committee, budget committee and judicial branch committee, among others.
Barker is active in a variety of civic, educational, cultural and religious organizations, including the boards of Indiana University Health and the Indiana Historical Society. She previously served on the boards of trustees for several Indiana academic institutions, Conner Prairie Museum and the advisory board for Spirit and Place Festival. She is a member of the Indiana Academy, a recipient of the Living Legends Award given by the Indiana Historical Society, the Trailblazer Award given by the Indiana Commission for Women and a Distinguished Alumna of Indiana University. In addition, she holds10 honorary degrees from Midwestern colleges and universities.
Born in Mishawaka, Barker is a graduate of Indiana University and the American University School of Law. She is active in the Morgantown United Methodist Church and, along with her husband, attorney Ken Barker, has three grown children and four grandchildren.
James M. Barkley, 59
Simon Property Group Inc.
James Barkley serves as general counsel of Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group Inc., the largest U.S. publicly traded real estate company. The company owns or has an interest in about 380 properties in North America, Europe and Asia.
Barkley earned his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University in 1974 and was awarded a law degree from the Indiana University School of Law—Indianapolis in 1977. Barkley joined Simon in 1978 as a staff attorney and was named assistant general counsel in 1984. In 1992, he was named general counsel of Melvin Simon and Associates Inc., and was appointed general counsel and secretary of Simon Property Group Inc. at the time of its formation in 1993.
Barkley and his wife, Cindy, live in Indianapolis.
Phillip Bayt, 59
Chief Managing Partner
Phillip Bayt joined Ice Miller in 1980 and today sits in the top seat of one of the city’s most respected law firms. Bayt has just begun his second stint as managing partner; the first ended four years ago and the newest one began in 2011 and will last for four years. His practice specialty is in real estate, where he assists clients in finance, economic development, workouts and foreclosures, construction law and gambling. He has represented both for-profit and not-for-profit clients in numerous significant commercial transactions.
Bayt enjoys his practice because it “gives me an opportunity to structure a complicated transaction, taking into account the need for equity and looking toward the exit strategy. Often, there are a variety of different interests that have to come together to make a project viable. I enjoy bringing all those pieces together to make them create wealth for clients and economic development for communities.”
Beyond his practice, Bayt serves on the boards of the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee. He sits on the board of the Capital Projects Fund Task Force of the United Way of Central Indiana and is an honorary board member of the Friends of Garfield Park. He is past chairman of the board of the Near North Development Corp.
Born in Indianapolis, Bayt graduated summa cum laude from Macalester College at St. Paul with a bachelor’s in psychology. He earned both his MBA and law degree, the latter cum laude and Order of the Coif, from Indiana University. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Beta Gamma Sigma. He is a member of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers.
Bayt is married to Bonnie Gallivan, also a partner at Ice, who co-chairs the firm’s Drug and Medical Device Group. The pair has two children, a daughter who is a junior at the University of Indianapolis and a son who will be a freshman at NYU Stern School of Business in the fall. Bayt enjoys traveling with family and friends, a good bottle of wine and his faithful dog, Joey.