Picture of Tim Kennedy - In Memoriam

Tim Kennedy - In Memoriam

Tim Kennedy was a founding partner of Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy, LLP, where he practiced law since 1977.  Within the firm, Tim served clients with needs in the areas of medical malpractice and personal injury litigation.

Tim was an Indianapolis native and graduated from Arlington High School in 1967.  He received his B.A. degree from Indiana University in 1971 and his J.D. degree from Washington College of Law, American University in Washington, D.C., in 1974.  After graduation, Tim was a law clerk with the United States Department of Justice.  He was admitted to the Indiana bar in 1975 and worked as a Marion County Deputy Prosecutor from 1975 to 1978.  In addition to being a member of ITLA, Tim was a member of the American Association of Justice (formerly ATLA), the Indianapolis Bar Association, and the Indiana State Bar Association.

In addition to his law practice, Tim found time to give back to law students and fellow lawyers.  He volunteered as a judge in trial advocacy, moot court and other practice-related programs at the Indiana University – Indianapolis School of Law.  In addition, for over twenty years, Tim chaired one of the Indianapolis Bar Association’s grievance committees, quietly working to preserve the integrity of the legal profession.

Tim was also active in community-service activities.  He participated in the planning and implementing of many relief missions to Mexico with his former church, CrossRoads Church of Westfield, and was a member of the Knights of Columbus.  Tim also participated in community theatre productions such as Shakespeare in the Park, in Noblesville, and was involved in the Main Street productions community theatre group.  Tim also participated in the Adam Miller Memorial Fundraiser for the YMCA.

Twice in his legal career, in 2004 and 2009, Tim was chosen by the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA) as its Trial Lawyer of the Year.

ITLA’s Trial Lawyer of the Year Award is given to attorneys who exemplify the foundation of the Association’s mission and who have provided distinguished service to the citizens of Indiana and of the United States as leading members of the Indiana trial bar by protecting the rights of injured consumers.  Lawyers who receive this Award demonstrate qualities including preserving the integrity of the legal profession; being true defenders of the people; working to protect the rights of injured victims and consumers; successfully handling cases of major public importance in state or federal court, including the appellate courts.

Tim and his co-counsel, Steve Langer, were selected as ITLA’s 2009 Trial Lawyers of the Year in part for their outstanding work and the result that they achieved in the case of Spar v. Cha, N.D.2d 974 (Ind. 2009) – in which the Indiana Supreme Court held (with certain limited exceptions which were not involved based on the facts in this case) that incurred risk is not a defense to a medical malpractice claim based upon negligence or lack of informed consent.  In addition, the Court held that a waiver of informed consent does not mean that a patient assumes the risks associated with negligent performance of the underlying procedure or treatment.  Instead, a patient is entitled to expect that medical services will be rendered in accordance with the standard of care, however risky the procedure may be; and, a patient who waives informed consent assumes only those risks associated with nondisclosure.  The impact of this decision is significant because had the Supreme Court adopted incurred risk as a defense in medical malpractice cases, it is likely that defendants would have introduced a patient’s prior consent forms in virtually every case to show that a patient “had knowledge of the procedure or test,” and had therefore, incurred the risk.

The unanimous decision from the Indiana Supreme Court in Spar v. Cha was the culmination of over four years of hard work at the trial court level, in the Court of Appeals, and ultimately in the Supreme Court.  The significance of the work that Tim and Steve did in this case – not only for their own client, but for all Hoosiers who are injured by a health care provider’s negligence – cannot be overstated.

Tim will be missed dearly by the public whom he served, his partners of more than three decades, his professional peers and his beloved family and friends.