Practice and Industry Groups

John A. Drake

Of Counsel Indianapolis

John A. Drake helps companies solve their commercial disputes and employment law problems.  He provides advice to prevent or mitigate litigation in a wide range of areas, but he also advocates for his clients in court and elsewhere in a vigorous, creative, and cost-effective manner. 

John has litigated employment law claims, including under ADA, FMLA, and Title VII, to successful resolutions and handled complex commercial cases. In addition, John has experience navigating state and federal appellate courts, including successfully representing clients at the Indiana Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. 

Before law school, John worked as a reporter for several newspapers.  He also served as an investigator for Senator Charles E. Grassley on the U.S. Senate Finance Committee. John is also active in the community: he has volunteered at the Ask-a-Lawyer Day for the St. Joseph County Bar Association, successfully argued a Criminal Justice Act case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and coached youth basketball and soccer.


Experience

Employment Law Experience:

John counsels employers on a variety of employment issues, ranging from FMLA and ADA disputes to investigations, discipline, and termination.  He also drafts and updates employee handbooks and workplace policies.  John has handled numerous employment cases in court, winning summary judgment or achieving low-cost settlements.  He also represents clients before administrative agencies, such as the EEOC and Indiana Civil Rights Commission. 

  • Won summary judgment in a Title VII discrimination, hostile work environment, and retaliation case where the employee filed four EEOC charges before termination. 
  • Obtained summary judgment for a vehicle manufacturer against an employee’s claim under the ADA.
  • Obtained summary judgment in a contract and employee benefits case under Michigan law.
  • Prevailed on several discrimination and retaliation claims under the Indiana Civil Rights Law and Title VII before the Indiana Civil Rights Commission, resulting in findings of No Probable Cause.

Commercial Litigation and Other Experience:

John has represented corporations in a wide array of commercial and other disputes, including contracts, shareholder derivative actions, partnership disputes, breach of fiduciary duty, non-compete agreements, intellectual property, fraudulent transfer, UCC, product liability, commercial foreclosure, unfair competition, and zoning.

  • Secured transfer to the Indiana Supreme Court in an unfair competition case after being retained following the client’s defeat in the Indiana Court of Appeals, resulting in a favorable settlement.
  • Obtained a favorable Indiana Supreme Court ruling forcing disclosure of a special litigation committee report in a case of first impression.
  • Obtained summary judgment against defamation, tortious interference, and loss of consortium claims.
  • Part of a trial team winning a $34 million federal court judgment after a five-day bench trial.
  • Obtained zoning approval for telecommunication facilities from numerous zoning boards and local governments, and then successfully defended challenges through trial and appellate courts.
  • Significant experience in partnership and shareholder disputes representing companies, majority shareholders, and minority shareholders.
  • Represented an orthopedics manufacturer in product liability actions in state and federal courts, including in a multi-district litigation case.
  • Secured favorable settlements after filing trademark infringement and cyber-squatting claims.

Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • Indiana Bar Association
  • Illinois Bar Association
  • Robert A. Grant Inn of Court
  • DRI (committees: Employment Law, Commercial Litigation, Product Liability, and Drug & Medical Device)
  • St. Joseph County Bar Association

Speeches:

  • Local Seminar - ''Equal Pay Act seminar'' - South Bend - Winter 2015
  • Healy Group Breakfast Club Seminar - ''Social Media, Privacy, and the FCRA'' - South Bend - October 08, 2015
  • Healy Group Breakfast Club Seminar - ''The FMLA and the ADA'' - South Bend - June 11, 2015
  • Sterling Education Services, CLE Seminar - ''Discrimination, Harassment, and the Retaliation Trap'' - South Bend - December 2012 - February 2014
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Media Quotes

December 08, 2016 - The Indiana Law Blog - "COA Rules on Irreparable Harm, Laches, Extension Clauses, and More in Recent Restrictive Covenant Case"

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