Scott S. Morrisson

Partner

e: smorrisson@kdlegal.com
p: (317) 238-6201

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Scott S. Morrisson

Partner

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Mr. Morrisson's main area of practice is civil litigation and litigation analysis involving a wide range of civil litigation matters. Particular areas of focus include employment, insurance, business, corporate, construction, tort, and ESOP related litigation.  Mr. Morrisson's practice also focuses on arbitration and mediation.  Mr. Morrisson has served as lead counsel on numerous jury trials, bench trials, preliminary injunction hearings, court hearings, and arbitrations in the state and federal courts of Indiana and throughout the country.  Mr. Morrisson also frequently represents individuals and employers in negotiating, drafting, and evaluating Employment, Non-Compete, and related agreements.  Mr. Morrisson served as the Litigation Practice Group Chair for Krieg DeVault from 2007 to 2012.

Representative Experience

  • Co-lead counsel representing an ESOP trustee fiduciary in the defense of the consolidated class action brought by ESOP participants and the Department of Labor, claiming the right to recovery of one of the largest ESOP damage awards in the history of United States ESOP litigation. The Plaintiffs claimed the Defendants violated ERISA and breached their fiduciary duty in connection with the purchase of Mona Vie, Inc. outstanding stock for the Mona Vie ESOP for $186 million. Following extensive motion practice, discovery, and a two day mediation with multiple attendees, the lawsuit was resolved and subsequently approved by the court. Kelly Jessop v. Dallin Larsen, Bankers Trust Company, et al 2:14-cv-916 (D. Utah 2014-2017) and United States Department of Labor v Bankers Trust Company et al, 2:16-cv-1159 (D. Utah 2016-2017).
  • Lead counsel on successful defense of hotel franchisee against claims brought by national hotel franchisor seeking in excess of $200,000 in franchise fees and attorney's fees in AAA arbitration. The arbitrator ruled the franchisor committed a prior material breach precluding all of the franchisor's claims against the franchisee. (2015-2016).
  • Lead counsel representing real estate developer successfully prosecuting claims against recalcitrant purchaser through summary judgment and appeal recovering over $5 million in specific performance, interest, and attorney fees, involving issues of breach of contract, anticipatory repudiation, laches, estoppel, and related claims. Metro Holdings One, LLC v. Flynn Creek Partners, Inc., 25 N.E.3d 141 (Ind. App. 2014) (2013-2015).
  • Lead counsel representing nationally known University from breach of contract claim by corporate plaintiff alleging over $10 million in damages, resolved one month short of commencement of jury trial, following multiple depositions and extensive discovery (2014-2015).
  • Lead counsel representing corporate defendant sued in federal court for over $9 million for breach of contract regarding computer implementation services resolved after significant litigation just nine months from filing (2013).
  • Lead counsel representing banking and pharmacy group interests in Indiana federal district court litigation asserting state and federal constitutional and statutory claims against Indiana state agencies (2011-12).
  • Lead counsel representing ESOP fiduciaries and ESOP companies from claims brought by the United States Department of Labor ("DOL") or employee participants alleging fiduciary violations, and related claims, resulting in successful litigation resolution and/or dismissal (2011 to present).
  • Lead counsel through jury trial with successful defense through appeal of employment related bullying and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims (2011).
  • Lead counsel through jury trial between real estate developers successfully prosecuting claims of conversion, trespass, and related claims (2011).
  • Lead counsel for Indiana company sued in Oklahoma federal court obtaining the dismissal of all claims for bad faith, fraud, misrepresentation, and RICO, affirmed on appeal by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Lundahl v. Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association Insurance Co., 440 Fed. Appx. 629, 2011 WL 4537733 (10th Cir. 2011).
  • Lead counsel representing a Danish national sued in Indiana state court for claims of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference, and misappropriation of trade secrets under Indiana and European law, obtaining the dismissal of all such claims based on comity and jurisdictional reasons. Brightpoint, Inc. v. Pedersen, 930 N.E. 2d 34 (Ind. App. 2010).
  • Lead counsel representing out-of-state corporate and individual plaintiffs against Indiana corporate defendants involving allegations of fraud, conversion, and breach of contract, resulting in a $1 million plus settlement following multiple mediation conferences without the filing of a lawsuit (2010).
  • Lead counsel obtaining preliminary injunction for Indiana accounting firm against departing employees involving claims of conversion, theft, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, and related claims (2010).
  • Lead counsel to numerous employers in multiple industries in federal and state courts in Indiana and throughout the country culminating in settlement, summary judgment, or trial, of Title VII discrimination, wrongful discharge, retaliation, Americans with Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, commission, wage, bullying, and multiple other employment claims. Successful defense includes Smith v. Lafayette Bank & Trust, 2010 WL 3894167 (N.D. Ind. 2010).
  • Lead counsel to resolution of numerous related state and federal Indiana lawsuits on behalf of a national title insurer stemming from the largest commercial bankruptcy and fraud by an Indiana home builder in state history, involving multiple legal theories and title issues with millions of dollars at issue. Successful defense includes First Internet Bank of Indiana v. Lawyers Title Insurance Co., 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 59673 (S. D. Ind. July 13, 2009).
  • Co-lead counsel in trademark infringement case in Michigan federal court involving complex claims of trademark infringement, unfair competition, and false advertisement involving nationally known products culminating in a confidential resolution following significant nationwide discovery, considerable motion practice, and the granting of a preliminary injunction in favor of client (2009).
  • Lead counsel to trial and/or through preliminary injunction phase in numerous covenant not to compete, trade secret, non-solicitation, and related issue cases for employees and employers with successful results through the Indiana Court of Appeals, including the frequently cited decision of Titus v. Rheitone, Inc., 758 N.E.2d 85 (Ind. App. 2001).
  • Lead counsel in Indiana federal court lawsuit obtaining the recovery of over $3 million for the sellers of a business involving claims of breach of contract, breach of warranty, fraud, and fraud in the inducement of the contract (2008).
  • Lead counsel defending three Indiana state court lawsuits for breach of family trusts, wrongful termination, and dissenter's rights litigation following the sale of a closely-held Indiana chartered bank with millions of dollars at issue, ultimately resolved by negotiated comprehensive settlement agreement (2006).
  • Lead counsel in Indiana state court lawsuit for unpaid commissions, fraud, and breach of contract claims against Indiana corporate defendant, resulting in successful resolution one day short of jury trial (2005).
  • Co-lead counsel in Massachusetts federal court jury trial of the nationally news reported breach of contract case of Shawn Kemp v. Reebok, Inc. (2001), resolved during trial.
  • Lead counsel for mall owner and developer in a two-week jury trial defending claims of parking lot and roadway design defects with stipulated personal injury damages of $4.6 million (2000).
  • Lead counsel in various Indiana state court eminent domain and condemnation cases, including to trial to jury, representing various commercial and private owners.
  • Lead counsel in federal and state lawsuits regarding claims for long-term disability benefits for both plaintiffs and defendants concerning self-funded and group insurance plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and related claims.
  • Co-lead defense counsel in Indiana state court jury trial involving products liability and breach of warranty claims resulting in a $755,000 verdict affirmed on appeal in the frequently-cited decision of Harlan Sprague Dawley, Inc. v. S.E. Lab, Inc., 644 N.E.2d 615 (Ind. App. 1994).
  • Lead or co-lead counsel in numerous arbitrations in Indiana and throughout the country involving claims of breach of contract, corporate valuation, life insurance, actuarial principles, reinsurance, employment, termination of distributorships, franchise law, personal injury, etc.
  • Lead counsel in niche area representing insureds with residential and commercial fire loss claims against their insurance companies. Representation has included nationally-known celebrities.
  • Mr. Morrisson defended earlier in his career and tried to a jury, judge, arbitrated, or settled hundreds of cases representing defendants in personal injury claims, including product defect, automobile, premises liability, wrongful death, etc., through appeals such as Mark Gleaves v. Messer Construction Company and PERI Formwork Sytems Inc., 77 N.E.3d  1244 (Ind.App. 2017); and Dee v. Becker, 636 N.E.2d 176 (Ind. App. 1994). Mr. Morrisson has also represented injured plaintiffs with such claims, including recovery in an Indiana state court jury trial of $800,000.

Education

  • Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Indianapolis, Indiana (J.D., cum laude, 1987)
  • Hanover College, Hanover, Indiana (B.A., with Distinction, 1984)

Bar Admissions

  • Indiana, 1987
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, 1987
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, 2003
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1990

Professional Associations

  • Indianapolis Bar Association (Member); Young Lawyers Division Chairman and Board of Managers (1990)
  • Indiana State Bar Association (Member)
  • American Bar Association (Member)
  • Seventh Circuit Bar Association (Board Member)
  • Indianapolis Law Club
  • Indiana Certified Mediator, (1992 - present)
  • National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) (Member)
  • The ESOP Association (Member)
  • Employee-Owned S Corporations of America (ESCA) (Member)
  • Carmel Dads' Club, Inc. (Former Board Member)
  • Carmel Baseball Backers, Inc. (President, 2010-2011)
  • Carmel Young Life (Former Board Member)
  • Carmel Education Foundation (Board Member)
  • Storage Solutions, Inc. (Corporate Board Member)
  • Carmel Lutheran Church
  • Active in various Carmel school, sport, civic and charitable organizations

Awards and Recognitions

  • Distinguished Fellow, Indianapolis Bar Foundation, 2002 - Present
  • Indiana Super Lawyers, 2009-2018
  • AV Preeminent Rated Attorney (Martindale Hubbell)
  • Indiana appointed Surrogate Attorney
  • Benchmark Litigation, Indiana Litigation Star

Seminars and Presentations

  • "Hot New Legal & Regulatory Issues for ESOPs," Indiana Chapter of the ESOP Association's Annual ESOP Conference, 2018
  • "The Courts, DOL, Code and Congress - A Legal, Legislative and Regulatory Update," 2017
  • "Legal Update And Hot Issues With The Department of Labor And ESOP Plan Participants In Properly Valuing ESOP Companies," 2017
  • "Hot New Legal & Regulatory Issues for ESOPs," 2017
  • "Dealing with and Surviving DOL Investigations: Start to Finish," 2016
  • The Life of Your ESOP: Decisions You Need to Think About," 2016
  • "Legal Update: ESOP Litigation & Investigations," 2016
  • "Using Experts - Tips and Traps," 2015
  • "Covenants Not to Compete and Trade Secrets," 2015
  • "Fiduciary and D&O Liability Insurance Issues for ESOPs," 2014
  • "Helpful Hints for ESOP Fiduciaries: Advising and Surviving Litigation," 2014
  • "How to Protect Your ESOP Against Litigation," 2014
  • "Building Your Civil Trial Skills," 2013
  • "Indiana Non-Compete Law," 2012
  • “Civil Settlement and Litigation Negotiation Strategies,” 2011
  • “How to Handle and Represent a Client in a Residential or Commercial Fire Loss Claim,” 2011
  • “Civil Arbitration,” 2007
  • “Tricks of the Trade: Advanced Methods to Win or Lose a Covenant Not to Compete Case,” 2006
  • “Drafting, Revising and Litigating Your Client's Employee Handbook,” 2005
  • “How to Handle a Fire Loss Claim,” 2003
  • “Indiana Personnel Law Update, Sexual Harassment,” 2003
  • “Business Litigation in Indiana,” 2002
  • “Indiana Advanced Litigation Skills for Paralegals,” 2001
  • “Bad Faith Litigation in Indiana,” 2001
  • “Mediation, Arbitration, and Negotiation Skills for Attorneys,” 1997
  • “Top Ten Tips, State Court Motion Practice,” 1995 - 2000
  • Guest Speaker, Valparaiso School of Law, Covenant Not to Compete law (2001 to 2014)
  • Butler University, Business Law, Adjunct Professor, 1990

Publications

  • “Consider Binding Arbitration to Resolve Your Next Dispute,” Res Gestae, Vol. 40, No. 11, 1997
Representative Experience
  • Co-lead counsel representing an ESOP trustee fiduciary in the defense of the consolidated class action brought by ESOP participants and the Department of Labor, claiming the right to recovery of one of the largest ESOP damage awards in the history of United States ESOP litigation. The Plaintiffs claimed the Defendants violated ERISA and breached their fiduciary duty in connection with the purchase of Mona Vie, Inc. outstanding stock for the Mona Vie ESOP for $186 million. Following extensive motion practice, discovery, and a two day mediation with multiple attendees, the lawsuit was resolved and subsequently approved by the court. Kelly Jessop v. Dallin Larsen, Bankers Trust Company, et al 2:14-cv-916 (D. Utah 2014-2017) and United States Department of Labor v Bankers Trust Company et al, 2:16-cv-1159 (D. Utah 2016-2017).
  • Lead counsel on successful defense of hotel franchisee against claims brought by national hotel franchisor seeking in excess of $200,000 in franchise fees and attorney's fees in AAA arbitration. The arbitrator ruled the franchisor committed a prior material breach precluding all of the franchisor's claims against the franchisee. (2015-2016).
  • Lead counsel representing real estate developer successfully prosecuting claims against recalcitrant purchaser through summary judgment and appeal recovering over $5 million in specific performance, interest, and attorney fees, involving issues of breach of contract, anticipatory repudiation, laches, estoppel, and related claims. Metro Holdings One, LLC v. Flynn Creek Partners, Inc., 25 N.E.3d 141 (Ind. App. 2014) (2013-2015).
  • Lead counsel representing nationally known University from breach of contract claim by corporate plaintiff alleging over $10 million in damages, resolved one month short of commencement of jury trial, following multiple depositions and extensive discovery (2014-2015).
  • Lead counsel representing corporate defendant sued in federal court for over $9 million for breach of contract regarding computer implementation services resolved after significant litigation just nine months from filing (2013).
  • Lead counsel representing banking and pharmacy group interests in Indiana federal district court litigation asserting state and federal constitutional and statutory claims against Indiana state agencies (2011-12).
  • Lead counsel representing ESOP fiduciaries and ESOP companies from claims brought by the United States Department of Labor ("DOL") or employee participants alleging fiduciary violations, and related claims, resulting in successful litigation resolution and/or dismissal (2011 to present).
  • Lead counsel through jury trial with successful defense through appeal of employment related bullying and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims (2011).
  • Lead counsel through jury trial between real estate developers successfully prosecuting claims of conversion, trespass, and related claims (2011).
  • Lead counsel for Indiana company sued in Oklahoma federal court obtaining the dismissal of all claims for bad faith, fraud, misrepresentation, and RICO, affirmed on appeal by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Lundahl v. Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association Insurance Co., 440 Fed. Appx. 629, 2011 WL 4537733 (10th Cir. 2011).
  • Lead counsel representing a Danish national sued in Indiana state court for claims of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference, and misappropriation of trade secrets under Indiana and European law, obtaining the dismissal of all such claims based on comity and jurisdictional reasons. Brightpoint, Inc. v. Pedersen, 930 N.E. 2d 34 (Ind. App. 2010).
  • Lead counsel representing out-of-state corporate and individual plaintiffs against Indiana corporate defendants involving allegations of fraud, conversion, and breach of contract, resulting in a $1 million plus settlement following multiple mediation conferences without the filing of a lawsuit (2010).
  • Lead counsel obtaining preliminary injunction for Indiana accounting firm against departing employees involving claims of conversion, theft, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, and related claims (2010).
  • Lead counsel to numerous employers in multiple industries in federal and state courts in Indiana and throughout the country culminating in settlement, summary judgment, or trial, of Title VII discrimination, wrongful discharge, retaliation, Americans with Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, commission, wage, bullying, and multiple other employment claims. Successful defense includes Smith v. Lafayette Bank & Trust, 2010 WL 3894167 (N.D. Ind. 2010).
  • Lead counsel to resolution of numerous related state and federal Indiana lawsuits on behalf of a national title insurer stemming from the largest commercial bankruptcy and fraud by an Indiana home builder in state history, involving multiple legal theories and title issues with millions of dollars at issue. Successful defense includes First Internet Bank of Indiana v. Lawyers Title Insurance Co., 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 59673 (S. D. Ind. July 13, 2009).
  • Co-lead counsel in trademark infringement case in Michigan federal court involving complex claims of trademark infringement, unfair competition, and false advertisement involving nationally known products culminating in a confidential resolution following significant nationwide discovery, considerable motion practice, and the granting of a preliminary injunction in favor of client (2009).
  • Lead counsel to trial and/or through preliminary injunction phase in numerous covenant not to compete, trade secret, non-solicitation, and related issue cases for employees and employers with successful results through the Indiana Court of Appeals, including the frequently cited decision of Titus v. Rheitone, Inc., 758 N.E.2d 85 (Ind. App. 2001).
  • Lead counsel in Indiana federal court lawsuit obtaining the recovery of over $3 million for the sellers of a business involving claims of breach of contract, breach of warranty, fraud, and fraud in the inducement of the contract (2008).
  • Lead counsel defending three Indiana state court lawsuits for breach of family trusts, wrongful termination, and dissenter's rights litigation following the sale of a closely-held Indiana chartered bank with millions of dollars at issue, ultimately resolved by negotiated comprehensive settlement agreement (2006).
  • Lead counsel in Indiana state court lawsuit for unpaid commissions, fraud, and breach of contract claims against Indiana corporate defendant, resulting in successful resolution one day short of jury trial (2005).
  • Co-lead counsel in Massachusetts federal court jury trial of the nationally news reported breach of contract case of Shawn Kemp v. Reebok, Inc. (2001), resolved during trial.
  • Lead counsel for mall owner and developer in a two-week jury trial defending claims of parking lot and roadway design defects with stipulated personal injury damages of $4.6 million (2000).
  • Lead counsel in various Indiana state court eminent domain and condemnation cases, including to trial to jury, representing various commercial and private owners.
  • Lead counsel in federal and state lawsuits regarding claims for long-term disability benefits for both plaintiffs and defendants concerning self-funded and group insurance plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and related claims.
  • Co-lead defense counsel in Indiana state court jury trial involving products liability and breach of warranty claims resulting in a $755,000 verdict affirmed on appeal in the frequently-cited decision of Harlan Sprague Dawley, Inc. v. S.E. Lab, Inc., 644 N.E.2d 615 (Ind. App. 1994).
  • Lead or co-lead counsel in numerous arbitrations in Indiana and throughout the country involving claims of breach of contract, corporate valuation, life insurance, actuarial principles, reinsurance, employment, termination of distributorships, franchise law, personal injury, etc.
  • Lead counsel in niche area representing insureds with residential and commercial fire loss claims against their insurance companies. Representation has included nationally-known celebrities.
  • Mr. Morrisson defended earlier in his career and tried to a jury, judge, arbitrated, or settled hundreds of cases representing defendants in personal injury claims, including product defect, automobile, premises liability, wrongful death, etc., through appeals such as Mark Gleaves v. Messer Construction Company and PERI Formwork Sytems Inc., 77 N.E.3d  1244 (Ind.App. 2017); and Dee v. Becker, 636 N.E.2d 176 (Ind. App. 1994). Mr. Morrisson has also represented injured plaintiffs with such claims, including recovery in an Indiana state court jury trial of $800,000.
Education
  • Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Indianapolis, Indiana (J.D., cum laude, 1987)
  • Hanover College, Hanover, Indiana (B.A., with Distinction, 1984)
Bar Admissions
  • Indiana, 1987
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, 1987
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, 2003
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1990
Professional Associations
  • Indianapolis Bar Association (Member); Young Lawyers Division Chairman and Board of Managers (1990)
  • Indiana State Bar Association (Member)
  • American Bar Association (Member)
  • Seventh Circuit Bar Association (Board Member)
  • Indianapolis Law Club
  • Indiana Certified Mediator, (1992 - present)
  • National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) (Member)
  • The ESOP Association (Member)
  • Employee-Owned S Corporations of America (ESCA) (Member)
  • Carmel Dads' Club, Inc. (Former Board Member)
  • Carmel Baseball Backers, Inc. (President, 2010-2011)
  • Carmel Young Life (Former Board Member)
  • Carmel Education Foundation (Board Member)
  • Storage Solutions, Inc. (Corporate Board Member)
  • Carmel Lutheran Church
  • Active in various Carmel school, sport, civic and charitable organizations
Awards and Recognitions
  • Distinguished Fellow, Indianapolis Bar Foundation, 2002 - Present
  • Indiana Super Lawyers, 2009-2018
  • AV Preeminent Rated Attorney (Martindale Hubbell)
  • Indiana appointed Surrogate Attorney
  • Benchmark Litigation, Indiana Litigation Star
Seminars and Presentations
  • "Hot New Legal & Regulatory Issues for ESOPs," Indiana Chapter of the ESOP Association's Annual ESOP Conference, 2018
  • "The Courts, DOL, Code and Congress - A Legal, Legislative and Regulatory Update," 2017
  • "Legal Update And Hot Issues With The Department of Labor And ESOP Plan Participants In Properly Valuing ESOP Companies," 2017
  • "Hot New Legal & Regulatory Issues for ESOPs," 2017
  • "Dealing with and Surviving DOL Investigations: Start to Finish," 2016
  • The Life of Your ESOP: Decisions You Need to Think About," 2016
  • "Legal Update: ESOP Litigation & Investigations," 2016
  • "Using Experts - Tips and Traps," 2015
  • "Covenants Not to Compete and Trade Secrets," 2015
  • "Fiduciary and D&O Liability Insurance Issues for ESOPs," 2014
  • "Helpful Hints for ESOP Fiduciaries: Advising and Surviving Litigation," 2014
  • "How to Protect Your ESOP Against Litigation," 2014
  • "Building Your Civil Trial Skills," 2013
  • "Indiana Non-Compete Law," 2012
  • “Civil Settlement and Litigation Negotiation Strategies,” 2011
  • “How to Handle and Represent a Client in a Residential or Commercial Fire Loss Claim,” 2011
  • “Civil Arbitration,” 2007
  • “Tricks of the Trade: Advanced Methods to Win or Lose a Covenant Not to Compete Case,” 2006
  • “Drafting, Revising and Litigating Your Client's Employee Handbook,” 2005
  • “How to Handle a Fire Loss Claim,” 2003
  • “Indiana Personnel Law Update, Sexual Harassment,” 2003
  • “Business Litigation in Indiana,” 2002
  • “Indiana Advanced Litigation Skills for Paralegals,” 2001
  • “Bad Faith Litigation in Indiana,” 2001
  • “Mediation, Arbitration, and Negotiation Skills for Attorneys,” 1997
  • “Top Ten Tips, State Court Motion Practice,” 1995 - 2000
  • Guest Speaker, Valparaiso School of Law, Covenant Not to Compete law (2001 to 2014)
  • Butler University, Business Law, Adjunct Professor, 1990
Publications
  • “Consider Binding Arbitration to Resolve Your Next Dispute,” Res Gestae, Vol. 40, No. 11, 1997