Sam Laurin is a partner in the firm’s Litigation Group, as well as the chair of the firm’s Construction Law Group. He focuses his practice on litigating construction, commercial, and insurance coverage disputes. Sam has been lead counsel in jury and bench trials in federal and state court. He has served as lead counsel in several arbitration proceedings, many of which involved construction issues. Sam is also a registered mediator in the state of Indiana.
Indiana University Maurer School of Law – Bloomington (J.D., 1987); Managing Editor, Indiana Law Journal
Dartmouth College (A.B., 1982)
Honors / Awards
Best Lawyers® 2019 Indianapolis Construction Lawyer of the Year; Best Lawyers® 2016 Indianapolis Litigation – Real Estate Lawyer of the Year; Distinguished Barrister, Indiana Lawyer 2015 Leadership in Law Award; 2014 Indianapolis Litigation – Real Estate Lawyer of the Year; Best Lawyers® 2016 and 2017 Indianapolis Litigation – Construction Lawyer of the Year; The Best Lawyers in America® 2007-2021 for commercial litigation, litigation – real estate; litigation – construction; and construction law; Chambers USA 2012-2014, 2016, 2017, 2019 litigation – general commercial; Indiana Super Lawyers® 2010-2021 for business and construction litigation; AV® Peer Review rated by Martindale-Hubbell for over 20 years
- Obtained judgment in a state court bench trial that enforced client’s right to recover payment due under a settlement agreement in an FCC licensing proceeding. The decision was affirmed on appeal. Greater Greenwood Limited Partnership v. Sanders Broadcasting, 652 N.E.2d 566 (Ind. App. 1995).
- Obtained jury verdict in federal court which recovered all past due rent, interest, CAM charges, and attorneys’ fees due landlord, and in the same case received a defense verdict on tenant’s claim for fraud and promissory estoppel. Woodland Center No. 2 LP v. Meyer & Wallis, Inc., Case No. IP 91-853-C.
- Obtained judgment in a federal court bench trial in favor of landlord on tenant’s claim that actual rentable area was less than represented in lease. Hellyer Communications, Inc. v. WRC Properties, Inc., 969 F.Supp. 1150 (S.D. Ind. 1997).
- Defended and prosecuted over 20 injunction matters in state and federal courts involving continuing operating clauses in leases, restrictive covenants in leases, the installation of telecommunications equipment on right-of-way, enjoining the termination of a contract pending arbitration, and public bidding disputes. Johnson County Rural Electric Membership Corporation v. South Central Indiana Rural Electric Membership Corporation, 833 N.E.2d 141 (Ind. Ct. App. 2008), Bigley v. MSD of Wayne Township, 823 N.E.2d 141 (Ind. Ct. App. 2004), and WorldCom Network Services, Inc. v. Thompson, 698 N.E.2d 1233 (Ind. Ct. App. 1998).
- Represented mortgage holder in enforcement of priority of mortgage over $8.5 Million of mechanic’s liens claims. PCL/Calumet v. Entercitement LLC., 760 N.E.2d 633 (Ind. Ct. App. 2001).
Appearances / Publications
Some of Sam’s most recent speeches and articles on commercial litigation and construction issues are listed below. He is also a frequent contributor to the Indianapolis Bar Association’s Litigation Case Update.
- “Evidentiary Trends and Courtroom Use of Unique Evidence” webinar (Indianapolis Bar Association, May 14, 2020)
- “Force Majeure & COVID-19” (March 24, 2020)
- “The ‘Professional Services’ Exclusion in a Design Professional’s Commercial General Liability Policy: Considerations for Contract Negotiations and Coverage Disputes” (ABA Under Construction Newsletter, Spring 2020)
- “The Things You Want to Know About Real Estate Insurance Provisions but Were Afraid to Ask,” Speaker (Bose McKinney & Evans August 2019 event)
- “What is the Applicable Statute of Limitations for Claim Against Design Professionals?” Speaker (Division 3 [Design] of the ABA Forum of Construction Law, July 3)
- “In-House/Outside Counsel Panel: A Match Made in Heaven,” Speaker (Indianapolis Bar Association Bench Bar Conference)
- “Evidentiary Foundation Issues: How to Get Exhibits In, Keep Them Out and Make Them Count at Trial” Chair and Speaker (Indianapolis Bar Association, July 2019);
- The 2017 A201 Deskbook (ABA Forum on Construction Law, October 2017) co-authored Chapter 11 “Insurance and Bonds”;
- “Additional Insureds and Indemnity Clauses” (ABA Forum on Construction Law – Construction Insurance, November 2017);
- “Delegating design raises importance of construction contracts” (Indiana Lawyer, November 2017);
- “Analyzing the New AIA Contracts” Chair and Speaker (Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, November 2017);
- “The New AIA – 2017 Insurance and Bond Exhibit” (Indiana State Bar Association Annual Meeting, Construction & Surety Section, September 2017);
- “Construction Lawyers: Be Aware: The “Duty to Cooperate” May Apply to an Insured’s Affirmative Claims” (Under Construction, quarterly publication of the Forum on the construction Industry, Spring 2017);
- “Late Notice – Can An Insurer Disclaim Coverage Without Establishing Prejudice?” (ABA Forum on Construction Law Division 7, April 2017);
- “A Risky Proposition: The Ever Changing Role of Insurance in the Current Construction Climate – Need-to-Know Trends for In-House and Outside Counsel” (American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law
- Annual Meeting, April 2017);
- “The Downside of Drones” (Construction Today Magazine, February 2017);
- “War Stories: Tales from the Trenches, Lessons Learned and Practical Pointers in Insurance Coverage” (Indianapolis Bar Association Litigation and Insurance Coverage Sections Meeting, May 2016);
- “Liquidated Damages Provisions: Enforceable Or a Penalty?” (Indiana Lawyer, April 2016);
- “Contract Negotiations & Philosophy of Risk Shifting” (ABA Forum on the Construction Industry Regional Meeting: Construction Contracts Finding Common Ground in Drafting and Negotiating Design and
- Construction Clauses, March 2016);
- “Litigation Trial Skills Series: Am I In the Right Court? Venue and Personal Jurisdiction” (Indianapolis Bar Association Litigation Trial Skills Series, February 2016);
- “The Obscure, the Handy and the Important: Legal Principles Worth Knowing” (Indianapolis Bar Association Bench Bar Conference, June 2015);
- “Equitable Subordination: A Longshot, But Nonetheless a Shot” (ABA Forum on Construction Law Division 7, April 2015 Newsletter);
- “Well-crafted Contracts can Avoid Subrogation Disputes” (Indiana Lawyer, October 22, 2014);
- “Pipe Lines, Pipe Liens and … Pipe Dreams?” (ABA Forum on Construction Law, Mid Winter Meeting 2014, Presenter and Co-author);
- “The Seven Degrees of Subrogation” Continuing Legal Education presentation on Current Construction Issues (Indiana State Bar Association, Construction & Surety Law Section, April 2014);
- “How Big is the Blanket? The Issue of Additional Insureds” (Seminar Chair, ICLEF, December 2013);
- “It’s Miller (Act) Time” (ABA Forum on Construction Law, Mid Winter Meeting 2013, Panelist and Author);
- “Cyber Attacks and Postings: An Overview of Key Issues for Lawyers and Their Clients” (Indianapolis Bar Association Bench Bar Conference, June 2013);
- “Additional Insurance: How Big is the Blanket?” (Indiana Continuing Legal Education Workshop, Advanced Insurance Law, October 2012);
- “E-Discovery: Ethical Considerations For In-House Counsel and Their Advisors” (Bose McKinney & Evans CLE Seminar, September 2012);
- Interviewed by Law 360 on Trial Tips and Techniques, June 2011;
- “Lien and Bond Claims Against Federal, State and Local Projects” (Mechanics Liens and Claims Against Construction Projects – Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum Workshop, September 2010);
- “A Construction Lawyer’s Top 10 Additional-Insured Considerations” (Journal of the ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, Fall 2010)
Appointments / Memberships
- Chairman, ABA Forum on Construction Law (Division 7 Insurance, Surety & Liens, 2018-Present)
- Construction and Surety Law Section, Indiana State Bar Association
- Executive Committee, Litigation Section, Indianapolis Bar Association
- Distinguished Fellow and member of board of directors, Indianapolis Bar Foundation
- Music for All (Board of Directors, 2011-Present)
- Best Buddies of Indiana (Advisory Board, 2007-2013; Honorary Advisory Board, 2013-Present)
Outside the Office
Sam is married with two children. His wonderful son, V.S., has autism and Sam urges everyone to give persons with intellectual disabilities the respect they deserve. He is also proud of his daughter for many things, including forming a Best Buddies chapter at her high school which provides meaningful friendships to those with intellectual disabilities. In college, he played football and was a member of the 1981 Dartmouth Ivy League Championship Team, was president of his fraternity, was a Big Brother, and a reporter for the student newspaper.