It is with great sadness that Plews Shadley Racher and Braun LLP announces the passing of Sue A. Shadley on October 19, 2015. In testament to the contributions Shadley made to her firm, the law, and the community, she was honored as the 2016 recipient of the prestigious IndyBar Women & the Law Division’s Antoinette Dakin Leach Award just a week before her passing.
Sue A. Shadley was a founding partner at Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP. Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP is the only top 10 law firm in Indianapolis formed in the last 25 years and Shadley was the first female managing partner of such a large Indianapolis firm. She held the post five times. Now, more than 25 years later, the firm Shadley and her partners founded with four lawyers has grown to over 40 lawyers.
Before joining Plews Shadley Racher and Braun LLP, Shadley served as the first general counsel of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management where she led the promulgation of statutes and regulations that have shaped Indiana’s environmental law. This capped a decade of public service which also included work for the Indianapolis Air Pollution Control Board and the Department of Natural Resources. At the DNR she helped write, and then as an Administrative Law Judge administered, the new surface coal mining reclamation law in Indiana. “Sue was a great pioneer, a great lawyer, and even more importantly, a great human being,” said George Plews, who with Shadley and George Pendygraft founded the firm in 1988. “It was just a delight and a privilege to work with her.”
Shadley also served numerous other governmental entities, including the Indiana Recycling and Energy Development Board (1988-1992), Indiana’s Environmental Crimes Task Force (2005-2007), and Purdue University’s Agronomy Advisory Council. She was named a Distinguished Agricultural Alumni at Purdue in 2000 and a Distinguished Fellow of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation in 2006. Shadley received her B.S. from Purdue and her J.D. from the IU Maurer School of Law.
A more detailed view of Shadley’s accomplishments can be seen on her firm bio.
In 2014, Shadley was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Just as with the law, Shadley become an advocate in fighting this disease in order to improve the lives of others, working with the ALS Association of Indiana to raise funds for the Nutrition Supplement, Respite and Loan Equipment Closet Programs.
Shadley is survived by her husband, Mike Hart, her sister Kay, and countless friends and family members.