Perspective: Winning big early in your legal career
Ryan T. Leagre graduated from the IU-McKinney School of Law in 2014. Just four years after being admitted to practice law, Ryan was in court in Plymouth, Indiana, to hear the jury return a $112 million verdict in favor of an Indiana medical device inventor who had been denied royalties owed by device manufacturer Medtronic.
The verdict is one of the largest jury verdicts in Indiana history. “This was an amazing experience, and the opportunity to see the legal system deliver a just outcome was incredibly satisfying,” Ryan said.
Ryan grew up in Indiana and concentrates his legal practice on a variety of litigation matters including insurance recovery and coverage litigation, commercial disputes, personal injury, and other topics.
The lawsuit against Medtronic was Ryan’s first jury trial. It was an unforgettable experience.
“One of the things I like best about practicing law at PSRB is that the firm allows (and expects) its associates to have a meaningful impact in every case from Day 1,” Ryan said. “From taking depositions to arguing summary judgment motions, the firm supports and expects young litigators to take lead roles early in their careers.” Most important to Ryan, though, is the firm’s collaborative spirit. “In every case I’ve ever worked on, the partners ask for and listen to my ideas and suggestions. And they expect the same from me. Sometimes we go back-and-forth for days (even weeks) about which strategies to pursue and which arguments to make. We work through these issues together—as a team.”
In the lawsuit against Medtronic, two contracts were at issue. One related to the Vertex Reconstruction System, which is a posterior cervical screw rod fixation system used to stabilize the cervical spine. The second contract related to a screw delivery system that is used as a way to implant spinal products in a minimally invasive manner.
The four-week trial concluded after a Marshall County jury deliberated for six hours and awarded PSRB’s client the full asking amount of $112,452,269 in unpaid royalties (and interest) on those contracts.
Several PSRB colleagues worked on this case, including Ryan and paralegal Krista Cox of the firm’s South Bend office, who were both present for the duration of the trial.
Krista joined the firm as a legal assistant in our Indianapolis office in September 2002. In 2008, she moved to the firm’s office in South Bend, where she fills the roles of paralegal, legal assistant, receptionist, and office manager. Complex litigation and Excel spreadsheets are among her very favorite things. Krista graduated from Indiana University South Bend in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in English with highest distinction. She is a recipient of the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce “Michiana 40 under 40” award, which recognizes young talented business leaders.
Behind the scenes, many other PSRB colleagues contributed during the five years leading up to trial. “Attorneys here don’t win cases on their own,” Ryan said. “Our paralegals were ready on a moment’s notice to find key documents and to help with midnight filings. Our legal assistants back-stopped our work by finding and correcting mistakes right before important briefs were filed. Even colleagues not working on the case made significant contributions—oftentimes setting their own heavy workload aside to help the cause. It was a true team effort from start to finish.”