George Plews has practiced for forty years as a successful appellate and trial advocate. He was lead counsel in the key cases (American States v. Kiger, Hartford v. Dana, Travelers v. Summit, Allstate v. Dana, Flexdar v. State Auto, INA v. Thomson, FLM v. Cincinnati, Thomson v. XL,. and others) that have shaped Indiana insurance coverage law.

George’s environmental law work spans a range of matters, including the prosecution and defense of claims involving state and federal environmental statutes, cost recovery claims, toxic torts and governmental enforcement actions. Environmental decisions that made new law include IDNR v. United Refuse, IDEM v. Chemical Waste Management and Cooper v. City of South Bend.

George’s litigation practice includes a wide range of other complex cases, including products liability, finance, class actions, and personal injury cases. He represented the State of Indiana in successful litigation against the tobacco companies, and was co-counsel in bringing some of the first class actions in the country challenging banks’ incorrect handling of adjustable rate mortgages.


  • 2009-2024, Selected for inclusion in Indiana Super Lawyers Magazine – Insurance Coverage
    • 2011-23 top 50 Super Lawyers
    • 2013-22 top 10 Super Lawyers
    • 2020 – selected by Indiana Super Lawyers as No. 1 Super Lawyer
  • 2007-2024, Listed in Best Lawyers in America ® (listed for both environmental and insurance law)
    • 2024, Lawyer of the Year in Environmental Law and Insurance Law – Indianapolis
  • 2009, Selected as a Senior Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, a trial lawyer honorary society limited to 3500 lawyers nationwide
  • 2009, Recipient of Indiana Lawyer’s Distinguished Barrister Award
  • 1988-present, Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated
  • 2009, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Indianapolis Bar Foundation
  • 2013, Named the Best Lawyers’ Indianapolis Insurance Law “Lawyer of the Year”
  • 2019 and 2014, Best Lawyer’s Indianapolis Environmental Law Lawyer of the Year
  • 2012 Founding Fellow, American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel (national honorary society of less than 300 coverage lawyers, judges and academics)
  • 2013-2024, Ranked by Chambers USA 
  • Recipient of Burns Award for Service to St. Richard’s School


  • J.D., 1979, cum laude, Harvard Law School
  • M.A., 1981, Worcester College, Oxford University
  • Honours B.A., 1976, Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, Worchester College, Oxford University
  • A.B., 1974, magna cum laude, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

Bar Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court, 1991
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 2021
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 1981
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, 1979
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, 2004
  • State of Indiana, 1979
  • USA Gymnastics v. Liberty Ins. Underwriters, Inc., 46 F. 4th 571 (7th Cir. 2022)
  • In re USA Gymnastics, No. 18-09108-RLM-11; Adv. No. 19-50012 (Bankr. S.D. Ind.,  Oct. 24, 2019), affirmed by USA Gymnastics v. ACE American Ins. Co. f/k/a CIGNA Ins. Co. et al., No. 1:18-cv-1306-RLY-MPB (S.D. Ind. Jan. 13, 2020)
  • Thomson v. INA, 11 N.E.2d 982 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014)
  • Thomson v. XL, 22 N.E.3d 809 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014)
  • FLM, LLC v. The Cincinnati Ins. Co, 973 N.E.2d 1167 (Ind. App. 2012)
  • State Automobile Mutual Ins. Co. v. Flexdar, Inc. 964 N.E.2d 845 (Ind. 2012)
  • Cooper Industries, LLC v. City of South Bend, 899 N.E.2d 1274 (Ind. 2009)
  • Pflanz v. Foster, 888 N.E.2d 756 (Ind. 2008) (amicus curiae)
  • The City of South Bend, Ind. v. Century Indem. Co., 821 N.E.2d 5 (Ind. Ct. App. 2005)
  • PSI Energy, Inc. v. Home Ins. Co., 801 N.E.2d 705 (Ind. Ct. App. 2004)
  • Allstate v. Dana Corp., 759 N.E.2d 1049 (Ind. 2001)
  • Employers Ins. of Wausau v. Recticel Foam Co., 716 N.E.2d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 1999)
  • Travelers Indem. Corp. v. Summit Corp. of Am., 715 N.E.2d 926 (Ind. Ct. App. 1999)
  • Hartford Accident. & Indem. Co. v. Dana Corp., 690 N.E.2d 285 (Ind. Ct. App. 1997)
  • Am. States Ins. Co. v. Kiger, 662 N.E.2d 945 (Ind. 1996)
  • Ind. Dep’t of Natural Res. v. United Refuse Co., Inc., 615 N.E.2d 100 (Ind. 1993)
  • Triple G Landfill, Inc. v. Bd. of Comm’r, 774 F. Supp. 528 (S.D. Ind. 1991), 977 F.2d 287 (7th Cir. 1992)
  • Ind. Dep’t of Envtl. Mgmt. v. Chem. Waste Mgmt. of Ind., Inc., 604 N.E.2d 1199 (Ind. Ct. App. 1992)
  • McCracken v. Eli Lilly & Co., 494 N.E.2d 1289 (Ind. Ct. App. 1986)

Professional Affiliations

  • Former Member, Indiana State Bar Association Board of Governors
  • Member, Board of Directors, Indianapolis Bar Foundation
  • Former Member, Board of Directors, Novia Care Clinics, Inc.
  • Director, Novia Underwriters, Inc.
  • Board of Directors, Contemporary Club of Indianapolis
  • Fellow, Rotary Club of Indianapolis
  • Chancellor, Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes, Inc.
  • Former Member, Board of Editors, Journal of Insurance Coverage
  • Chancellor, Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis
  • Senior Distinguished Fellow, Indianapolis Bar Foundation
  • Fellow, Indiana State Bar Foundation
  • Life Fellow, American Bar Association
  • Former Member, Board of Directors, Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic
  • Former Member, American Bar Association Committee on Insurance Litigation (Former Co-Chairman, Subcommittee on Environmental Coverage — Insured Rights)
  • Member, Trial Law Institute
  • Member, Diversity Law Institute

Community Affiliations

  • President, Board of Directors, St. Richard’s School Foundation
  • Head 7th and 8th grade Boys basketball coach, St. Richard’s School 1997-present
  • Member and Vice President, Board of Trustees, WFYI Foundation
  • Member, Board of Trustees, National Public Radio Foundation
  • Former Member, Indianapolis Metropolitan Air Pollution Control Board
  • Board of Directors, Groundwork Indy, Inc.
  • Former Vice President, Board of Directors, Indianapolis Rowing Center
  • Former Member, Board of Directors, Horizons Urban Student Enrichment Program
  • Former Member and Treasurer, Board of Directors, Trustee Leadership Development, Inc.
  • Former Member, Board of Directors, Indianapolis Rowing Center
  • Member, Board of Directors, Indiana Interchurch Center Corporation (Finance Committee)
  • Former President, Princeton University Indiana Alumni Association (Past Chairman, Schools Committee)
  • United Way of Central Indiana, Tocqueville Society Board of Directors
  • Former Member, Board of Directors, Waycross, Inc. (Episcopal Camp and Conference Center)
  • Former Member, Board of Directors, Indiana Civil Liberties Union (Former Vice President, Litigation)
  • Former Vestry Member, Trinity Episcopal Church, Indianapolis (two-time Senior Warden)
  • Former Director and President, Alpha Association of Indiana, Phi Beta Keppa
  • Former baseball and soccer coach, Meridian Street Methodist Sports
  • Volunteer, Dayspring Center and Trinity Episcopal Church Food Ministry
  • Twenty-year Sunday School Teacher, Trinity Episcopal Church
Articles & Events

2021  |  Author

The Indiana Lawyer:  Plews and Gotwald:  Contra proferentem – A bedrock of insurance coverage law

2020  |  Speaking Engagement

Co-Presenter, COVID-19 Coverage Issues, Indiana RIMS

2020  |  Speaking Engagement

Co-Presenter, COVID-19 Resource Roundtable Discussions: Business Interruption Coverage, Indiana State Bar Association

2019  |  Co-Author

Article, Law360, 7th Circ. Decision Creates Minefield for Insurance Industry

2017  |  Speaking Engagement

“Indiana Environmental Law Update, With Emphasis on Remedies,” 2017 Indiana Law Survey

2017  |  Speaking Engagement

“Advanced Insurance Coverage Roundtable: Emerging Risks and Core Issues” Indianapolis Bar Association

2016  |  Speaking Engagement

“Can You Use Help With Your Cleanup? Why You Need to Know the Latest About Indiana Insurance Coverage Law.” 2016 Indiana Environmental Conference

2016  |  Speaking Engagement

“Lessons Learned and Practical Pointers in Insurance Coverage” Indianapolis Bar Association

2015  |  Speaking Engagement

“Ensuring Effective CMHC Management,” Friends of Indiana Mental Health Centers

2013  |  Speaking Engagement

“Mediating Complex Cases: Proven Tips and Strategies”, Indianapolis Bar Association

2013  |  Publication

Author, “Pre-Tender Costs Should Be Recoverable Absent Prejudice,” American Bar Association Environmental Litigation Winter Newsletter, 2013

2012  |  Speaking Engagement

“Advanced Environmental Law – Annual Masters Series”, Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum

2011  |  Speaking Engagement

“2011 Environmental Law Legislative Update”, Indiana State Bar Association

2011  |  Publication

Author, “The Pollution Exclusion: Understanding the Limits of the Principal Barrier to Insurance Recovery in Contamination Cases”, a Chapter in the ABA Book, Environmental Liability and Insurance Recovery

2005  |  Publication

Co-Author, “2004 Survey of Recent Developments in Indiana Law, 38 Ind. L. Rev. 1035 (2005)

2004  |  Publication

Co-Author, “Environmental Law Developments: Hope and Ambiguity in Achieving the Optimum Environment, 37 Ind. L. Rev. 1055 (2004)

1999  |  Publication

Co-Author, “First-Party Insurance and Inquiry Caused by Fumes: The Absolute-Pollution Exclusion Should Not Bar Coverage, 2 J. Ins. Coverage 43 (1999)

1995  |  Publication

Author, “Reflections on Dispositive Motions,” Res Gestae, 1995 (selected as best article of 1995 by Res Gestae, the monthly journal of the Indiana State Bar Association)

1990  |  Publication

Co-Author, “The Best Claim is no Claim: Selecting and Contracting with a Waste Hauler, 2 Envtl. Claims J. 449 (1990)

1989  |  Publication

Co-Author, “The Indiana Responsible Property Law: New Environmental Information and Responsibilities,” LXXIII Hoosier Banker 22

1988  |  Publication

Co-Author, “Who Pays for Environmental Damage” Recent Developments in CERCLA Liability and Insurance Coverage Litigation,” 21 Ind. L. Rev. 109 (1988)

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