Thomas H. Ristine




Practice Areas

General Business (including general corporate, commercial transactions and mergers & acquisitions,); Regulated Industries (including Financial Institutions, Telecommunications, Healthcare, Alcoholic Beverage permits, and related lobbying/government services); Nonprofit Organizations; and Estate Planning.

Tom Ristine has handled a wide variety of transactional matters for businesses, especially in regulated industries, and nonprofit organizations. He has led projects involving state and local legislative bodies as well as state and local regulatory/administrative boards and committees, for the benefit of individual businesses or nonprofits as well as for industries through the representation of trade associations and consortia. He enjoys advocating to government on behalf of thriving or challenged businesses and nonprofits in need of legal infrastructures and governmental policies that enhance instead of impede their abilities to attain their goals. He has especially enjoyed projects, both long-term and short-term, to reshape legislative, regulatory and governance structures to help clients. To Tom, the practice of law is about creating structure where there is little or none, helping clients seize opportunities, and solving legal problems big or small, all while managing risk and cost.


Wabash College, A.B., magna cum laude (Economics) 1972
Duke University School of Law, J.D., 1975

Bar Admissions

Indiana, 1975;
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, 1975

Publications and Presentations

Tom has been a frequent presenter at seminars for lawyers, most often produced by the Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum (ICLEF), including presentations on financial institutions law, commercial law (UCC Articles 3, 4 & 9) and liquor permits, as well as legal issues affecting in-house legal departments and nonprofits. He has made presentations at more than 15 annual conferences held by the American Bankers Association - the ABA's "State Association Counsel Conferences" - and served as chair of that national conference in 1999.

Recent seminar faculty experiences have included (i) co-author of seminar materials on the subject of Contract Drafting for the ICLEF Corporate Counsel Forum (2004), (ii) presenter on the topics of Bank Deposits & Collections (Article 4) and Funds Transfers (Article 4A/4.1) for the ICLEF Uniform Commercial Code Seminar (2006), and (iii) presenter on the topics of Joint Ventures and Practical Steps to Limit Liability at the National Business Institute's Nonprofit Organizations Seminar (2007). Regarding recent developments affecting clients and prospective clients in the nonprofit sector, he has attended the national ALI-ABA Tax Exempt Charitable Organizations Seminar in Washington, D.C. (2008 and 2010).


1975-1982: associate, Ice Miller Donadio & Ryan, Indianapolis
1983-2005: partner, Ice Miller, Indianapolis
September 1, 2005 to present: director, Lewis & Kappes, P.C., Indianapolis


Member, Indiana State Bar Association
Member, American Bar Association
Member, Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, Inc. Board of Directors

Member, Phoenix Theatre, Inc. Board of Directors
United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI) - former Director (19 years, 2 years as Governance Committee Chair, 3 years as Leadership Giving Council Chair); presently serving on Governance Committee and as legal counsel for UWCI
Past President of United Way/Community Service Council of Central Indiana
Past Chair of the Indiana Association of United Ways
(Award for "Exemplary State Leadership" - 1999)

Past President of The Penrod Society
Commissioner of Track & Field for the 1987 Pan American Games

Honors and Awards

AV Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell;
Named by Indianapolis Business Journal to "Who's Who in Banking";
Named a "Super Lawyer" as a General Business attorney by Indianapolis Monthly Magazine (2004)