Thomas R. Ruge

Thomas R. Ruge


2017 top 100 lawyer ASLA

Practice Areas

International law including immigration and commercial arbitration; civil litigation in business disputes and other matters; community based and rural health care; and non-profit organizations.

Mr. Ruge's experience in international law includes assisting employers seeking to hire foreign employees through L, H, TN, E and permanent visas; visa portability to new employers; deportation and removal defense; adjustment of status; consular process for immigrant and non-immigrant visas; all aspects of immigration compliance for employers and individuals; family immigration; immigration consequences of criminal convictions; post-conviction remedies to ameliorate adverse immigration consequences; representation of the Country of Mexico's consular office in Indianapolis; and certification as an international commercial arbitration neutral. Thomas R. Ruge is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators ("FCiArb"), having completed the testing and other requirements for certification in international commercial arbitration.

Civil litigation matters Mr. Ruge has handled include: disputes among owners of businesses; government land condemnation through eminent domain; state securities litigation; breach of contract; breach of fiduciary duty; non-compete violations and defense; civil rights; employment related litigation and many other complex disputes.

In the area of community based and rural health, Mr. Ruge serves as general counsel for the Indiana association of primary care providers and for many individual community based health centers. This representation has involved initial corporate formation, tax exemption applications and status maintenance; all aspects of compliance with state and federal regulation of health care; licensing and credentialing; foreign medical graduate J visa waiver issues; HPSA and MUA designation issues; employment issues; real estate transactions including commercial leases, sub-leasing and purchases, provider employment agreements, affiliation agreements with hospitals and others, HIPAA and Red Flag compliance; and advice regarding all aspects of health center operations.

Non-profit organizations have been assisted by Mr. Ruge in obtaining tax exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service, state property and sales tax exemption issues; joint ventures with other tax exempt and non-tax exempt organizations; UBIT (unrelated business income) issues; corporate recordkeeping and other compliance matters.


Indiana University, B.A., Philosophy, 1971; Valparaiso University, J.D., 1976

Bar Admissions

Admitted to Indiana State Bar, 1976; U.S. Supreme Court, 1980; U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 1980; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; U.S. District Court, Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana, 1976.

Publications and Presentations

Author: "Higher Education for Undocumented Students: The Case for Open Admission and In-State Tuition Rates for Students Without Lawful Immigration Status", 15 Ind. Int'l & Comp. L. Rev. 257 (2005).

Author: "The New Immigration Law Requires Employer Verification of Employee Authorization to Work," The Indiana International Forum, August 1987; "Screening and Evaluating the Medical Malpractice and Other Personal Injury Cases;" "Evaluation of Structured Settlement Proposals;" "Proving Causation in Medical Malpractice and Other Personal Injury Cases;" Personal Injury Litigation Practice in Indiana, National Business Institute, Inc., 1988; "Recent Developments in Medical Malpractice Law," 22 Indiana Law Review 1, 1989; "The Ins and Outs of Obtaining Visas for Foreign-Born Employees," Indianapolis Business Journal, p. 41(a), March 1990; "Immigration Law and Criminal Defense," Indiana Defender, May 2002; "International Child Custody Disputes And The Hague Convention", Res Gestae, November, 2002; Co-Author: "What to Expect as a Medical Witness in a Legal Proceeding," The Marion County Medical Society Bulletin, August 1987; "Notarios-The Unauthorized Practice of Law" June, 2003; "Recovering Lost Earning Capacity Damages for Immigrants in Indiana" January, 2010;

Lecturer: "The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1976," Mini-Seminar Series, Indianapolis Bar Association, July 1987; "Immigration Law," Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, March 1988; "Personal Injury Litigation Practice in Indiana," National Business Institute, Inc., December 1988; "Immigration and the International Trader," World Trade Club of Indiana, March 1989; "What Every Attorney Needs to Know About Representing Foreign Clients," Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, November 1999; "Visa Options For Foreign Employees;" "Representing Foreign Nationals And Their Employers, Practical And Ethical Considerations," Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, November 2000; "Who Is Authorized To Work In The United States?" Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, October 2001; Discrimination and Immigration Law Issues, Community and Family Resource Center Seminar for Latino Service Providers, April 2002; "Advising Foreign Nationals Accused or Convicted of a Crime" Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, October 2003; "Immigration Status and the Latino Client" Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, September 2004; "Preparing Foreign National Clients for Encounters with the U.S. Civil Justice System" Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum October 2004 "Dispute Resolutions Colloquium"; "Immigration Law for the Criminal Defense Attorney" Marion County Bar Association, September 2010.

Presentation: "Immigration Law and Public Policy", IUPUI - SPEA Program, April 2008; Indiana Association of Cities and Towns, June 2008; "Immigration Status and Worker Compensation Claims in Indiana", Indiana Trial Lawyers Association,, July, 2008; "Immigration Compliance for Employers", Employment Law Update in Indiana Sterling Education Services, Inc. July, 2008; Gallery Extension Conference in Indiana, September 2008; "Immigration Compliance for Agricultural Employers", February 2009; Indiana General Assembly in 2009 regarding proposed Senate Bills 372 and 580 (opposing state immigration legislation); "What is Health Care Going to Look Like After Health Care Reform", Indiana Health Centers Board of Directors, September, 2010; ISBA Annual Meeting "U.S. Immigration Law: Achieving Diversity and Globalization in Indiana" October, 2010


Project Supervisor, Legal Services Organization of Indiana, Inc., 1977-82; Litigation Associate, Vernon J. Petri, P.C., 1982-86; Partner, Ruge & Rupert, 1986-91; Director, Lewis & Kappes, P.C., 1991-Present; Adjunct Professor, Immigration Law, Indiana University School of Law at Indianapolis, 1992-97.


Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators; Certified Trial Lawyer, National Board of Trial Advocacy; Member, The Association of Immigration Attorneys; Member, The American Immigration Lawyers Association (Chairman, Indiana Chapter, 1988-89); Lawyers Fund Campaign Committee, 1989; Board of Directors, Forum for International Professional Services, 1989 (President, 1990); Board of Directors, Alzheimer's Association, 1990; World Trade Club; Member, Indianapolis Bar Association (Settlement Mediator, 1987-90); Member and Master Fellow, Indiana State Bar Association; Member, Indiana Trial Lawyers Association; Member, The Association of Trial Lawyers of America.

Honors and Awards

Indiana Super Lawyer (Immigration, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014, 2015); Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating; AVVO 9.1 Superb Rating
Martindale-Hubbell Rating AV