Brett E. Nelson


Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP
1346 N. Delaware St.
IN 46202-2415

Tel: 317-637-0700 x225


Brett is familiar with property tax litigation issues including practice in front of Indiana County Assessors, the Indiana Board of Tax Review and the Indiana Tax Court. Brett has also assisted with appellate litigation on behalf of the Indiana Department of State Revenue.

Brett is also an experienced trial and appellate lawyer with a particular interest in technical and complex litigation. He represents clients in a broad range of environmental, insurance coverage & recovery, construction, and commercial and intellectual property disputes.  His practice also includes trademark prosecution/registration. Clients range from individuals and small companies to Fortune 250 companies.


  • 2014-2015, Selected for inclusion in Indiana Super Lawyers – Environmental Litigation
  • 2016-2022, Listed in Best Lawyers in America ®
  • 2016-2021, Selected for inclusion in Indiana Super Lawyers – Insurance Coverage


  • B.S., 1992, Biology, Indiana University – Bloomington
  • J.D., 1999, cum laude, Indiana University – Bloomington, Maurer School of Law


  • State of Indiana, 2000
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, 2000
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, 2000
  • United States Patent & Trademark Office, 2001
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 2004
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, 2006
  • SCOTUS, June 29, 2009
  • United States District Court for the District of Maryland, July 22, 2020
  • Meijer Stores Limited Partnership v. Boone County Assessor (Petition Nos.: 06-021-14-1-4-10237-15, 06-005-15-1-4-01987-17, 06-005-16-1-4-01988-17 & 06-005-17-1-4-02182-17, Ind. Bd of Tax Rev. (Aug. 28, 2019)). Lead counsel for the Boone County Assessor, who prevailed in appeal filed in property tax appeal for a Big Box Store (affirmed, Indiana Tax Court, 19T-TA-00030, Dec. 31,2020).
  • Richardson’s RV v. Indiana Dep’t. of State Rev.112 N.E.3d 192 (Ind. 2018). This case involved an RV dealer in Northern Indiana that thought it could avoid paying Indiana sales tax if it took RVs it sold to certain out-of-state customers into Michigan before handing over the keys.  On Petition for Review, the Indiana Supreme Court reversed the Tax Court decision (80 N.E.3rd 292, Tax Court 2017) that granted summary judgment for Richardson’s RV and, instead, entered judgment in favour of the Indiana Dept. of State Rev. The Supreme Court also remanded the case to the Tax Court for a determination of the amount of Tax owed by Richardson’s RV.
  • Massa Capital LLC v. Mosh Rudich et al. Secured summary judgment awarding damages and interest for Massa Capital in the amount of $1,750,000 in principal plus interest and late fees for a total of $2,151,100 with daily accruals in the amount of $1,225 until all principal has been paid.  In addition, the Court found defendants liable for $49,863.89 in attorney fees. Time spent from start to finish was less than 6 months. (Marion County Indiana Superior Court, Case No. 49D01-1909-CC-037608, March 3, 20220)
  • TBD Capital LLC v. Seneca Ins. Co., Case No. 49D02-1309-PL-034683 slip op. (Marion Co. Superior Ct., Sept. 21, 2012) ($2.3M Judgment in favour of mortgage holder under first party property policy. Insurer denied claim based on alleged fraud in the application for insurance. Judgment included $1.2 M in attorney fees for insurer’s unreasonable litigation.
  • SAMS Hotel Group LLC d/b/a Homewood Suites Hotel v. Auto Owners Ins. Co., Cause No. 49D14-0910-PL-049045 (Marion Co. Superior Ct., Sept. 21. 2012) (Summary judgment order holding that insurance and “waiver of subrogation” provisions of AIA General Conditions to AIA agreement between Owner and Contractor do not preclude claims against subcontractor who signed non-AIA contract).
  • The Netherlands Ins. Co. v. Triplett Striping, Inc., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26966 (W. D. Ky. Feb. 29, 2012) (Order dismissing first-filed federal declaratory judgment action regarding insurance coverage for pollution claim in favor of later-filed Indiana state court action based on doctrine of abstention).
  • English Ave. Props., LLC v. Gillette Co., Cause No, 49F12-0401-PL-00001 (Marion Co. Superior Ct., June 17, 2011) (Summary judgment order holding ten-year statute of limitations applies to claims under Indiana’s Environmental Legal Action and Illegal Dumping statutes).
  • Pound v. Airosol Co., Inc., 498 F.3d 1089, (10th Cir. 2007) (Addressing penalty and attorney fee issues in the context of a Clean Air Act citizen’s suit brought by a competitor and holding that a successful plaintiff is entitled to an award of attorney fees).
  • Raybestos Prods. Co. v. Ind. Dep’t. Envtl. Mgmt., Cause No. 49D12-0209-PL-001553 (Marion Co. Superior Ct., Judgment Entries following bench trial dated June 12 & Oct. 30, 2006) awarding $16,363,012.91 for damages incurred by manufacturer in performing cleanup in excess of the costs of the risk-based cleanup mandated by agreed order between manufacturer and IDEM (reversed by Ind. Dept. Envtl. Mgmt. v. Raybestos Prods. Co., 897 N.E.2d 469 (Ind. 2008), reh’g granted, in part, by Ind. Dep’t of Envtl. Mgmt. v. Raybestos Prods. Co., 903 N.E.2d 471 (Ind. 2009) (correcting misstatement of standard of review applicable to administrative review of agency actions), cert. denied, Raybestos Prods. Co. v. Ind. Dep’t of Envtl. Mgmt., 130 S. Ct. 196 (U.S. 2009)).
  • Lummis v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., Cause No, 1:04cv0080 DFH-VSS (S.D. Ind., Dec. 14, 2005) (Jury verdict awarding policyholder damages for insurer’s improper failure to pay fire loss claim).
  • Pound v. Airosol Co., Inc., 316 F. Supp. 2d 1079 (D. Kan. 2004) (Summary judgment order holding manufacturer and sellers of aerosol pesticide violated the Clean Air Act through illegal use of HCFCs).

In 1988, our founders created a different kind of law firm. A law firm where attorneys provide high quality, cost-effective legal work with creative, innovative solutions to clients’ complex matters. A law firm on the cutting edge of the law that emphasizes legal knowledge and innovation. A law firm that takes on hard cases because it values shaping the law. A law firm committed to helping businesses, large and small, thrive.

Originally founded as an environmental boutique law firm offering full-service environmental counselling and complex litigation services, our work has organically grown into one of the largest policyholder insurance coverage practices in the Midwest. Today, our breadth and depth of experience and technical knowledge allow us to handle complex issues and everyday client matters in sectors of manufacturing, energy, technology, life sciences, petroleum and energy, health care and waste services. Our attorneys are entrepreneurial, purpose driven, and committed to working with clients in all stages of their business growth or succession planning.

Our attorneys are committed to finding creative, cost-effective solutions that will deliver the best outcomes for our clients. Our firm culture encourages collaboration and respect among colleagues. We embrace a team approach to help shape winning strategies.