IU McKinney to Present Distinguished Alumni and Early Career Awards


The Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law announces the recipients of the school’s 2014 alumni awards. Three individuals will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award (DAA) while one other will receive an Early Career Achievement Award.

The law school will host its awards ceremony on May 9 in the Atrium at Inlow Hall to honor these alumni.

DAA winners are:

  • James Burns, ’75, Senior Counsel, Ice Miller
  • Gil Holmes, ’99, Gil Holmes Associates, LLC and former Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana
  • The Hon. Margret Robb, ’78, judge of the Indiana Court of Appeals

Jim BurnsBurns is a magna cum laude graduate of IU McKinney. Prior to joining the Ice Miller firm as senior counsel, he spent 28 years at Eli Lilly and Company, retiring as the company’s assistant general counsel. At Lilly, Burns managed company litigation dealing with product liability, intellectual property, antitrust, human resources, and general commercial litigation. Burns also served as general counsel at Elizabeth Arden, Inc., and at Elanco Products Company in New York City. He is active in the area of tort reform, and served on the board of directors of the American Tort Reform Association and the Product Liability Advisory Council. He played an active role in the formulation of the Restatement of Law-Third relating to pharmaceutical products. In addition, Burns has been active as an alumnus of the school, volunteering his time to work with students. He also has been instrumental in coordinating the annual Continuing Legal Education program, which has taken place at the law school every year since 2001. The proceeds from this effort fund scholarship programs for law students. He has been a member of law school’s Board of Visitors since 1999, and has served as the board’s chair.

Gil HolmesHolmes has led a career as varied as it is distinguished. He served in the United States Army and is a veteran of the Vietnam War, receiving multiple medals for his service. His final military rank was Lieutenant Colonel. Following his military service, he was director of personnel for the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Department Head for Transportation Services in the Human Resources Division at Methodist Hospital, Commissioner of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) and Chairman of the BMV Commission, Second Vice President and Director of Facilities and Services for Corporate Procurement for Lincoln National Corporation in Fort Wayne, President and Chief Executive Officer for IndyGo, and Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana. He also is the founder and president of Gil Holmes Associates, a management consulting firm. Holmes was honored for his career in public interest law by the IU McKinney student group Equal Justice Works at the 2011 Public Interest Recognition Dinner, was named a Kentucky Colonel in 1989, and a Sagamore of the Wabash in 1996.

Judge Margret RobbJudge Robb is a magna cum laude graduate of IU McKinney, and is the first woman to serve as Chief Judge in the history of the Indiana Court of Appeal. She was appointed to the state’s intermediate appellate court in 1998 by Governor Frank O’Bannon. She has been an officer of the Indiana State Bar Association (ISBA), a Fellow of the Indiana State Bar Foundation, Tippecanoe County Bar Association, National Association of Women Judges, and the Bankruptcy Section of the ISBA. She also serves on the board of the IU McKinney Alumni Association.

Judge Robb also has been a board member of the Appellate Judges Counsel of the American Bar Association, the Indianapolis Bar Association (IBA), the Indianapolis Bar Foundation, the Senior Council Section of the IBA, the Appellate Practice Section of the ISBA, and the Appellate Judges Education Institute, among others. Judge Robb chairs the Indiana Supreme Court Task Force on Family Courts, and has chaired the task force for the development of local trial court rules. She was founding chair of Governor Otis Bowen’s Commission on the Status of Women.

Among the honors she has received, Judge Robb was a recipient of a 1993 ISBA “Celebrating 100 years of Women in the Legal Profession Award,” the Maynard K. Hine Distinguished Alumni Award for service to IUPUI and IU in 2001, the ISBA’s Women in the Law award in 2005, the IU Alumni Association’s President’s Award in 2010, the IBA’s Women and the Law Committee’s Antoinette Dakin Leach award in 2011, and the Indiana Commission for Women’s Torchbearer Award for 2014; she was also honored as a Trailblazer – one of only five other women singled out for this designation – for her contributions to Indiana and the law.

Tadd MillerThe recipient of the 2014 Early Career Achievement Award is Tadd Miller, ’06, President and Co-founder of Milhaus Development. Milhaus specializes in the development of mixed-use and multi-family real estate projects. The properties are located throughout the Midwest and in Florida. Miller is a member of the Urban Land Institute, the International Council of Shopping Centers, and the Indiana Leadership Forum. In addition, he is a member of the IU McKinney Alumni Association Executive Committee. Miller was named “Young Professional of the Year” by the group “Young Professionals of Central Indiana” in 2006, was listed by the Indianapolis Business Journal in “Who’s Who Behind the Scenes in Real Estate,” in 2005; “Forty Under 40” in 2008, and “Who’sWho in Commercial Real Estate” in 2010. 

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