WHO IS JAMES METZGER?
Professionalism is Job One:
Having practiced law for over 11 years in both the public and private sectors, I have learned that professionalism must always be job one and I have made it the cornerstone of my practice and business. I believe that to be effective, the attorney must be readily available to the client. I pride myself on the fact that rarely does a phone call or email from a client go unanswered for more than 24 hours. I recognize that regardless of whether a case is large or small by comparison, every case is a significant matter to the client and requires the utmost attention. I am committed to presenting clients with solutions to their problems that make common and financial sense whether that entails formal litigation, informal mediation, or simply speaking on one’s behalf outside of a courtroom. I do my best to educate my clients about their situation so that they then have the tools to make effective and informed decisions. I may not always be able to tell you what you want to hear, but you will always be aware of the realities of whatever circumstances have brought you to my office.
Passion and Compassion:
Despite the many attorney ads one sees for aggressive representation, I believe that one size does not in fact fit all. An effective attorney understands when an aggressive approach is needed and when a more sensitive approach is called for. Having participated in well over 1,000 hearings as a Deputy Prosecutor, having tried hundreds of cases to the bench as well as having tried several jury trials I have a wealth of courtroom experience and can take a hard line in representing a client when necessary. Frequently, I find that a more delicate and diplomatic approach better serves a client’s interests such as in cases where family members, friends, or neighbors are pitted against each other and ideally the client would like to maintain an amicable relationship while at the same time solving the problem. I genuinely enjoy helping others, the practice of law, and I pride myself on my “soft skills,” as well as my versatility in being able to quickly acclimate and translate my abilities to a wide multitude of tasks and client needs. I am an avid student of history yet insatiably curious to learn new subjects, whether legal or non-legal, and I see challenges as opportunities to do just that.
Outside of the Office:
I am married to my wonderful wife and just recently became a new father with the arrival of my beautiful daughter. I have a Rat Terrier who “owns” the house and is spoiled rotten in her old age. I enjoy science and history. During the summer I prefer to be anywhere around water. I enjoy a variety of outdoor activities including auto racing and scuba diving. I am a lifelong Hoosier born and raised in South Bend and I lived in central Pennsylvania for three years while earning my law degree from The Pennsylvania State Dickinson School of Law. I, like many members of my family, am a proud graduate of Indiana University.
(Read Below for More Information on My Professional Background)
Born and raised in South Bend, I am a lifelong Hoosier! I attended Indiana University, Bloomington where I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. While in Bloomington I worked as an intern in the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office and continued to work there as a paid employee after the internship. I enjoyed working with the deputy prosecutors there and was very impressed by the work they did as attorneys. After earning by Bachelor’s degree I moved to Carlisle, Pennsylvania where I attended the Pennsylvania State Dickinson School of Law and earned my Juris Doctor degree. While in Pennsylvania I worked as in intern at the York County District Attorney’s Office and as a student contractor at the federal probation office (pretrial services division) for the U.S District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg.
After graduating, I moved to Indianapolis where I worked as an intern for the Marion County Prosecutor’s office and as a law clerk at the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (appeals division) while studying for the bar exam. Upon passage I began working as a deputy prosecutor at the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office. I started by prosecuting misdemeanor crimes including drunk driving cases, batteries, conversions, carrying a handgun without a license, disorderly conduct, etc. I moved up to D-felony prosecution where my most of my cases involved what would ordinarily be misdemeanors but with the added element of a prior related conviction, or battery involving serious bodily injury. I moved to the lower felony drug court and then into the major felony drug court.
While in the major felony drug court I handled drug dealing cases of all types and quantities ranging from “street-level” possession with intent cases to large quantity cases resulting from long term investigations by the Indiana State Police, IMPD Metro Drug Task Force, IMPD Dangerous Drug Unit, and other IMPD drug investigation units. I also handled Possession of a Firearm by a Serious Violent Felon and other felony gun cases. Some of my other assignments in the major felony drug unit included prosecution of firearms cases in night court and being the designated deputy prosecutor for probation / community corrections violations and modification of sentence petitions. I later served as supervisor of the civil forfeiture unit and lower felony drug court unit.
I left the prosecutor’s office after some 11 years of service to begin work in a small Fishers law-firm. While an associate at the firm I handled civil cases of all types including family law, real-estate, landlord-tenant, record expungement, creditor-debtor, bankruptcy, damage to underground facilities, and general civil litigation. After leaving the small firm I opened my own law office.