Judy G. Hester is a 1986 Cum Laude graduate of Loyola University in Chicago, where she earned her Juris Doctor degree and a Master’s degree in Social Work. She is admitted to practice law in the States of Illinois and Indiana, as well as the U.S. District Courts in the Southern District of Indiana, the Northern District of Illinois, and the Court of Federal Claims. Judy’s diverse experience and training, combined with compassion and understanding, is the foundation for the Brazill Hester law firm and the commitment to promote the legal interests of each of the firm’s clients. Judy concentrates in issues affecting most individuals and families, including divorce, paternity, child custody disputes, parenting time, property valuation/division, and land use issues. She served as a commercial litigator for the prestigious law firm of Seyfarth, Shaw, Fairweather & Geraldson through its Chicago office, subsequently managed the nationwide litigation efforts for Sears Mortgage Corporation (n/k/a PNC Mortgage Corporation), and later continued to counsel Sears Mortgage and its successors following moves to the United Kingdom and later to Indiana. Her litigation and dispute resolution work continued in 1998 in Indiana, representing the Boone County Area Plan Commission, the City of Carmel, and expanding to family companies and individuals. Judy’s clients benefit not only from her skilled representation earned through her comprehensive legal experience, but also from her compassion that has naturally developed as a result of her long-standing commitment to serving others. Judy is a Registered Domestic Relations Mediator and a trained Collaborative Law Professional, Parenting Coordinator, and Guardian ad Litem. She is a member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Central Indiana Association of Collaborative Professionals, the ISBA, and is the Chairperson for the ISBA Children’s Rights Committee.
C. Jefferson “Jeff” Cragen
C. Jefferson “Jeff” Cragen, earned his B.A. degrees in Political Science and Psychology at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana in 1992 before earning his Juris Doctor at Valparaiso Law School in 1995, including a period where he studied law in Cambridge, England, with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. As an attorney who primarily practices estate planning and elder law, Jeff has considerable experience with various types of trusts, including special needs trusts, credit shelter trusts, Qualified Terminable Interest Property trusts, and irrevocable life insurance trusts. Jeff stresses the goals of maintaining control and protection of assets within families for long term care benefits, such as Medicaid and Veteran Administration benefits for assisted living and nursing home care. He has the distinction of earning the certification to represent veterans before the Veterans Administration and has been invited to speak across Indiana about estate planning and Medicaid planning. Jeff previously practiced with Medley, Cragen, & Sellmer in Carmel, Indiana before moving his practice to downtown Indianapolis in 2004, and he has served of-counsel with Brazill Hester, P.C. since 2006.
Richard C. Hersberger
Richard C. Hersberger was admitted to practice law in the State of Indiana in October of 2004 after graduating that year from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis. Preceding law school, Rich graduated in 1997 from Mt. Vernon High School in Fortville, Indiana and in 2001 earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and History from Indiana University in Bloomington. Rich has a broad practice area, focusing on family law and civil litigation. He is a trained Collaborative Law Professional and a member of Fortville’s Economic Redevelopment Commission, as well as Fortville’s Design Review Board.
Lavonna Thomas Derringer
Lavonna Thomas Derringer is the firm’s law clerk. Lavonna graduated from Indiana University-Bloomington in May 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Criminal Justice, and a minor in Human Development and Family Studies. She took an active leadership role in the IU Dance Marathon throughout her undergraduate career for the benefit of the Riley Children’s Hospital. Lavonna started law school at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in the fall of 2015. She is currently the President of the law school’s Family Law Society, a member of the ISBA Children’s Rights Committee, and a student member of the Indianapolis Bar Association.
Pamela A. Carlisle
Pamela A. Carlisle provides paralegal support to the firm and its clients. Pam initially worked with Tim Brazill as an administrative assistant from 1995 to 2006. Her experiences with Tim were as challenging and rewarding as they were wide-ranging, including conventional legal secretary duties, assistance ordering equipment and planning functions for Tim’s youth football teams, and most importantly, a great friendship. Pam’s friendly voice is often a client’s first introduction to our firm, and she provides loyal and caring support to all of our staff. Pam resides in Speedway with her husband. She enjoys reading and spending time with her three children, four grandchildren, and Golden Retriever MacGregor (Mac) and Yellow Lab Shiloh.
Timothy P. Brazill
Timothy P. Brazill, deceased, a founding member of our firm, brought an unmistakable faith, energy, and love for life to all those with whom he associated, not to mention his renowned legal expertise. Tim was a 1982 graduate of the Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis, and preceding law school he attended Wabash College with the prestigious Lilly Scholarship, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, and also serving as president of the student body and Rush Chairman and active member of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity.
During his legal career, Tim cultivated a superior and well-respected legal expertise in corporate finance, strategic and complex business formation and transactions, and advanced estate and tax planning. Tim’s high energy level was devoted not only to his work, but to his family’s church and school, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Carmel. He coached football at Bellmont High School in his childhood home of Decatur, Indiana and became synonymous with the football program at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, earning national recognition for the program and mentoring hundreds of young men in the process. He resided in Carmel with his wife and two sons until he left this world to meet his Savior on February 19, 2006. His inspirational life and powerful example of faith through service to others has left an indelible mark on all of us as well as our firm and helps define our mission.