Diane Parsons is an honors graduate of Ball State University (1979) and a graduate of The Indiana University School of Law at Indianapolis (1983) (Dean’s List and George Dix Legal Writing Award Recipient). She is currently serving her third term as a Hearing Member on the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board. She is also trained as a civil mediator. As a Hearing Member on the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board, Ms. Parsons hears all worker’s compensation cases in the Indianapolis district, which includes all of Marion and Hamilton counties. She also hears Full Board administrative appeals of all Single Hearing Member decisions. Ms. Parsons manages the largest Board docket in the state. She is the first woman in the history of the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board to be appointed as a Hearing Member for the Indianapolis district.
Prior to being appointed to the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board, Ms. Parsons was a member and Vice President of the Emswiller, Williams, Noland & Clarke law firm in Indianapolis, where she concentrated her practice on the defense of worker’s compensation cases. In addition to serving as Vice President of the firm, she chaired the firm’s Worker’s Compensation Section, chaired the firm’s Premises Committee, and co-chaired the firm’s Marketing Committee. Before joining this firm, Ms. Parsons practiced law at the Locke Reynolds law firm (now the Frost Brown Todd law firm), from 1984-2002, where she became the second woman in the history of the firm to be elected to the position of Partner. Her practice at Locke Reynolds included jury trial, bench trial, and administrative board trial experience in the defense of worker’s compensation, general personal injury, medical malpractice, and product liability claims, as well as insurance contract disputes and other professional negligence claims.
Ms. Parsons has also worked in the legislative and executive branches of state government. She served as an Administrative Assistant to Lieutenant Governor John Mutz from 1981-1984. Her primary responsibility was to coordinate the drafting and Senate legislative enactment of the Orr/Mutz Economic Development Package, landmark legislation designed to stimulate Indiana’s economy and create new jobs through the enactment of approximately 60 new laws relating to economic development. She also served as Parliamentarian of the Indiana State Senate for four years, from 1984-1988. She was responsible for insuring legislative compliance with Senate procedural rules and for advising the Presiding Officer on matters of Parliamentary procedure. Ms. Parsons was the second woman in the history of the State of Indiana to be selected to this position.
Professionally, Ms. Parsons has served as a member of the Indianapolis (Vice Chair, Public Relations Committee), Indiana and American Bar Associations, the Indiana Defense Lawyers Association, the Defense Research Institute, the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana, the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Institute, and as a member and Treasurer of the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Defense Association. She is a frequent speaker at Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forums (including its Masters Series forums on worker’s compensation) and has been a presenter and speaker to the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association Worker’s Compensation Section, the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana Worker’s Compensation Section, the Indiana Self-Insured Association and Indiana’s Annual Worker Memorial Ceremony. In addition, she has conducted numerous in-house training seminars for clients over the course of her private legal practice career.
Ms. Parsons has served as a member of the Cathedral Arts Midsummer Festival Steering Committee and Co-Chair of its Arrangements Committee. She has served as a Board Member of Leadership and Renewal Outfitters, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to serving the needs of youth workers. She has served as a Board Member, and Chair of the Scholarship Committee, of Kids’ Chance of Indiana, a not-for-profit corporation that provides college scholarships to children of catastrophically and fatally injured workers in Indiana.
Ms. Parsons created and co-chaired a Diversity Committee at Hamilton Southeastern Schools, was a member of the Justice Committee and a co-collaborator on a Forum on Diversity at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, and co-created a civilian military support program during the conflict in Iraq known as Support Our Troops. She attended all five levels of the Beyond Your Best transformational life coaching program (Levels I, II, III, Mastery, and Reemergence) in Indianapolis and thereafter served as a volunteer coach and assistant for the program in numerous capacities for a number of years. She is a Reiki Master and is also trained in Matrix Energetics and other holistic healing practices.
Ms. Parsons has been awarded a Sagamore of the Wabash in honor of her distinguished service to the citizens of the State of Indiana.