Scott Barnhart

Keffer Barnhart LLP
230 E Ohio St Fl 400
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2149
(317) 857-0160

Scott Barnhart grew up in the Evansville area and attended the Indiana University, Bloomington. He graduated from IU?s Kelley School of Business and went onto attend the University of Toledo College of Law. While in law school, Mr. Barnhart began working in the Appeals Division of the Indiana Attorney General?s Office. He graduated cum laude from law school, moved to Indianapolis, and accepted a position as a Deputy Attorney General in the Appellate Division of the Indiana Attorney General?s Office. In that position, Mr. Barnhart was responsible for representing the State of Indiana in direct and post-conviction appeals. He has presented oral arguments before the Indiana Supreme Court and the Indiana Court of Appeals. As either a public or private appellate practitioner, he has had the opportunity to address and litigate complex issues concerning statutory construction, constitutional law, and commercial insurance coverage. While Mr. Barnhart began career in government service as an appellate attorney, he later gained significant experience as a trial lawyer in both criminal and civil courts.

After six and a half years practicing at the Attorney General?s Office, Mr. Barnhart founded Keffer Barnhart LLP where he practices in the areas of civil rights, criminal law, family law, and personal injury law. As a trial lawyer, Mr. Barnhart represents clients before criminal and civil courts throughout the State of Indiana. He expects, and is expected, to try cases. He firmly believes that the best litigation results are often the product of attorneys and clients who presume that their cases will be tried, and prepare accordingly for that trial. Because of his trial-tested strategy and his litigation experience, Mr. Barnhart is able to offer an in-depth advice concerning potential outcomes and what factors a client may or should consider when making a decision about his or her case.

A significant portion of Mr. Barnhart?s practice is devoted to the pursuit of civil rights cases against police departments, jails, prisons, and their respective officers. Those cases concern police brutality, dog bites, jail deaths, treatment of disabled individuals, and medical care for arrestees and prisoners. Because of his unique background and experience, he is frequently asked by media to comment on high profile legal topics or cases concerning both criminal and civil cases. Mr. Barnhart enjoys defending the constitution and ensuring that its principles are followed by the State and municipalities alike.

Mr. Barnhart?s legal experience also includes assisting clients in matters before administrative agencies and boards. As a former government lawyer, he assisted a state agency with administrative law matters including the prosecution of matters before an administrative board. Now as a private practitioner, Mr. Barnhart now uses his understanding and experience to assist clients in the navigation of what is often perceived as a confusing and intimidating process. Whether it is attempting to informally resolve a dispute or moving forward with a contested hearing, Mr. Barnhart?s experience affords him a fundamental understanding of the decisions and the processes that administrative agencies use to regulate licensees or address issues concerning other stakeholders.

When it comes to administrative law, it is generally Mr. Barnhart?s goal to try and resolve issues or disputes informally either through an agreement or an agreed resolution through the government agency or board. However, a hearing before an administrative agency or board is sometimes necessary or is in the best interest of the client. Mr. Barnhart has had matters or represented clients before the Indiana Department of Insurance, the Indiana Department of Transportation, the Indiana Real Estate Commission, the Office of the Indiana State Chemist, Purdue University, and the Indiana State Police.

Areas of Practice

35% Civil Rights & Police Brutality
25% Appeals
25% Civil Litigation
10% Criminal Law (including DUI)
5% Post-Conviction Matters

Bar Admissions

State of Indiana, 2005
U.S. District Court Northern District of Indiana, 2005
U.S. District Court Southern District of Indiana, 2005


University of Toledo College of Law, Toledo, Ohio
J.D. cum laude 2005
Honors: Deans Merit Law Scholarship
Honors: Criminal Law Moot Court Team
Indiana University, Bloomington, Kelley School of Business
B.S. 2001

Representative Cases

Nicoson v. State, 998 N.E.2d 660 (Indiana Supreme Court 2010)
Hayes v. State, 906 N.E.2d 819 (Indiana Supreme Court 2009)
Freshwater v. State, 853 N.E.2d 941, 942 (Indiana Supreme Court 2006)
Gutermuth v. State, 868 N.E.2d 420 (Indiana Supreme Court 2007)
Boyd v. State, 866 N.E.2d 855 (Indiana Court of Appeals 2007)
Phillips v. State, 869 N.E.2d 512 (Indiana Court of Appeals 2007)
J.B. v. State, 849 N.E.2d 714 (Indiana Court of Appeals 2006)
Peters v. State, 888 N.E.2d 274 (Indiana Court of Appeals 2008)
Widduck v. State, 861 N.E.2d 1267 (Indiana Court of Appeals 2007)
Calhoon v. State, 842 N.E.2d 432, 436 (Indiana Court of Appeals 2006)
Markland v. State, 865 N.E.2d 639 (Indiana Court of Appeals 2007)
Haywood v. State, 875 N.E.2d 770, 773 (Indiana Court of Appeals 2007)
Jewell v. State, 887 N.E.2d 939, 940 (Indiana Supreme Court 2008)
Eaton v. State, 889 N.E.2d 297 (Indiana Supreme Court 2008)


Speaker, ICLEF Masters Series on Constitutional Rights and Section 1983, August 14, 2014
Speaker, Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry Seminar, Indiana Attorney General?s Office, August 30, 2011
Speaker, Prosecutors Sued: Attorney General?s Representation on Forfeiture, Immigration, and Abortion Suits, 2011 IPAC Summer Conference
Speaker, Appealing to a Higher Power, Marion County Prosecutor?s Office Continuing Legal Education Program, January 13, 2009

Professional Associations and Memberships

Indiana Bar Foundation, Member of the Executive Committee
Indiana Bar Foundation, Board of Directors
Indiana Bar Foundation, Fellow
We the People Civic Education Program, Judge, Volunteer, and Committee Member
Indiana High School Mock Trial Program, Volunteer
American Association for Justice, Member
Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, Member
National Advocacy for DUI Defense, Member & Superior Attorney
Indiana State Bar Association, Member
Indianapolis Bar Association, Member
Hamilton County Bar Association, Member

Past Employment Positions

Office of the Indiana Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, 2005 - 2012

Pro Bono Activities

Indiana Bar Foundation Fundraising Committee, 2012 - 2014
Indiana High School Mock Trial Board Member, 2012 - 2014
Indiana High School Mock Trial Woods Dedication Award 2014