Bill Wagner is an accomplished trial attorney with over 30 years of experience in high-stakes complex litigation involving business disputes, trade secrets, government contracts, environmental law and cost recovery actions, class actions, insurance coverage, securities, and internal investigations and white collar defense. Throughout his career, Bill has demonstrated exceptional skill in the courtroom, having tried more than 60 cases to verdict in an era when over 95% of cases settle. Some notable successes include:

– Defeating a nine-figure breach of contract claim

– Obtaining injunctions to protect trade secrets in high-value technology cases

– Representing a global leader in nuclear material handling equipment in a breach of contract action against the U.S. Navy

He has represented clients across various industries, including defense, energy, finance, manufacturing, nonprofits, professional services, technology, and utilities.

Bill has been recognized in multiple categories of Best Lawyers in America® and named a Fellow of prestigious organizations such as the American Bar Foundation, Indiana Bar Foundation, and Litigation Counsel of America. He has also received the highest professional rating from Martindale Hubbell for ethical standards and legal ability.

Bill’s commitment to the legal profession is evident in his involvement with the American Bar Association, DRI, and Sedona Conference committees. He also shares his expertise by teaching trial skills to lawyers through the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA).

With a background that includes roles as a deputy prosecutor and in-house trial attorney for State Farm Insurance, Bill brings a wealth of practical experience to his practice. He earned his undergraduate and law degrees (cum laude) from Valparaiso University, working his way through school. Bill’s diverse experience, proven track record, and dedication to legal excellence make him an invaluable asset to clients facing complex litigation challenges.


All Service Areas


  • Valparaiso University School of Law (1992)
  • Valparaiso University, B.S. (1988)


  • Federal - Northern District of Indiana
  • Federal - Southern District of Indiana
  • Federal - U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • Federal - U.S. Supreme Court
  • Federal - 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Federal - 4th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Federal - Western District of Pennsylvania
  • Federal - Northern District of Illinois
  • State - Indiana
  • State - Illinois

Notable Matters

Civil Litigation
Business Disputes, Government Contracts, Trade Secrets, Cyberattack Litigation

  • Represented a global leader of nuclear material handling and lifting equipment in a breach of contract action against the United States Navy in a two-week trial before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA). The Board decided the Navy’s rejection of the client’s general purpose level luffing cranes costing over $62 million for the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard was unreasonable. The Board awarded our client millions of dollars in delay damages and interest, and provided a path to recover tens of millions of dollars more to maintain, store, and eventually deliver the cranes and for the final progress payment.
  • Represented an international defense contractor as plaintiff in a breach of contract case against a subcontractor in federal court in Minnesota, and in defense of parallel litigation involving a 9-figure breach of contract claim before the American Arbitration Association, International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR).
  • Represented an international defense and aerospace contractor and obtained preliminary and permanent injunctions in an Ohio state court to protect industrial trade secrets from misappropriation. The technology represented billions of dollars in sales involving radar systems for test and evaluation ranges for the United States and its allies. Also obtained dismissal of the defendant’s subsequent bankruptcy case.
  • Represented a ship repair company falsely accused of contaminating various air systems in the USS Decatur (DDG 73) and USS Stethem (DDG 63) guided missile cruisers. The Navy demanded reflushing of the air systems at the contractor’s expense. The case was filed in federal court in the Southern District of California and settled at mediation with the Navy paying the contractor $7.9 million by a Consent Judgment from the Judgment Fund.
  • Represented a ship repair company ordered by the Navy to perform extensive critical welding of 5XXX aluminum on the USS Cape St. George (CG 71) guided missile cruiser. The case was tried to the ASBCA in a 9-day hearing in San Diego, California on entitlement and quantum in February 2024. The parties are awaiting the Board’s ruling.
  • Represented a ship repair company ordered by the Navy to implement the Heavy Weather Plan on the USS Tortuga (LSD 46) following Hurricane Dorian. The case was tried is the so-called Rocket Docket in the Eastern District of Virginia, the fastest federal court docket in the country for complex commercial cases, in a 5-day trial on entitlement and quantum in April 2024. The parties are awaiting the Court’s ruling.
  • Represented a technology company accused of orchestrating a distributed denial of services (DDoS) cyberattack against a competitor and in defense of Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claims in federal court in New Jersey.
  • Represented a Native American-owned, small disadvantaged business in a Small Business Administration-approved mentor/protégé relationship in defense of a False Claims Act lawsuit seeking treble damages of $660 million, penalties, attorneys’ fees, and expenses in federal court in Minnesota. Obtained dismissal of the Relator’s claims.
  • Represented a telecommunications company in a two-week civil trial in federal court in Indiana involving allegations of fraud, conspiracy, and Civil Action by Crime Victim Act claims with over $10 million in damages.
  • Represented an interstate highway construction contractor in defense of civil Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and Civil Action by Crime Victim Act claims in federal court in Indiana brought by the Office of the Indiana Attorney General.
  • Represented an international defense contractor in defense of a breach of contract case in a 3-week trial in an Indiana state court and in pursuit of a counterclaim for misappropriation of trade secrets.
  • Represented the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet as outside counsel in its investigation of fraudulently procured contracts.
  • Represented investors in securities fraud lawsuits against brokers in arbitrations subject to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), formerly known as the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD). The claims included allegations of suitability, rescission, failure to supervise, and other claims, and the recovery of trading losses, fees, and expenses.
  • Represented brokers in response to administrative, state, and federal investigations and prosecutions brought by the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Indiana Securities Division, and the Office of the Indiana Attorney General.
  • Represented a Catholic non-profit foundation, its employee benefit plan, and third party administrator in defense of benefit claims subject to ERISA brought by national health care provider and physicians group in federal court in Pennsylvania.
  • Represented a pesticide manufacturer in defense of a patent infringement case brought by the industry leader, having responsibility to defend the damages claims in federal court in Indiana.

Environmental Litigation
Administrative, Civil, and Criminal Litigation

  • Extensive experience presenting and challenging expert testimony at trial and in Daubert hearings, including experts in engineering processes, toxicology, epidemiology, medical monitoring, contamination fate and transport, remediation, vapor intrusion, economic losses, and lost profits.
  • Extensive experience litigating chemical exposure and personal injury cases involving the “Forever Chemicals” perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), which are members of a chemical group called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS); chlorinated solvents, including tetrachloroethene (also known as perchloroethylene or PCE), tetrachloroethylene (TCE), and vinyl chloride; polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); petroleum contaminants; pesticides (atrazine, chlorpyrifos); heavy metals (lead); asbestos; hydrogen sulfide; and disinfection byproducts.
  • Represented the State of Indiana, Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as retained counsel against Guide Corporation in federal court in Indiana following a 50-mile fish kill caused by sodium dimethyldithiocarbamate contamination resulting in the largest natural resources damages settlement at the time in state history. The case involved claims for natural resource damages, response costs, penalties, and fines under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Resource Cost Recovery Act (RCRA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), Indiana environmental laws, and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit violations.
  • Represented the world’s largest automobile manufacturer at the time in defense of U.S. EPA and IDEM removal and remedial actions costing in excess of $200 million for PCBs contamination and in defense of related mass tort litigation brought by approximately 40 individuals alleging $80 million in damages. The personal injury cases were settled after favorable Daubert and summary judgment rulings against the plaintiffs’ remediation, medical monitoring, and stigma damages claims.
  • Represented an aerospace manufacturer in defense of a purported class action for personal injury, medical monitoring, and stigma damages in an Indiana state court case where TCE contamination migrated in groundwater below a newly constructed subdivision. The 135 plaintiffs sought $50 million in damages. The case was settled favorably after rulings denying class certification and plaintiffs’ personal injury, medical monitoring, and stigma damages claims.
  • Represented commercial property owner in defense of U.S. EPA Unilateral Administrative Order, an injunction filed by the City of Martinsville in federal court, and accompanying personal injury lawsuits filed in an Indiana state court in connection with PCE contamination to the city’s drinking water wellfield and resulting vapor intrusion.
  • Represented a minority and woman-owned environmental engineering firm, along with many of its clients, who are new Americans of Indian descent that own and operate independent retail gas stations and convenience stores, against IDEM in federal court in Indiana. Plaintiffs alleged that they were deprived of their due process rights to seek reimbursement for the cost to investigate and remediate gasoline contamination from leaking registered underground storage tank systems from the Excess Liability Trust Fund (ELTF). After exchanging written discovery and preliminary motion practice, the parties through counsel engaged in informative scientific meetings and settlement discussions, and resolved the matter by mutual agreement.
  • Plaintiffs’ co-counsel with Rob Bilott against DuPont in the class action litigation in federal courts in West Virginia (Rhodes, et al.) and New Jersey (Rowe, et al.) asserting medical monitoring and common law tort claims as a result of PFOA (also known as C8) exposure in plaintiffs’ drinking water. The cases were featured in the critically acclaimed movie “Dark Waters.” Plaintiffs sought medical monitoring for elevated cholesterol, several types of cancer, and other diseases caused by PFOA exposure. The C8 science panel later determined that PFOA exposure resulted in kidney cancer, testicular cancer, ulcerative colitis, thyroid cancer, pregnancy induced hypertension (including preeclampsia), and hypercholesterolemia.
  • Represented numerous manufacturers, dry cleaners, property owners, and private parties in defense of U.S. EPA and state (IDEM, Illinois EPA, and Michigan DEQ) remediation and enforcement actions and in defense of related mass tort and class actions (IN, IL, NJ, TX, WV) involving tetrachloroethene (perchloroethylene or PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE), and vinyl chloride contamination.
  • Represented clients in numerous internal investigations and successfully represented a variety of public and private corporations, public utilities, and individual officers and supervisors in defense of government investigations and parallel federal and state administrative, civil, and criminal investigations, grand jury proceedings, and criminal prosecutions, including federal Clean Water Act (CWA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and state environmental crimes (IL, IN, OH, CA) as listed below.
  • Represented the Indiana Water Quality Coalition, a group of businesses and industry associations participating in IDEM’s rulemaking on antidegradation.

White Collar Defense

  • Represented the State of Indiana’s largest municipal drinking water utility service in defense of federal and state criminal and regulatory investigations concerning atrazine and disinfection byproducts.
  • Represented a tire recycling business and its owners and officers in defense of a multiple count felony criminal prosecution, and parallel civil lawsuit by the State of Indiana and IDEM administrative enforcement action, all prosecuted by the Office of the Indiana Attorney General, arising from a massive tire fire.
  • Represented a real estate appraiser in two-week federal criminal trial involving 11 counts of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud. Obtained not guilty verdicts on all counts. The successful defense of criminal case resulted in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) dismissal of a parallel federal civil lawsuit.
  • Represented an environmental supervisor of the DaimlerChrysler Kokomo Transmission Plant in defense of federal felony Clean Water Act prosecution in which the prosecution alleged that the discharge damaged the municipal wastewater treatment plant. Extensive expert testimony proved that no permanent damage occurred, which resulted in a very favorable CWA misdemeanor plea agreement with six months of home detention, one year of probation, and a minimal fine.
  • Obtained defense verdict as co-counsel representing a real estate appraiser in federal criminal jury trial involving twelve counts of wire fraud and mail fraud.
  • Conducted numerous internal investigations and represented clients in response to federal grand jury subpoenas.

Insurance Recovery

  • Represented international manufacturing company seeking Directors and Officers (D&O) insurance coverage to pay for parallel Office of Inspector General and U.S. Department of Justice investigations into alleged bribery of public officials in exchange for awarding of government contracts.
  • Represented numerous manufacturers, dry cleaners, property owners, and private parties in defense of civil litigation and administrative regulatory actions asserted by U.S. EPA and state agencies (IDEM, Illinois EPA, and Michigan DEQ) in insurance coverage disputes, recovering hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance coverage to pay for the defense of those actions. Recovered insurance benefits to pay for the defense of a federal criminal case alleging Clean Water Act crimes based on negligent conduct.
  • Represented public and private corporations, government entities, and individuals in recovering hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance benefits and coverage under a variety of insurance policies, including commercial general liability, umbrella, directors and officers, errors and omission, professional liability, employment practices liability, crime, cyber, environmental, ERISA fiduciary, flood, and long term disability for executives.

Privacy and Data Security

  • Seeing the growing regulatory and compliance challenges and business risks to clients associated with the threat of cybersecurity issues, Bill co-chaired Taft’s Privacy and Data Security practice counseling clients in pre-incident response planning, compliance, cybersecurity best practices, cyber insurance, post-incident investigations and analysis, and data breach strategies and defense (IL, IN, KY, OH, PA). He has also been a frequent author and speaker on DoD’s Network Penetration Reporting and Contracting for Cloud Services regulations and the NIST Cybersecurity Framework.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association


  • DRI Government Enforcement and Corporate Compliance Committee

    Current Chair, Environment Crimes Subcommittee

  • Indiana Bar Foundation


  • Indiana State Bar Association


  • Indianapolis Bar Association


  • Litigation Counsel of America

    Fellow, The Trial Lawyer Honorary Society

  • American Bar Foundation


  • The Sedona Conference


  • 7th Circuit Council on eDiscovery and Digital Information


  • Seventh Circuit Bar Association

    Former Southern District of Indiana Liaison

  • Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US and CIPP/G)
  • Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU)