Brett E. Nelson

Firm: Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP.
Location: Indianapolis - IN

  • 1346 N. Delaware St.
    Indianapolis, IN 46202-2415
  • Tel : 317-637-0700
  • Fax : N/A

Brett is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer with a particular interest in technical and complex litigation.  He represents clients in a broad range of property tax litigation, environmental, insurance coverage & recovery, construction, and commercial and intellectual property disputes.  His practice also includes, copyright and trademark prosecution/registration. Clients range from individuals and small companies to Fortune 250 companies.

Favorite representations include helping a dying, retired bus driver obtain his disability pension and preserve it for his widow; requiring a client’s competitor to compete on a level playing field by complying with the Clean Air Act in the manufacture of an aerosol product and establishing a competitor’s right to recover attorney fees in bringing a successful citizen’s suit under the Clean Air Act.  Brett’s cases include numerous successful resolutions of claims on behalf of  policyholders and other insureds for environmental, property, liability and errors and omissions claims both before and after trial.


  • 2014-2015, Selected for inclusion in Indiana Super Lawyers – Environmental Litigation
  • 2016-2022, Listed in Best Lawyers in America ®
  • 2016-2022, Selected for inclusion in Indiana Super Lawyers – Insurance Coverage
  • 2022, Recognized by Premier Appellate Lawyers as a Leading Appellate Lawyer in Indianapolis
  • 2022, Recognized by The Tax Lawyers for the State of Indiana
  • 2023, Named Exclusive Featured Attorney Premier Tax Lawyers Representing Indianapolis


  • Meijer Stores Limited Partnership v. Boone County Assessor (Petition Nos.: 06-021-14-1-4-10237-15, 06-005-15-1-4-01987-17, 06-005-16-1-4-01988-17 & 06-005-17-1-4-02182-17, Ind. Bd of Tax Rev. (Aug. 28, 2019)). Lead counsel for the Boone County Assessor, who prevailed in appeal filed in property tax appeal for a Big Box Store (affirmed, Indiana Tax Court, 19T-TA-00030, Dec. 31,2020).
  • Richardson’s RV v. Indiana Dep’t. of State Rev.112 N.E.3d 192 (Ind. 2018). This case involved an RV dealer in Northern Indiana that thought it could avoid paying Indiana sales tax if it took RVs it sold to certain out-of-state customers into Michigan before handing over the keys.  On Petition for Review, the Indiana Supreme Court reversed the Tax Court decision (80 N.E.3rd 292, Tax Court 2017) that granted summary judgment for Richardson’s RV and, instead, entered judgment in favor of the Indiana Dept. of State Rev. The Supreme Court also remanded the case to the Tax Court for a determination of the amount of Tax owed by Richardson’s RV.
  • Massa Capital LLC v. Mosh Rudich et al. Secured summary judgment awarding damages and interest for Massa Capital in the amount of $1,750,000 in principal plus interest and late fees for a total of $2,151,100 with daily accruals in the amount of $1,225 until all principal has been paid.  In addition, the Court found defendants liable for $49,863.89 in attorney fees. Time spent from start to finish was less than 6 months. (Marion County Indiana Superior Court, Case No. 49D01-1909-CC-037608, March 3, 20220)
  • TBD Capital LLC v. Seneca Ins. Co., Case No. 49D02-1309-PL-034683 slip op. (Marion Co. Superior Ct., Sept. 21, 2012) ($2.3M Judgment in favor of mortgage holder under first party property policy. Insurer denied claim based on alleged fraud in the application for insurance. Judgment included $1.2 M in attorney fees for insurer’s unreasonable litigation.
  • SAMS Hotel Group LLC d/b/a Homewood Suites Hotel v. Auto Owners Ins. Co., Cause No. 49D14-0910-PL-049045 (Marion Co. Superior Ct., Sept. 21. 2012) (Summary judgment order holding that insurance and “waiver of subrogation” provisions of AIA General Conditions to AIA agreement between Owner and Contractor do not preclude claims against subcontractor who signed non-AIA contract).
  • The Netherlands Ins. Co. v. Triplett Striping, Inc., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26966 (W. D. Ky. Feb. 29, 2012) (Order dismissing first-filed federal declaratory judgment action regarding insurance coverage for pollution claim in favor of later-filed Indiana state court action based on doctrine of abstention).
  • English Ave. Props., LLC v. Gillette Co., Cause No, 49F12-0401-PL-00001 (Marion Co. Superior Ct., June 17, 2011) (Summary judgment order holding ten-year statute of limitations applies to claims under Indiana’s Environmental Legal Action and Illegal Dumping statutes).


  • Member, Indiana State Bar Association, Appellate Practice, Environmental Law, Litigation and Intellectual Property  Sections
  • Chair, Indiana State Bar Association, Intellectual Property Section (2004-2005)
  • Member, Indianapolis Bar Association, Appellate Practice, Litigation, Insurance Coverage and Tax Litigation, and Environmental Law Sections
  • Member, American Bar Association, Section of Litigation; Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee and Construction Litigation Committee

Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP.

In 1988, our founders created a different kind of law firm. A law firm where attorneys provide high quality, cost-effective legal work with creative, innovative solutions to clients’ complex matters. A law firm on the cutting edge of the law that emphasizes legal knowledge and innovation. A law firm that takes on hard cases because it values shaping the law. A law firm committed to helping businesses, large and small, thrive.

Originally founded as an environmental boutique law firm offering full-service environmental counseling and complex litigation services, our work has organically grown into one of the largest policyholder insurance coverage practices in the Midwest. Today, our breadth and depth of experience and technical knowledge allow us to handle complex issues and everyday client matters in sectors of manufacturing, energy, technology, life sciences, petroleum and energy, health care and waste services. Our attorneys are entrepreneurial, purpose driven, and committed to working with clients in all stages of their business growth or succession planning.

Our attorneys are committed to finding creative, cost-effective solutions that will deliver the best outcomes for our clients. Our firm culture encourages collaboration and respect among colleagues. We embrace a team approach to help shape winning strategies.

Bring us your challenges. Let us work with you to turn them into opportunities.