Byron has experience in the areas of media law, intellectual property and complex business litigation. He was First Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Southern District of Indiana from 1967 to 1969. Byron earned his undergraduate degree in 1959 from Indiana University, A.B., his law degree in 1962 from Indiana University Maurer School of Law, J.D., and his admission into the Indiana Bar in 1962. He served in the U.S. Army (Inf. and J.A.G.), with active duty from 1962-1966, ultimately serving as Chief Trial Counsel, Eighth U.S. Army, Korea, 1965-1966.
Dan has tried a number of jury and court trials over the years in state and federal courts, and has briefed and argued appellate cases before the Indiana Court of Appeals, the Indiana Supreme Court and the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Dan also briefed and argued the case of Fritz v. U.S. Railroad Retirement Board, a class action suit, before the Supreme Court of the United States. A number of his trials involved tobacco litigation, takeover litigation, City of Indianapolis civil rights litigation, utility litigation, and a variety of media law cases representing print and broadcast companies.
In 2007, he was selected by the International Senior Lawyers Project to lead a team of West African attorneys working in Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone to end impunity for violence against journalists, publishers and broadcasters and combat laws that limit freedom of expression in those countries (Nov. - Dec. 2007). For history of the trip and updates of the cases handled, see www.dbyroninghana.blogspot.com.
In 2011, he was selected by Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society as an Indiana media attorney to participate in its pro bono initiative representing journalists and others in need of such help.
Through the Berkman Center he was selected by the National Domestic Violence Registry to be its counsel with special emphasis on media law issues. The mission of this organization is to compile and publish a national list of the names and photographs of convicted domestic violence abusers and to inform the public of these individuals.
In 2012, he was selected by the International Senior Lawyers Project for travel to Mongolia for one month (Sept. 1 to Oct. 1) to mentor a number of defense attorneys who have undertaken cases relating to the protection of journalists and the rights of free press and free speech. He conducted training workshops for judges, prosecutors, journalists and media companies regarding defamation cases including sedition, criminal libel and civil libel matters. International law as well as the law of Mongolia and the United States was addressed. For history of the trip, see www.dbyroninmongolia.blogspot.com.
Also in 2012, Dan was appointed to the advisory board of the Center for International Media Law and Policy Studies, a new research center of the Indiana University School of Journalism which is the first of its kind at a public university in the United States. Dan was also appointed to the Military Affairs Committee of the Indiana State Bar Association, which was formed in 2012 to assist deployed soldiers and their families who are in need of pro bono legal help.
In 2013, he again was selected by the ISLP for travel to Mongolia for the month of October to participate as a lecturer at the National Media Conference sponsored by Global International. He also lectured at the Mongolia Journalism School and conducted additional training workshops for journalists and defense counsel regarding the harsh Mongolian defamation laws. His lectures included the latest changes in defamation law of the United States and International Law. He also lectured on the status of internet law covering bloggers and websites and how to avoid defamation and privacy issues when reporting stories.
In 2014, Dan was selected by The International Center and Indiana Coalition for Open Government (ICOG) to host a law symposium involving four African countries at the BGD Indianapolis office. The one-and-a-half hour conference with five international visitors from Benin, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Namibia and South Africa focused on transparency in government (public access to government meetings and documents). Each of the countries represented is striving to allow more openness to their constituents and press; these representatives are considered leaders in their fields. Byron has served as a member of the ICOG Board of Directors since 2006.
In 2015, Dan was elected President and CEO of the Indiana Debate Commission. While serving as president, oversaw the IDC’s handling of the 2016 Indiana gubernatorial and senatorial debates. This included finding venues that accommodate crowds of 100 or more; locating host cities, studios and satellite linkage for the debates; deciding debate formats; and securing moderators for the events. Additional details about his appointment are available here. Dan has been a member of the IDC since its founding in 2007.
In 2017, Dan was presented with the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame Distinguished Service Award for continuing his work protecting journalists in their many investigative efforts and in holding governments accountable for their actions, both in the U.S. and abroad.
Since 1997 to present, Mr. Byron has served as general counsel for the Indiana Broadcasters Association. He was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Indiana Broadcasters Association in October 2008 for especially meritorious service and contributions in the field of broadcasting, the association’s highest honor. He is the only non-broadcaster to receive the award.
Representative Cases and Achievements
- Fritz v. U.S. Railroad Retirement Board, 449 U.S. 166, 66 L. Ed. 2d 368, 101 S. Ct. 1421 (Supreme Court of the United States 1980); Argued Oct. 6, 1980, Decided Dec. 8, 1980; the first case argued on the first Monday in October 1980
- Canarx v. LIN-TV Corp et al., Case No. 1:07-cv-01482-LJM-JMS (U.S. Southern District of Indiana, Sept. 3, 2008)
- Commonwealth Edison Company of Indiana Inc. v. State Board of Tax Commissioner, Case No. 49T10-9507-TA-67, et al. (Ind. Tax Ct., 2002)
- Jean Poulard v. The News-Dispatch Publishing Co., Inc., Case No. 46D02-0004-CP-080 (Ind. Ct. of Appeals, Aug. 20, 2003)
- Eli Lilly v. Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, et al., So. District of Indiana, Case No. IP01-0443 CY/S (2001 – 2008)
- Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America®, 2007 - 2020, in the fields of First Amendment Law and Litigation - First Amendment
- Distinguished Service Award, Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame, 2017
- Accepted Media Defense Law Firm of the Year in Indiana, Corporate INTL Magazine Global Awards, 2016
- Recognized as a "2014 Top Rated Lawyer in Litigation” by American Lawyer Media (ALM) and Martindale-Hubbell™ after receiving an AV Preeminent® peer review
- Lifetime Achievement Award, Indiana Broadcasters Association, 2008
- Inaugural winner of the 2004 Indiana State Bar Association’s Civility/Professionalism Award for outstanding integrity and civility in working with judges, attorneys, parties, witnesses and the public
- Indianapolis Bar Association
- Indianapolis Bar Foundation, Fellow
- Indiana State Bar Association, Former Chair, BARPAC
- Indiana State Bar Foundation, Fellow
- Seventh Circuit Bar Association, Former Chair, Indiana Criminal Law Section
- U.S. Army, Inf. and J.A.G., active duty, 1962-1966
- Indiana Debate Commission, 2007 - present
- Indiana Coalition for Open Government, 2006 - present
- The Indianapolis Athletic Club, 1999 - 2004
- The Commission for Downtown Indianapolis, Inc. 1991 - 1993
Civic and Charitable Involvement
- Thomas More Society of Indianapolis
- The Dramatic Club
Contributions & Published Works
- "Media Privacy and Related Law," Media Law Resource Center’s 50-State Survey (Indiana Section), 2001 - present
- "Reporter’s Privilege Compendium (Indiana Section)," co-author, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, 2006 - present
- Eleven Bingham Greenebaum Doll Attorneys Named 2018 "Lawyers of the Year" in the 24th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©08.15.2017
- Eight BGD Attorneys Named 2017 “Lawyers of the Year” in the 23rd Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©08.15.2016
- ‘Dining on Yak in Mongolia:’ BGD Attorney Daniel Byron discusses recent pro bono trip with North Vernon Plain Dealer Sun12.02.2013
The Poynter Institute
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- Presentation to the American Center for Mongolian Studies on the, "Status of free Speech and Free Press in Mongolia," May 21, 2019
- Semi-Annual Presentation to journalism classes at UIndy on the, "Status of Defamation Law and How to Avoid Defamation Problems in Your Written Articles, 2012 - present
Indiana University, A.B., 1959
Indiana University Maurer School of Law, J.D., 1962
Bar & Court Admissions
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
- U.S. District Court, North District of Indiana
- U.S. Supreme Court
- Indiana Supreme Court
- U.S. District Court, South District of Indiana
- Indiana Court of Appeals