Your Legal Team

Your Personal Injury Team

While Dave, our personal injury attorney, works hard on your case, he doesn’t do it alone. You have a full team on your side to help build your case, keep you informed, and make the process smooth. This team is experienced in case work and case management, and is fully dedicated to our Client Bill of Rights and Guiding Principles.

Attorney pic

Your Personal Injury

Attorney and Team

We are Your Personal Injury Team 

Legal processes can be long and exhausting, which is why you need a team who cares for you, is trustworthy, and is not only available for communications, but eager to help you understand next steps and nuances of your case.  Bringing your personal injury or wrongful death case from start to finish requires experience, teamwork, and constant focus.

Attorney Dave Cloutier and Paralegals Gina Paschke, Amanda Herr, and Bridgett Orta have nearly 70 years of combined experience handling personal and wrongful death cases. Having the full team on your side to helps build your case, keep you informed, and make the process smooth. We act as a team and believe in our Client Bill of Rights and Guiding Principles.

While Dave Cloutier founded Cloutier Law Offices, it’s not his first legal endeavor. He’s worked with other law firms and has incorporated the best of his experiences into his legal practice while flipping lawyer stereotypes on their head. Dave’s not stuffy, cold, or detached. He’s eager to help hurting people, make the process as comfortable as possible, and build your case well.

BACKGROUND AND JOURNEY TO LAW

Dave grew up in Wheaton, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. He came to South Bend to attend the University of Notre Dame and then Notre Dame Law School. He grew fond of the Michiana community, its people, and its values, and has been here ever since. Dave graduated with a bachelor of science degree from Notre Dame in 1992.

He attended Notre Dame on a Navy/Marine Corps ROTC Scholarship and spent his summers on temporary active duty, getting the chance to experience working Navy on ships, submarines, planes, and helicopters. He received the Military Order of the World Wars Award and competed on the NROTC Rifle Drill Team. He then attended Notre Dame Law School, graduating in 1996.

While at Notre Dame, he was a Dean’s List honoree and received among other awards the International Academy of Trial Lawyers award for excellence in Trial Advocacy, and the American Jurisprudence Awards for both Trial Advocacy and Constitutional Law. He was a member of the Trial Advocacy (“Barristers”) Competition Team, and competed in the law school Client Counseling competition. 

Attorney pic
Attorney pic

LEGAL EXPERIENCE & LEADERSHIP

Since graduating from law school, Dave has been in private practice as a trial lawyer representing plaintiffs in personal injury cases, including in jury trials and appeals in Indiana state and federal courts. Dave is a Lifetime Member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (The Top Trial Lawyers in America™) which requires for membership proof of successful results for individual clients in the multi million dollar range. He had served for over ten years on the Board of Directors of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA). Dave is a charter member of the Robert A. Grant Inn of Court, a member of the American Association for Justice, the St. Joseph County Bar Association, the National Crime Victims Bar Association, and the Brain Injury Association.  Dave taught classes as an adjunct faculty member for the paralegal studies department at Brown Mackie College (formerly Michiana College) and served on the program’s Professional Advisory Committee. He has served as a Judge Pro Tempore of the St. Joseph Superior Court. Dave has authored articles in legal publications and given numerous seminar and other presentations to other attorneys and legal professionals.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

Dave is three-time past President and 20-year member of the South Bend Business Network International. He participates in activities through Notre Dame and Notre Dame Law School including the 2024 chair and prior attorney team leader for the “Should I Be a Lawyer, the Experience” program. He has judged numerous competitions such as Moot Court, Mock Trial, Client Counseling, and was the coach from 1997-1999 of the Notre Dame undergraduate Mock Trial team. Dave is a member St. Pius X Catholic Parish, and MENSA International. Dave and his wife are both Notre Dame alumni and enjoy Notre Dame sports, especially football, hockey and baseball, and they enjoy traveling. Dave and his wife have lived in Granger since 1997.

GINA M. PASCHKE — PARALEGAL

Gina Paschke has been a paralegal at Cloutier Law Offices since its founding in 2004. With two decades of experience working exclusively on personal injury cases, she is one of the most experienced personal injury paralegals in the region. Gina grew up in South Bend and graduated from John Adams High School. She obtained her paralegal degree from Michiana College in South Bend, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average. She is a member of the Michiana Paralegal Association and an associate member of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association. Gina has worked on a wide variety of personal injury cases with specific and unique issues involved, and uses that experience to the advantage of our clients. She enjoys being able to assist clients in their time of need and finds that the most rewarding part of her job at Cloutier Law Offices is knowing that her role plays an integral part in helping clients get resolution and get back on their feet.

Gina has three grown children, and two beautiful granddaughters. Gina lives with her husband in Granger, and they enjoy playing in pool leagues and tournaments, traveling, camping, and spending time with her family. with her husband and their two dogs, Emma and Kingston.

My Buddy Dave for Personal Injury Law South Bend

AMANDA HERR — PARALEGAL

Amanda Herr has been a paralegal at Cloutier Law Offices since 2012. She grew up in Nappanee and graduated from Northwood High School. In 2008, she graduated from Brown Mackie College in South Bend with a paralegal degree. She is a member of the Michiana Paralegal Association and an associate member of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association. Amanda is known as the “stickler” of the office as she is very detail oriented and likes to move cases along on, or usually ahead of, schedule. Amanda’s favorite part of her job is the teamwork and efficiency that goes into getting clients’ cases favorably resolved. She also loves meeting new clients and getting to know them very well as a case proceeds. Amanda
lives in Elkhart with her husband and children. She and her family enjoy crafting, kayaking, vacationing in Florida with extended family, and being involved in her children’s extracurricular activities like martial arts and swimming.

BRIDGETT VAZQUEZ — LEGAL ASSISTANT

Bridgett Orta started as a Legal Assistant at Cloutier Law Offices in 2018. After accumulating five years of experience and completing extensive academic training in-house, in 2024 her title changed to Paralegal. Bridgett grew up in Elkhart, graduated from Elkhart Memorial High School, and attended Southwestern Michigan College. She is an associate member of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association. Bridgett is often referred to as the “friend to everyone” because she so easily develops trust and rapport with people. She is fluent in Spanish, which allows us to serve Spanish-speaking clients without the need for interpreters.  She enjoys the fast pace of casework and has devoted herself to growing her legal knowledge and education. Bridgett’s favorite part of her job is seeing the relief and joy clients feel when their cases are concluded successfully. Bridgett loves to travel: everything from foreign travel to trips for concerts and events with her friends. Bridgett lives in Elkhart with her husband. 

PUBLICATIONS, PRESENTATIONS, AND APPELLATE CASES.

Presentation: Avoiding the UIM (Underinsured Motorist) Limits for Limits Trap (Indiana Trial Lawyers Association Lifetime Achievement Seminar, 2018) 

Article: Hypothetically Speaking: Using Hypothetical Questions in the Deposition of a Defense Medical Expert (Verdict Magazine, Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, Volume 37 No. 3, 2016) 

Article: To Lead or Not to Lead: The Use and Abuse of Leading Questions at Trial (Verdict Magazine, Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, Volume 30, No. 2, 2009) 

Presentation: Being an Impact Paralegal: 8 Tips for the 8 Phases of Personal Injury Litigation (MPA, 2008) 

Brown Mackie College Commencement Address (May 2007) 

Presentation: The Paralegal’s Important Role in Discovery (MPA, 2006) 

Presentation: The Normal Curve as a Paradigm for Valuing Cases (Indiana Trial Lawyers Association Annual Institute 2005) 

Seminar: Taking and Defending Effective Depositions in Indiana (Lorman May 2005) 

Author, Amicus Curiae Brief: Walkup v. Wabash Nat. Corp., 702 N.E.2d 713 (Ind. 1998) (Supreme Court of Indiana 1998) (establishing that an underinsured motorist exclusion providing a setoff for damages payable under worker’s compensation eliminates the worker’s compensation lien, thus preventing a “double dip” on the injured person’s recovery)