Stephen M. Wagner grew up in Indianapolis and attended Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School where he graduated as valedictorian in 1987. Mr. Wagner graduated cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 1991 with B.A. in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics and received his J.D. cum laude from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 1994. After being accepted to the U.S. Attorney General’s Honors Program, Mr. Wagner attended the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia, before working for the Department of Justice from 1994 to 1995 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1996 Mr. Wagner returned to Indianapolis to practice with the prestigious law firm of Riley Bennett & Egloff. In June 1997, Mr. Wagner left Riley Bennett to found the Wagner Law Firm, P.C., where he has practiced exclusively in the areas of plaintiff’s personal injury, wrongful death, civil rights, sexual abuse, product liability, gas explosion and fire cases, construction accidents, and mass torts. In June 2000, Mr. Wagner brought in partner Jason R. Reese to form Wagner Reese, LLP, a firm dedicated to representing injury victims throughout Indiana and nationwide.
For over fifteen years (2004-2022), Mr. Wagner has been selected by his peers as an “Indiana Super Lawyer”, an award presented to the top 5% of practicing attorneys in Indiana as published in the Super Lawyer and Indianapolis Monthly magazines. From 2018 to 2022, he was named one of the “Top 50 Personal Injury Attorneys in Indiana” by Super Lawyer. In 2006, Mr. Wagner was also selected by the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association as the “Indiana Trial Lawyer of the Year” for his work on a high profile police shooting death case, Estate of John Leaf v. Marion County Sheriff, et al. Mr. Wagner was recently named a “Distinguished Life Fellow of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation” recognizing for his significant contributions to the legal profession and leadership within the Central Indiana community. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Wagner is a frequent lecturer in the areas of civil litigation and complex litigation and has published articles in both national and local legal publications, including in the American Association for Justice’s Trial magazine and the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association’s Verdict magazine.
Mr. Wagner has taken numerous cases to a jury trial in Indiana and across the country, including auto and truck accident cases, medical malpractice cases, civil rights cases and premises liability cases, and has obtained multiple 7-figure and several 8-figure recoveries for clients. Frequently sought out by the media for his commentary in high profile legal cases involving police brutality, jail deaths, daycare negligence, and fraternity hazing, Mr. Wagner relishes representing the “little guy” and helping David defeat Goliath. Described by his clients as compassionate, confident and determined, Mr. Wagner takes a personal interest in each case, relishing the opportunity to help people during the most difficult times in their lives.
Mr. Wagner and his wife, Courtenay, have four adult children. Outside of work, he enjoys playing blues harmonica, volunteering at his church, acting in community theatre, cooking on the Big Green Egg, rooting for the Colts/Pacers/Irish, and working out.
- Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington, Indiana, 1994
- Honors: Cum Laude
- University of Notre Dame, 1991
- Honors: Cum Laude
- Major: Politics, Philosophy, and Economics
Honors & Awards
- Indiana Top 50 and Selected to Super Lawyers for Personal Injury – General, Civil Litigation, and Civil Rights
- Selected as an Indiana Super Lawyer in 2004, 2006 – 2022 by Law and Politics as published in Indianapolis Monthly Magazine
- Named Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association in 2006
- Named a Distinguished Fellow by the Indianapolis Bar Foundation in 2014
- Super Lawyers Top 50 (2018 – 2022)
- The Best Lawyers in America© (2021 – 2022)
- Top 25 Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyer
- IndyBar Foundation Distinguished Life Fellow 2022
- Frequent lecturer in the areas of catastrophic personal injury, civil rights/police brutality, and product liability litigation
Past Employment Positions
- Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney General’s Honor’s Program, 1994 – 1995
- Riley Bennett & Egloff, Indianapolis, Indiana, Attorney, 1995 – 1997