Drawn to the community and its quality of civic and cultural life, Nathan Maudlin settled in New Harmony to practice law in 2003. Maudlin had long thought of moving to New Harmony —ever since he and his wife spent their honeymoon there in 1980—so when Klezmer expressed interest in expanding his firm, Maudlin proposed joining him by opening a new office in New Harmony, and the deal was struck.
Prior to joining Randy Klezmer to form the firm that bears their names, Maudlin had practiced for seven years in a large, defense-oriented firm in Indianapolis. Much of his work there focused on representing employers and insurance companies in worker’s compensation claims, and he and Klezmer were opposing counsel on many of them.
For Maudlin, the move meant crossing over to representing injured workers instead of employers and insurance companies. While he enjoyed his work in the Indianapolis firm, Maudlin considers his current practice to be more in accordance with his initial motivation to be a lawyer. “I went to law school with the idea of being helpful for individuals if I could,” he says.
Prior to law school, Maudlin spent 18 years in the mental-health field, working with individuals in a range of issues—from stress management to the care of mentally challenged adults. As a worker’s compensation attorney, Maudlin oftentimes can draw upon the skills he honed as a counselor to assist injured workers during difficult periods of their lives.
“People have work injuries, and it disrupts their entire lives—not just them, but their families and everything else,” he says. “They’re not able to work, they’re earning less, and it puts pressure on the entire unit. It’s important to be able to counsel people on these new issues that are affecting them.”
When it comes to dealing with employers, insurance companies, and opposing counsel, Maudlin has the added advantage of having worked on that side for seven years. “I know what’s important to the other side and to the defendants,” he says. “I can understand the picture from their view, and that helps me represent my clients.” His day-to-day practice involves representing individuals in front of the Worker’s Compensation Board, making sure that their rights are protected and that they receive the benefits they are entitled to.
He’s also had cases that have made law following appellate review in the state trial court. One of these, Indiana State Police v. Wiessing, involved a police officer who shot and killed a motorist during a traffic-stop altercation and suffered post-traumatic stress disorder leading to suicide six years later. Maudlin successfully argued that the man’s children deserved compensation because their father was not receiving the treatment for his condition that he should have gotten.
Maudlin’s devotion to helping those in need extends to the New Harmony community where civic duty has a proud tradition. He served as New Harmony’s town attorney for 10 years and now is heavily involved with the Working Men’s Institute, which continues to provide educational and cultural services some 180 years after its founding. “The thing I liked about New Harmony was that people really looked at figuring out what’s the best way for people to live together in a peaceful way,” he says.
He’s proud to be carrying on the tradition.