Robert J. Nice is the founder of The Nice Law Firm in Indiana. The firm has offices in Indianapolis, Danville and Kokomo and is a multi-service legal organization that focuses on real estate, small business, estate planning, general litigation, legal malpractice and personal injury law. The firm currently serves clients throughout central and northern Indiana counties.
Robert J. Nice commits his staff to delivering exceptional legal service. He believes that clients should receive all the expertise of a large law firm but with the personal attention only a smaller boutique firm can offer. The Nice Law Firm understands that long-term attorney/client relationships are the essential foundation for a successful law practice.
Attorneys at the firm have more than 70 combined years of legal experience and work together as a team to blend their knowledge and skills for the benefit of a particular client need. Using a combined effort, every client who turns to The Nice Law Firm benefits from the education and experience of all attorneys in the organization. There are currently four attorneys, one legal administrator, and five paralegals working for the firm.
The firm closely follows legal news and trends and is committed to achieving the best possible outcome for each client. The Nice Law Firm also holds itself to a high standard of ethics and is unwavering in its commitment to practicing the law with integrity. Currently, the organization represents individuals in personal and corporate matters. Businesses represented are varied and include technology firms, convenience stores, marketing companies, pharmacies, home owner’s associations and daycare centers.
Robert J. Nice didn’t always want to become an attorney. In fact, as a boy he wanted to pursue a career in pharmacy. His heart was set as a high school student on becoming a druggist and owning the corner drugstore. Those plans shifted during his collegiate career when a series of events ignited an interest in law and pushed him away from the pharmaceutical industry.
Robert J. Nice grew up in the town of Winamac. His family was established and well known in the area. His family had been in farming for over 100 years, until his father “moved to town.” Still, much time was spent working on a local farm and learning the value of hard work. Farm work, a paper route, and athletics all taught him the value of setting goals and enduring hard work to reach them.
As he grew older, Robert J. Nice experienced the all-American childhood. He participated in an array of extra curricular activities and was even the captain of his high school basketball team. He was known among teachers at his school for his hard work and good grades.
As a teenager, Robert J. Nice participated in the Order of DeMolay. DeMolay is an organization for young men that emphasizes leadership skills, personal responsibility and civic awareness. The organization instills seven core values in all of the young men who participate. Those are filial love, reverence for sacred things, courtesy, comradeship, fidelity, cleanness, and patriotism. Chapters participate in special “obligatory days” that involve service and activities dedicated to these values. There are more than 15,000 active members in the organization today in the United States and Canada alone.
Nice attended Purdue University and studied pharmacy. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 1982. Purdue University is part of the Big Ten Conference and its main campus is located in West Lafayette, Indiana. The university’s mascot is the Boilermaker, a moniker it earned in 1891 when a newspaper called the school’s football team the “boiler makers” in a description of their decisive victory over Wabash College.
Since 1874, Purdue University has awarded more than 433,000 degrees ranging from baccalaureate degrees to doctoral degrees. The university is frequently rated among the top universities in the nation for its undergraduate and graduate educations. The Princeton Review listed the university on its list of the 150 best value colleges in the nation.
The pre-pharmacy program for undergraduate students was recently ranked seventh in the nation by U.S News and World Report. The program has consistently afforded students with valuable undergraduate research opportunities in addition to clinical rotation opportunities and internships to help further their education. In total, the university offers nearly 200 majors in 10 colleges and professional schools.
During his time at Purdue, Robert J. Nice discovered a hidden passion for the law. After watching the local pharmacy he had hoped to take over shut down as large chain pharmacies entered the market, he decided to change professional aspirations. Around this time, the Ford Pinto trial was taking place. Having spent time watching and learning at the courthouse near his home as a boy, the opportunity to watch James F. Neal argue for the defense in the Ford Pinto case sparked his interest in the law.
An Inspirational Case
In 1978 three teenage girls were driving a 1973 Ford Pinto when they were rear ended by a van. As a result of the impact, the gas tank of the Ford Pinto ruptured and the car burst into flames. All three girls were incinerated and burned to death. One year before this accident, a magazine article accused the automaker of knowingly putting an unsafe automobile on the roads. This would become part of the basis for the Pinto lawsuit. The victim’s mother also received a written notice six months after the accident warning of gas tank explosions in accidents.
In 1980, Ford Motor Co. was charged with three counts of criminally reckless homicide. This was the first instance in which an American company was charged with this type of crime. The automaker retained James. F. Neal, a former Watergate prosecutor, to lead the defense.
On March 13, 1980, a jury in Winamac, Indiana, found Ford Moto Co. not guilty of criminal homicide. The prosecution in this case failed to prove that Ford knew the dangers associated with the Pinto and did not warn consumers.
Robert J. Nice remembers watching this trial as it unfolded. Captivated by the arguments presented, Nice decided then to pursue a legal career. He enrolled in law school at Villanova University and graduated with a Juris Doctor in 1985. He was admitted to the bar in Indiana, Pennsylvania and the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Northern districts of Indiana.
In his early legal career, Nice worked at a large firm and says he rarely interacted with clients. He spent many working hours huddled in a library researching precedents and laws applicable to cases the firm was handling and then writing motions. After several years of this, he was ready for a change.
In 1992, Robert J. Nice decided to start his own law firm. His firm began as a small venture and quickly expanded into a multi-service legal business. He built a respected reputation by providing each client with personal attention both in the office and, when needed, the courtroom. Since the firm’s inception, his practice has grown to include services in real estate, litigation, personal injury, legal malpractice, estate planning and family law. He also has an affinity for small business litigation and has found a niche helping small and medium size businesses with their legal matters.
In the 1990s, Nice became a real estate investor and subsequently launched and managed several small businesses. He used this entrepreneurial spirit to break into business law and has worked with businesses from a variety of industries as they draft contracts, settle disputes, incorporate, merge and conduct daily affairs.
In addition to his legal career and entrepreneurial endeavors, Nice enjoys spending time outside. He is an avid sportsman and enjoys shooting sports as well as fishing. He especially enjoys the challenge of musky fishing and considers himself lucky to have caught a few. He is also a huge fan of golf and has had the good fortune to travel internationally to play some of the world’s best courses. Robert J. Nice has golfed in Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, New Zealand, Australia, Bermuda, England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.
The Nice Law Firm recently acquired a new building to house its office in Kokomo, Indiana. Robert J. Nice is finishing renovations on the historic house to make it usable for his growing law firm. Located just a few blocks west of the Howard County Courthouse in Kokomo, The Nice Law Firm’s office will maintain its historic charm while serving as a fully functional office building.
By investing in the state’s 13th largest city, he hopes to continue to build a loyal client base that will turn to him with all its legal needs. Understanding that referral business is essential to sustaining a law practice, Nice instills a philosophy of customer service in all the members of his firm. He is committed to providing attention to detail and building solid relationships with his clients.
Nice plans to continue growing his law firm by working with small- and medium-sized businesses. By working with business owners as they begin new ventures, merge with other companies and form contracts to enable their prosperity, Nice hopes to become the go-to lawyer for small businesses. Nice knows that there are a number of challenges facing the legal profession, including an abundance of young graduates. He hopes to inspire talented young people to pursue legal careers and assist those coming out of law school.
The firm is growing in all practice areas, including real estate, estate planning, general litigation, legal malpractice and personal injury. Some of these practice areas face more competition than others, and Nice will tackle this challenge one client at a time. Robert J. Nice intends to continue to build a firm that people trust and return to over the years.