Burrus & Sease Join Forces with Church Church Hittle+ Antrim

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Church Church Hittle+ Antrim

April 2024

This month, we are pleased to feature Church Church Hittle + Antrim on our cover.

Established as the oldest and most esteemed law firm in Hamilton County, CCHA Law has been a cornerstone of legal expertise since its founding in 1880. Now forging a new alliance with longtime Zionsville residents and founders of Burrus & Sease, Roger [Burrus] and Beth [Sease], CCHA Law emerges as a comprehensive legal powerhouse in Zionsville and beyond, with over 200 years of collective experience.

With the esteemed counsel of CCHA Law, and Roger and Beth joining CCHA Law as Of Counsel, the firm continues its legacy of leadership, augmented by CCHA Law’s full spectrum of legal services.

A POWERHOUSE TEAM OF LEGAL MINDS AND COMMUNITY BUILDERS

Four members of CCHA Law’s 56 attorneys shared some details about their professional backgrounds, and reasons why they see the merger as an opportunity for their clients as well as their firm.

ROGER L. BURRUS

For over 41 years, Roger Burrus has provided legal counsel in estate and trust planning, real estate and business law. Following in his father’s footsteps, Roger joined the Zionsville law firm in 1982 after graduating from Valparaiso University School of Law. Roger’s father, Otis Burrus, who was also a prominent member of the community, founded the firm in 1952.

In 2011, the firm became Burrus & Sease, LLP, before merging with Church Church Hittle + Antrim (CCHA Law) in 2023, combining over 70 years of history. Active in the Zionsville community, Roger has held leadership roles and decades of active membership in organizations like the Lions Club, Chamber of Commerce and Boys & Girls Club. Roger and his wife Danielle helped establish Christ Lutheran Church of Zionsville in 1984 and have been involved in its leadership. They have three sons and three grandchildren.

Outside of law, Roger enjoys family time, cycling, woodworking and traveling.

Roger recounted the origins of Burrus & Sease and the firm’s journey to a pivotal moment, prompting Roger and Beth to seek out a compatible firm for a merger, enhancing their ability to meet the needs of an expanding clientele.

“Beth and I had talked with a couple of firms about the prospect of merging,” Roger shared. “Andrew Manna, who I’ve known and worked with, came to me asking about renting an office for their attorneys working with local clients. That’s what started the whole conversation.”

Roger continued, “I’d been involved with a couple of significant cases with CCHA Law and knew they are a highly respected and good [law] firm. So, the more Beth and I talked with Andrew, and when we learned that CCHA Law wanted a presence in Zionsville, we said we’d give them more than a ‘presence’ … we’d give them two experienced lawyers who’d like to transition, and it’s been a match made in heaven. Within the CCHA Law group, they have a lot of smart and talented people. Everybody’s working together as a team to get things done for the benefit of our clients.”

BETH A. SEASE

Beth has been practicing law since 1986. She joined CCHA Law after establishing her practice in Zionsville with Burrus & Sease, focusing on estate and trust planning and administration for clients in central Indiana. With a background in tax from her time at Price Waterhouse, Beth crafts personalized plans tailored to each client’s goals for asset growth, protection, and transfer. Her expertise extends to tax considerations, advance directives, charitable giving and end-of-life issues, ensuring comprehensive planning conversations.

Beyond work, Beth enjoys staying active through exercise, reading and organic gardening. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Zionsville Chamber of Commerce, contributing to the Advocacy Committee.

Additionally, she chaired the committee to establish Young Life College at DePauw University, her alma mater. Beth and her husband, Dan, reside in Zionsville, actively engaging in the local community where they raised their children.

“There are so many people at CCHA Law [who] are not only skilled thinkers, but they’re also great people who care about clients, just like Roger and I have tried to do here,” Beth stated. “Over the years, we’ve aimed to and have really enjoyed the privilege of being able to get to know our clients, many of [whom] we’ve had long decades of relationships with. There is so much growing in Zionsville and Boone County, so the timing [of the merger with CCHA Law] could not have been more perfect. Roger and I have been thinking about how we were going to help our clients transition one day to somebody else, and I wanted to be able to equip that next attorney with the tools and information to be able to serve my clients well and without a hitch. That was my motivation for the merger. I’m an estate planner, for heaven’s sake. I needed my own succession plan, so this [merger] is a natural next step. What I love about CCHA Law is the model of the firm … they are truly a family. They all collaborate with each other, and the clients benefit from this culture.”

ANDREW A. MANNA

Andrew is entering his 21st year of law practice, with most of that time consisting of K-12 public education services to schools working on behalf of school boards. He specializes in labor and employment law, particularly focusing on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and defending school corporations against claims under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and other constitutional matters.

With a background in education, including teaching social studies in both rural and urban districts, Andrew brings a unique perspective to his legal practice. He graduated from Eastern Illinois University and later interned in the Office of the Governor on education policy while attending the Indiana University School of Law at Indianapolis.

A sought-after speaker, Andrew presents on various topics at both state and national levels, covering areas such as reasonable accommodations, special education, and workplace issues. He is also an active member of the National School Board Association’s Council of School Attorneys. Outside of work, Andrew enjoys family time, running and watching football.

“It has been a neat synergy working together and bringing the two firms together,” Andrew expressed. “Roger and Beth are involved in the community, and it’s a similar approach to advocacy and engagement that the CCHA Law folks have. Whether it’s the Lions Club or Zionsville Youth Football Program or Team Nebo Ridge bicycling club, our attorneys and all of our CCHA Law employees tend to be involved in all these different networks, churches and community organizations.”

Andrew added, “We enjoy helping schools and not-for-profits in all different areas. The attorneys we have living in the Zionsville and Whitestown areas will get involved with whatever they choose to get involved with, and I’m sure we’ll have CCHA Law sponsorships and engagements with local groups and organizations just as we’ve enjoyed in Hamilton County and in the other communities where we have CCHA Law offices in the state.”

ISAAC PETERSON

Isaac, an associate attorney at CCHA Law, specializes in estate planning, business services and personal injury law. His expertise spans estate planning, probate and trust administration, contract drafting and disputes, corporate formation, and personal injury cases. A Zionsville native, Isaac graduated from Zionsville Community High School in 2016 and earned his Bachelor of Science from Indiana University Kelley School of Business. He later graduated from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, where he excelled in Phi Delta Phi honor society and Moot Court.

Outside of work, Isaac enjoys traveling with his wife, Bailee, attending Traders Point Christian Church, playing soccer, exploring local restaurants, and attending concerts. He’s also a licensed U.S. soccer referee and an enthusiastic fan of various sports teams, including U.S. soccer, the Hoosiers, the Colts, the Pacers and Indy 11.

“I cannot emphasize enough how thankful I am for Zionsville Schools,” Isaac stated. “I just got married in November, and we hope to raise a family here. Something I love about our firm, especially as a new associate, is the firm’s willingness to let you join in on a project or client meeting, and everyone is happy to have you help and learn. When I was a clerk for CCHA Law, they did a rotation program where you basically sample all the different types of law, and that’s something that I don’t think a lot of other firms allow their clerks to do. I think that CCHA Law is very unique in that all of our attorneys tend to be very well-rounded.”

As we near another end-of-year school cycle, the discussion of preparing college-bound children for life as legal adults is prevalent among Isaac’s clients and fellow Zionsville residents. Isaac shared that it is important for new and existing clients with children who are turning or have turned 18 years old to start thinking about estate planning, and, more importantly, about having a Health Care Advance Directive or a power of attorney for health care in place, especially before they leave for college.

“The beauty of meeting with us is that we can plan for tomorrow, today,” Isaac said. “For young adults going off to college, if you get sick or hurt, the doctor can’t legally tell your parents any of the healthcare-related details because you’re 18 or older. You can come here to our office and get those documents in the event something happens, and your parents will be able to be involved and advocate on your behalf if necessary.”

COMPREHENSIVE LEGAL SOLUTIONS

CCHA Law fulfills every legal need with a holistic approach. CCHA Law’s expanded offerings encompass a breadth of legal expertise, including estate planning and administration, family law, personal injury, business services, real estate and mediation. Rooted in CCHA Law’s commitment to its neighbors, CCHA Law stands prepared to address all your legal needs and anticipate the challenges of the future.

CCHA Law extends its reach across Indiana with offices in Fishers, Fort Wayne, Crown Point, Noblesville, Tipton, Westfield and now Zionsville. Whether you seek guidance in complex legal matters or support in navigating personal affairs, CCHA Law is here to serve you with excellence and dedication.

For more information on Church Church Hittle + Antrim, visit the website at cchalaw.com or call the CCHA Law Zionsville office at: 317-873-2150.