Practice Areas

  • Eminent Domain
  • Outdoor Advertising
  • Real Estate
  • Bankruptcy
  • Business Law

Professional Associations

  • Indianapolis, Indiana and American (Litigation Section; Condemnation, Zoning and Land Use Litigation Committees) Bar Associations

  • National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees

  • “Distinguished Fellow” of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation

Joseph W. Hammes


Joseph is of counsel to the Indianapolis law firm of Hester Baker Krebs LLC, was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is admitted to the Indiana bar and the U.S. District Court, Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana.  He graduated from the University of Notre Dame and obtained his J.D. from Indiana University.  Joe’s professional career began as a Trial Attorney in the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, where he subsequently served as the Chief Trial Attorney in the Eminent Domain Section.  

Since 1979, Mr. Hammes has served continuously on the Panel of Trustees, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division.

Mr. Hammes has been chosen by his peers as a “Super Lawyer” five consecutive years.  In 2006, he was the first and only Indiana lawyer designated as a “Super Lawyer” in the field of real estate litigation.  Joe was asked by the Indiana Judges Association to provide comments regarding the condemnation chapter of the Indiana pattern jury instructions as well as the court’s instructions to the court-appointed appraisers.  Many of his proposed revisions are incorporated into the Indiana Model Civil Jury Instructions (Indiana Judges Association, 2010).

Mr. Hammes has written and spoken to a variety of audiences (including Continuing Legal Education seminars and the Indiana Judicial College) on the following topics: "Practical Aspects of Trial Preparation and Compensation Issues in Eminent Domain”; "Bankruptcy Trustee Avoidance Actions in General, Preferences and Fraudulent Conveyances”; "Relocation Assistance? More Than Just Compensation"; "Advising Clients Prior to Condemnation"; "Just Compensation"; "Taking Property By Eminent Domain"; "Civil Procedure Relating to Eminent Domain"; "Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation”; "Reacquire ‘Existing Right-of-Way’ or Highway Robbery"; “Discovery & Highway Robbery”; “Eminent Domain in Indiana after Kelo”; “Eminent Domain in Indiana”; and “Eminent Domain in the 21st Century”.