John R. Kouris
Advisory Council Member
John Kouris served as the Executive Director of DRI – a 20,000 member organization of civil defense lawyers, corporations, and corporate counsel – for twenty-two years. Currently, he is a Special Advisor to the DRI Center for Law and Public Policy, which addresses a variety of issues critical to the modern law practice and judicial system.
He also served as the Secretary-Treasurer of the National Foundation for Judicial Excellence (NFJE) for fifteen years, and he still plays an active advisory role to the foundation’s board of directors and executive committee. The NFJE conducts judicial education for the nation’s state appellate and supreme court judiciary.
Prior to coming to DRI, John served as Chief Operating Officer of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, University of Notre Dame Law School. There he was the chief administrative officer responsible for the successful operation of an international litigation training institute.
John also engaged in the private practice of law in Hammond and Munster, Indiana, including service as attorney for Lake County, IN Coroner’s Office.
As his avocation, John was a football official for the Big Ten Conference for 25 years. Among his accomplishments were two national championships and 15 bowl games. He speaks frequently on officiating and leadership-related topics. John is also a former Division I college football player. He is a graduate of the Loyola University School of Law, Chicago, IL, J.D. and Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI. BA. He is the recipient of the Product Liability Advisory Committee Award (PLAC) in 2007. In 2008 the NFJE created the John R. Kouris Endowment Fund in his honor. John is an inductee into the Hammond (IN) Sports Hall of Fame Inductee (2015), and he received the Richard T. Boyette Award for Excellence in Judicial Education in 2016. DRI honored John in 2019 with the Creation of the DRI John R. Kouris President’s Award (Inaugural Recipient), and he received the DRI Veterans Network Meritorious Service Award in 2020.