Appeals court cites apparent authority to affirm auction sale

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The sale of Noble County lake and farm property at auction is valid even though some siblings in a family limited liability corporation objected because reserve prices hadn’t been met, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in affirming the trial court.

Members of the Cain Family Farm LLC in 2008 auctioned a number of pieces of property that totaled about 400 acres in the Sylvan Lake area in northeastern Indiana. Because bids came in much lower than expected, the siblings huddled during the sale, with one, Candace Somerlot, telling others she would be “happy with whatever they wanted to do.”

Auctioneers subsequently announced all property would be sold that day, and Somerlot signed purchase agreements with winning bidders on behalf of the LLC. Some time later, the LLC sought to nullify the sales, and litigation ensued in The Cain Family Farm, L.P., and The Cain Family Farm, LLC, v. Schrader Real Estate & Auction Company, Inc., Charles O. Drerup, Antlers Ridge, LLC, and Candace J. Somerlott,

“The dispositive issue on appeal is whether Candace had apparent authority to bind the LLC and, by extension, the Limited Partnership, when she executed the Purchase Agreement,” Judge Edward Najam wrote for the panel. “While the designated evidence reveals questions of material fact concerning whether Candace had actual authority to bind the LLC and whether Schrader breached its contract and violated its fiduciary duty to Cain Family Farm, those issues are not before us in this appeal.

“By all appearances, Candace had authority, and there are no indicia that would have placed (purchasers) on notice or inquiry notice that Candace did not have authority to sign the Purchase Agreement for the LLC. … The Purchase Agreement is also valid and enforceable under Indiana Code Section 23-18-3-1.1(b). Whether we consider the question of apparent authority under the common law or the Indiana Business Flexibility Act, the outcome is the same,” Najam wrote.



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  1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues