ILNews

Justices grant transfer in 2 cases

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2008
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The Indiana Supreme Court granted two transfers this week.

Justices will consider an Indiana State University case involving unemployment benefits for a discharged university professor, and another case delving into the attorney general's power to demand discovery in consumer complaint investigations.

One transfer comes in the combined appeals of Liberty Publishing Inc. and Nu-Sash of Indianapolis v. Steve Carter, No. 49A02-0606-CV-502, which the state's appellate court ruled on June 25. The appeals court affirmed Marion Superior Court judgments that the attorney general has the ability to file a petition to enforce the Civil Investigation Demand against both businesses under the Indiana Deceptive Consumer's Sales Act and the Indiana Home Improvement Contract Act.

Both instances stemmed from deceptive consumer practice complaints against Liberty operating as Booster Club Productions and Nu-Sash operating as McKee Sunroom Designs. The attorney general's office was investigating Liberty because of complaints about the business selling advertising space on calendars with local high school athletic schedules and claiming some proceeds would go to the schools or fundraising events. The Nu-Sash investigation involved complaints about the business failing to supply customers with applicable statutory terms. The businesses contended that the state didn't have the power to compel this information.

On the second transfer, justices agreed to take Indiana State University v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and William A. Lafief, No. 93A02-0611-EX-1012. In June, the Court of Appeals reversed a decision that Lafief was entitled to unemployment benefits because the review board erroneously concluded he'd been discharged from his professor position. That decision considered the definition of "discharged" in the context of a non-tenured university professor whose one-year probationary contract was not renewed.
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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

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