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Justices reinstate COA decision in Simon defamation suit

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The Indiana Court of Appeals opinion reversing a Marion Superior judge’s denial of a California attorney’s motion to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed by Herbert Simon will stand. The state’s highest court split evenly over whether the trial court should have denied that motion.

According to an order released by the Indiana Supreme Court Tuesday, the participating justices were split 2-2 in their analysis as to whether Marion Superior Judge Heather Welch should have denied attorney Joseph Davis’ motion to dismiss. Simon and his wife, Bui Simon, sued the California attorney who was representing plaintiffs in several lawsuits filed against the Simons in California. The lawsuit stems from comments Davis made to an Indianapolis TV station regarding the lawsuits, which aired in Indiana. The comments referred to the firing of the Simons’ former house manager in California, with Davis saying the termination occurred because the Simons were trying to conceal that they employed an undocumented worker.

The Simons filed their suit in Marion County, arguing defamation and false light publicity based on Davis’ statements. Welch denied Davis’ motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction or grounds of forum non conveniens. A split Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Davis in February 2012.

The justices took the case in August and heard arguments in October. Only three justices heard the case – Chief Justice Brent Dickson and Justices Robert Rucker and Steven David. Justice Loretta Rush was not on the court when the case was heard, and Justice Mark Massa did not participate in the case.

Indiana Appellate Rule 58(C) dictates that when the Supreme Court is evenly divided after granting transfer, the decision of the Court of Appeals is reinstated.

 

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  1. A traditional parade of attorneys? Really Evansville? Y'all need to get out more. When is the traditional parade of notaries? Nurses? Sanitation workers? Pole dancers? I gotta wonder, do throngs of admiring citizens gather to laud these marching servants of the constitution? "Show us your billing records!!!" Hoping some video gets posted. Ours is not a narcissistic profession by any chance, is it? Nah .....

  2. My previous comment not an aside at court. I agree with smith. Good call. Just thought posting here a bit on the if it bleeds it leads side. Most attorneys need to think of last lines of story above.

  3. Hello everyone I'm Gina and I'm here for the exact same thing you are. I have the wonderful joy of waking up every morning to my heart being pulled out and sheer terror of what DCS is going to Throw at me and my family today.Let me start from the !bebeginning.My daughter lost all rights to her 3beautiful children due to Severe mental issues she no longer lives in our state and has cut all ties.DCS led her to belive that once she done signed over her right the babies would be with their family. We have faught screamed begged and anything else we could possibly due I hired a lawyer five grand down the drain.You know all I want is my babies home.I've done everything they have even asked me to do.Now their saying I can't see my grandchildren cause I'M on a prescription for paipain.I have a very rare blood disease it causes cellulitis a form of blood poisoning to stay dormant in my tissues and nervous system it also causes a ,blood clotting disorder.even with the two blood thinners I'm on I still Continue to develop them them also.DCS knows about my illness and still they refuse to let me see my grandchildren. I Love and miss them so much Please can anyone help Us my grandchildren and I they should be worrying about what toy there going to play with but instead there worrying about if there ever coming home again.THANK YOU DCS FOR ALL YOU'VE DONE. ( And if anyone at all has any ideals or knows who can help. Please contact (765)960~5096.only serious callers

  4. He must be a Rethuglican, for if from the other side of the aisle such acts would be merely personal and thus not something that attaches to his professional life. AND ... gotta love this ... oh, and on top of talking dirty on the phone, he also, as an aside, guess we should mention, might be important, not sure, but .... "In addition to these allegations, Keaton was accused of failing to file an appeal after he collected advance payment from a client seeking to challenge a ruling that the client repay benefits because of unreported income." rimshot

  5. I am not a fan of some of the 8.4 discipline we have seen for private conduct-- but this was so egregious and abusive and had so many points of bad conduct relates to the law and the lawyer's status as a lawyer that it is clearly a proper and just disbarment. A truly despicable account of bad acts showing unfit character to practice law. I applaud the outcome.

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