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COA will not reweigh California environmental cleanup decisions

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The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that it would not reweigh California court decisions in favor of insurers who had no responsibility to cover environmental cleanup costs at former Thomson plants.

“There do not seem to be any special circumstances in this case that would warrant departure from the general rule that comity favors deference to the California courts,” Judge Cale Bradford wrote for the unanimous panel. “The trial court did not abuse its discretion in deferring to the California decision.”

At issue in Thomson, Inc. n/k/a Technicolor USA, Inc., Technicolor Inc., and Technicolor Limited v. Continental Casualty Co., Travelers Casualty & Surety Co., et al., 49A02-1202-PL-80, were the costs of environmental cleanup at facilities Thomson owned, including two sites in Marion and one in Fort Wayne that Thomson had purchased from Technicolor.

In 2010, a California trial court issued a summary judgment concluding that California law applied to the interpretation of policies regarding the Technicolor sites, and California courts upheld the decision on appeal.

“Thomson did not file for summary judgment on the choice-of-law question in the Indiana action until approximately ten months after the California trial court had already ruled against it on the same question, and there is no indication that the California suit was not proceeding normally in the California court system,” Bradford wrote.

“We believe it is also worth noting that the effect of giving deference to the California decision has the effect of applying California law to those sites contaminated by Technicolor, apparently a California-based company before Thomson’s acquisition, and applying Indiana law to those sites contaminated by Thomson, an Indiana-based company, including three sites in Indiana.”


 

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  1. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  2. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  3. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  4. I totally agree with John Smith.

  5. An idea that would harm the public good which is protected by licensing. Might as well abolish doctor and health care professions licensing too. Ridiculous. Unrealistic. Would open the floodgates of mischief and abuse. Even veteranarians are licensed. How has deregulation served the public good in banking, for example? Enough ideology already!

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