The Estate of Richard A. Mayer and Spangler, Jennings & Dougherty, P.C., v. Lax, Inc., and David Lasco - 5/28/13

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Tuesday  May 28, 2013 
1:30 PM  EST

1:30 p.m. 37A03-1207-PL-323. Lax, Inc. and David Lasco sued attorney Richard Mayer and his firm, Spangler, Jennings & Dougherty, P.C. (“SJD”), for defamation, abuse of process, malicious prosecution, tortious interference with a business relationship, and tortious interference with a contract, based on written statements made by Mayer in previous litigation; Lax and Lasco also sought punitive damages.  After the lawsuit was initiated, Mayer died.  Mayer’s estate and SJD subsequently moved for summary judgment.  The trial court granted summary judgment to Mayer’s estate on the defamation and malicious prosecution claims but allowed those claims to proceed against SJD.  It also allowed the abuse of process and tortious interference claims to proceed against the estate and SJD and allowed Lax and Lasco to continue seeking punitive damages.  On appeal, SJD claims the malicious prosecution and defamation claims cannot proceed against it because of Mayer’s death.  Both the estate and SJD also contend that the statements made by Mayer in the previous litigation were absolutely privileged, that there are no issues of material fact and that they are entitled to judgment as a matter of law on the abuse of process and tortious interference claims, and that Lax and Lasco cannot recover punitive damages on any claims.

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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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