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Indiana justices accept 4 cases, deny 27

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The Indiana Supreme Court will decide the defamation case filed by Herbert and Bui Simon against a California attorney. The justices will also decide whether a woman’s lawsuit for unpaid wages should have been brought before the Indiana Department of Labor before she filed her action.

The justices took four cases: Joseph A. Davis v. Herbert Simon and Bui Simon, 49S04-1208-CT-498; Brandy L. Walczak, Individually and on behalf of those similarly situated, v. Labor Works - Fort Wayne LLC, d/b/a Labor Works, 02S04-1208-PL-497; Ronald B. Hawkins v. State of Indiana, 20S03-1208-CR-499; and Whiskey Barrel Planters Co., Inc. d/b/a Diggs Enterprises, Inc., an Indiana Corporation, Robinson Family Enterprises, LLC, an Indiana Limited Liability Company, Ralph Richard Robinson and Ann Robinson v. American Gardenworks, Inc., an Indiana Corporation and Millennium Real Estate Investment, LLC, 04S03-1209-PL-503.

In Davis, the Simons sued California attorney Joseph Davis for defamation based on comments he made to an Indianapolis television station regarding lawsuits involving the Simons. The Court of Appeals ruled on interlocutory appeal an attorney, in answering a reporter’s unsolicited questions – in which Davis made comments regarding the allegations of a lawsuit and represented that the allegations were truthful – without more, doesn’t constitute “expressly aiming” one’s conduct at the forum state. Judge James Kirsch dissented, believing Davis’ conduct was expressly aimed at Indiana.

In Walczak, Brandy Walczak alleged violations of the Wage Payment Statute and the Wage Deduction Statute against Labor Works-Fort Wayne, which provides temporary day-laborer services to businesses. The appellate court reversed summary judgment for Labor Works, finding Walczak first had to submit her claim to the Department of Labor for resolution.
 
In Hawkins, the Court of Appeals held that Ronald Hawkins’ due process rights weren’t violated when he was charged in absentia and without trial counsel on felony nonsupport of a dependent child charges. The judges ruled one of the felonies should be reduced from a Class C to a Class D, and they found he waived his right to counsel. Judge Nancy Vaidik dissented because “of the importance of an attorney for a fair proceeding.”

In Whiskey Barrel, the Court of Appeals ruled that a company that acquired Whiskey Barrel Planters was not entitled to the Purdue football season tickets purchased by Whiskey Barrel’s former owner based on the purchase agreement between the two companies. The judges also found that American GardenWorks was not entitled to collect on loans made by Whiskey Barrel to the previous shareholders and that AGW did not acquire the shareholders’ personal property under the terms of the agreement. The COA remanded for further proceedings.

The high court also declined to take 27 cases for the week ending Aug. 31.

 

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  1. 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.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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