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Judge rules against Inlow heirs

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J.K. Wall
Special to IL

A week after a bizarre court hearing where opposing attorneys took turns questioning one another on the witness stand, Hamilton County Judge Steve Nation ruled Friday that the heirs of former Conseco Inc. executive Lawrence Inlow failed to justify their attempt to remove Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank as the personal representative of the estate.

Nation could “find no wrongdoing or improper conduct on the part of the Successor Personal Representative [Fifth Third] or their attorneys,” he wrote in his ruling.

On July 16, Nation listened to the Inlow heirs’ charge that Fifth Third and its attorneys were hostile to the heirs and were defrauding them by prolonging the case and racking up fees of more than $2.2 million.

Inlow’s estate was worth $180 million when he was accidentally killed by a helicopter rotor in 1997. He was chief counsel for Carmel-based Conseco, a life and health insurer that has since changed its name to CNO Financial Group Inc.

The heirs – Jason, Jeremy and Sarah Inlow – are represented by Indianapolis law firm Frank & Kraft. Fifth Third is represented by Indianapolis law firm Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman.

Nation took both firms to task for name calling and making baseless accusations.

“The continuation of name calling and accusations is not in the benefit of the clients and obscures the remaining legal issues,” he wrote. “Many of the accusations that have been made public have later been shown to be without merit and groundless. Such comments have only served to fuel the tension in this cause and have no legitimate place in a court of law.”

Requests for comment from both law firms were not immediately returned Friday afternoon.

The Inlow heirs have objected to Hall Render’s fees since 2004, around the same time the bulk of the estate funds were disbursed. The Inlows have refused to pay nearly $761,000 – more than the $600,000 they say remains in the estate.
 

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  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. 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

  5. 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

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