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Judges ask Supreme Court to answer lottery law questions

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has decided it needs some assistance from the Indiana Supreme Court to decide whether the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s ticket-distribution system constitutes a lottery under Indiana law.

In July, the 7th Circuit split in reversing the District Court’s dismissal of claims against the NCAA and Ticketmaster that the defendants’ ticket-distribution scheme constituted a lottery in violation of Indiana law. The plaintiffs, who didn’t receive tickets under the distribution system, filed the lawsuit. They claimed the NCAA’s policy of keeping a $6 handling fee per application for tickets –whether someone received tickets or not - was an illegal lottery.

The NCAA petitioned for a rehearing, but instead of granting it, the judges asked the Supreme Court to answer three certified questions regarding Indiana law.

“We do note that the question of whether this ticket-distribution system constitutes a lottery under Indiana law is a close one, and our holding could have far-reaching effects on sports-ticket-distribution systems utilized by the NCAA and others,” wrote the judges in the per curium opinion, Tom George, et al. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association No. 09-3667.

The three questions are:
1. Do the plaintiffs’ allegations about the NCAA’s method for allocating scarce tickets to championship tournaments describe a lottery that would be unlawful under Indiana law?

2. If the plaintiffs’ allegations describe an unlawful lottery, would the NCAA’s method for allocating tickets fall within the Ind. Code Section 35-45-5-1(d) exception for “bona fide business transactions that are valid under the law of contracts”?

3. If the plaintiffs’ allegations describe an unlawful lottery, do plaintiffs’ allegations show that their claims are subject to an in pari delecto defense as described in Lesher v. Baltimore Football Club, 496 N.E.2d 785, 789-790 (Ind. Ct. App. 1986), and Swain v. Bussell, 10 Ind. 438, 442 (1858)?

The judges vacated their earlier opinion and stayed the appeal while the Supreme Court considers the matter.
 

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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