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Justices affirm denial of claim arising after arbitration

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A claim arising after a dispute between a company and its accountant was resolved through binding arbitration may not proceed, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

The four justices unanimously agreed that summary judgment in favor of the defendant was proper in National Wine & Spirits, Inc., National Wine & Spirits Corporation, NWS, Inc., NWS Michigan, Inc., and NWS, LLC v. Ernst & Young, LLP 49S02-1203-CT-137.

That case was filed after an NWS employee committed fraud and theft that caused significant losses. NWS alleged negligence, breach of contract and unjust enrichment against Ernst & Young and demanded arbitration.

“Under the facts of this case, the issue underlying the deception claim is the veracity of the documents produced at arbitration, which was an issue necessarily decided by the arbitration panel,” Justice Steven David wrote for the court. “Accordingly, issue preclusion bars the company’s deception claim, and we affirm the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the accounting firm.”

NWS was estopped from making the deception claim because it had already litigated and lost in arbitration proceedings, according to the ruling. “Although the arbitration agreement limited discovery to that which is expressly authorized by the panel, NWS never asked the panel for additional discovery,” David wrote.

“NWS cannot now complain it could not adequately prepare to litigate (a comparative fault) issue when given the opportunity to postpone the arbitration.”

 

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  2. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  3. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  4. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  5. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

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