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Justices reinstate COA decision in Simon defamation suit

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The Indiana Court of Appeals opinion reversing a Marion Superior judge’s denial of a California attorney’s motion to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed by Herbert Simon will stand. The state’s highest court split evenly over whether the trial court should have denied that motion.

According to an order released by the Indiana Supreme Court Tuesday, the participating justices were split 2-2 in their analysis as to whether Marion Superior Judge Heather Welch should have denied attorney Joseph Davis’ motion to dismiss. Simon and his wife, Bui Simon, sued the California attorney who was representing plaintiffs in several lawsuits filed against the Simons in California. The lawsuit stems from comments Davis made to an Indianapolis TV station regarding the lawsuits, which aired in Indiana. The comments referred to the firing of the Simons’ former house manager in California, with Davis saying the termination occurred because the Simons were trying to conceal that they employed an undocumented worker.

The Simons filed their suit in Marion County, arguing defamation and false light publicity based on Davis’ statements. Welch denied Davis’ motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction or grounds of forum non conveniens. A split Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Davis in February 2012.

The justices took the case in August and heard arguments in October. Only three justices heard the case – Chief Justice Brent Dickson and Justices Robert Rucker and Steven David. Justice Loretta Rush was not on the court when the case was heard, and Justice Mark Massa did not participate in the case.

Indiana Appellate Rule 58(C) dictates that when the Supreme Court is evenly divided after granting transfer, the decision of the Court of Appeals is reinstated.

 

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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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