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Justices take certified questions

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The Indiana Supreme Court has accepted three certified questions stemming from a case in the Southern District of Indiana.

In Loparex LLC v. MPI Release Technologies LLC, et al., No. 1:09-CV-01411, Loparex sued its competitor and two former employees for trade secret misappropriation and related causes of action. The defendants counterclaimed, alleging Loparex violated an Indiana statute that prohibits blacklisting of employees.

Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson granted summary judgment for the defendants on all claims brought by Loparex. The remaining claims before the court are brought by defendants Gerald Kerber and Stephan Odders, former employees of Loparex, under Indiana’s anti-blacklisting statute, Indiana Code 22-5-3-2.

The judge sent three certified questions to the Supreme Court in September:

1)    Is Wabash Railroad Co. v. Young, 69 N.E. 1003 (Ind. 1904), still good law, such that individuals who voluntarily leave employment are precluded from pursuing a claim under I.C. 22-5-3-2?
2)    In an action brought under I.C. 22-5-3-2, are attorney fees incurred in defending an unsuccessful claim against a former employee or in prosecuting a claim by a former employee recoverable as compensatory damages?
3)    Is an unsuccessful suit to protect alleged trade secrets, within which a former employer seeks to preclude any competitive employment of a former employee by pursuing permanent injunctive relief and in settlement negotiations, a basis for recovery under I.C. 22-5-3-2?

In her order requesting certification, Magnus-Stinson wrote, “Several issues of unsettled state law will control the disposition of the remaining claims. One concerns the continuing precedential value of a century-old Indiana Supreme Court ruling. Another lacks any clear controlling Indiana precedent. The third seeks an extension of Indiana common law limiting the application of the anti-blacklisting statute.”

The justices accepted the certified questions in a Sept. 30 order. Briefs are due Oct. 27.
 

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  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  4. I totally agree with John Smith.

  5. An idea that would harm the public good which is protected by licensing. Might as well abolish doctor and health care professions licensing too. Ridiculous. Unrealistic. Would open the floodgates of mischief and abuse. Even veteranarians are licensed. How has deregulation served the public good in banking, for example? Enough ideology already!

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