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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. 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.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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