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Justices to hear card-counting case Wednesday

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The Indiana Supreme Court will hear arguments in three cases Wednesday, including whether a casino can ban someone who counts cards.

Thomas P. Donovan sued the Grand Victoria Casino & Resort after the casino banned him from playing regulated blackjack because he counts cards. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the casino, but Donovan argued he never attempted to hide the card counting and it's not cheating or prohibited by gaming law or administrative rules. The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed, finding the Indiana Gaming Commission hadn't enacted a provision that bans card counting, and Grand Victoria can't simply take refuge in the common law right of exclusion.

Arguments begin at 9 a.m. in Thomas P. Donovan v. Grand Victoria Casino & Resort, No. 49S02-1003-CV-124.

The high court will also hear a defamation suit and an appeal of battery and strangulation convictions. Arguments begin at 9:45 a.m. in Christine Dugan v. Mittal Steel, USA Inc., et al., No. 45S05-1002-CV-121. Christine Dugan sued her employer Mittal Steel and employee Jay Komorowski for defamation after she was fired following an investigation into an alleged theft ring in her department. She was reinstated after an arbitrator found there wasn't enough evidence to support that she defrauded Mittal. She then filed her suit.

The appellate court affirmed summary judgment for Mittal and Jay Komorowski as to the statements described in Paragraph 6 of Dugan's complaint for defamation and reversed summary judgment in favor of Mittal and Komorowski as to Paragraph 7 of Dugan's complaint. The Court of Appeals remanded for further proceedings on that portion of her defamation claim because Mittal failed to establish as a matter of law that the statement is protected by the common interest privilege.

At 10:30 a.m. the justices will hear Giavonni J. Williams v. State of Indiana, No. 02A03-0908-CR-363. Giavonni Williams appeals his convictions of strangulation and battery and the denial of his motion to separate witnesses. On March 17, the high court determined Williams' case warrants oral argument on whether the state adequately overcame the presumption of prejudice stemming from the denial of the motion for separation of witnesses.

All arguments will be webcast live at https://mycourts.in.gov/arguments/ .

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