Business Law

AIT, former execs rack up nearly $5M in legal costs

April 10, 2015
IBJ Staff, J.K. Wall
AIT Laboratories and its former executives have already incurred nearly $5 million defending themselves against charges by the U.S. Department of Labor that AIT founder Michael Evans sold the company to its employees at an inflated price.
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Workplace equality: Employers must be of aware court-ordered requirements

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
The advice labor and employment attorneys provide companies is changing in light of recent court decisions on Indiana’s laws governing same-sex marriage, and it may change again when the Supreme Court of the United States rules on the issue.
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Steak n Shake parent wins court victory amid proxy challenge

March 20, 2015
IBJ Staff
Biglari Holdings Inc. has won a major legal victory as a separate fight with a dissident shareholder turns personal. A lawsuit brought by shareholders of the Steak n Shake parent accusing CEO Sardar Biglari and directors of breaching their fiduciary duties has been dismissed by a federal judge in Indiana.
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Reversal: Ex-AM General exec must go to court for compensation

March 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
The ex-president, CEO and chairman of South Bend Humvee maker AM General will have to go to court to seek cash compensation that the company instead paid in the form of a promissory note, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Joint defense agreement does not prevent trust from suing attorney

March 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
On interlocutory appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that a joint defense agreement entered into by an attorney and the trust he helped to set up and for which he served as trustee did not bar the trust’s later lawsuit against him for claims arising from their business relationship.
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Justices affirm brother committed 3 separate breaches of contract

March 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court agreed with the Court of Appeals on Tuesday that a man who purchased three properties outside of the joint business with his brother breached a noncompetition agreement with respect to all three properties.
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Anthem customers’ attorneys will have to prove injury

March 11, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Since health insurance giant Anthem Inc. announced millions of customers’ information had been stolen in a data breach, class-action lawsuits against the company have been filed in federal courts across the country. Although the breach is unprecedented and consumers are fearful their identities will be stolen, the plaintiffs may not have been harmed according to the law.
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COA upholds $10,000 fine for failure to cooperate with discovery

March 9, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A trial court that slapped a transportation company with a $10,000 sanction and ordered its president jailed if the fine was not paid did not commit an error, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Justices: Fisherman is off the hook in grouper-tossing case

February 26, 2015
 Associated Press
A Florida fisherman convicted of tossing undersized grouper off his boat is off the hook after a divided Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that he should not have been ensnared by a law targeting accounting fraud.
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Bill would let Indiana businesses battle patent trolls in state courts

February 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A bill, authored by Bedford Republican Rep. Eric Koch, would prohibit a person from asserting a bad-faith claim of patent infringement and would enable the Indiana business accused of infringing to seek remedy in state court.
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GOP-led Senate advances bill protecting religious objections

February 24, 2015
 Associated Press
A proposal that supporters say would allow people with strong religious beliefs to not provide services for same-sex weddings has been approved by the Indiana Senate.
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Rush rolls out commercial court plan in State of Judiciary

January 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
Commercial courts heralded by Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush in her first State of the Judiciary address could be in business soon, with the first pilots launching as early as this summer, according to judges and lawyers involved in developing the plans.
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Court affirms valuation of hoof trimming business

January 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not abuse its discretion in ordering an ex-husband to pay a portion of an expert’s fee for valuating his hoof trimming business upon the dissolution of his marriage, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Liquor store owners argue state has Constitutional right to regulate cold beer

December 9, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers Inc., arguing that the state’s interest in regulating alcohol trumps an Equal Protection challenge, has filed an amicus brief in support of Indiana’s law prohibiting convenience stores and gas stations from selling beer cold.
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Feds drop case against former Eli Lilly scientists accused of stealing secrets

December 5, 2014
IBJ Staff, J.K. Wall
Federal prosecutors in Indianapolis dropped all charges against two scientists accused of stealing trade secrets worth $55 million from Eli Lilly and Co., according to a court motion made Friday in federal court in Indianapolis.
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Allegation of conspiracy not enough to support civil conspiracy claim

November 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A parts supplier failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that a civil conspiracy claim against several co-defendants named in a breach of contract dispute can stand without showing every alleged conspirator committed an underlying unlawful act.
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Mill not entitled to prejudgment interest on breach of contract claim

November 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a $36 million award to an East Chicago mill after a braking system failure led to the spillage of molten iron within the shop. But the judges reversed the grant of more than $3 million in prejudgment interest.
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Summary judgment inappropriate in light of pending discovery

October 31, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Noting a pending discovery may still turn up answers, the Indiana Court of Appeals overturned a summary judgment and allowed a feud between former business partners to continue.
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Judges affirm Indiana retailer owes Levi’s $315,000 after violating policies

October 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana company that operates a website selling jeans must pay Levi Strauss North America more than $315,000 after the company violated Levi’s Internet policies for distributors.
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Simon CEO's bonus reversal still triggers investor suit

October 24, 2014
 Bloomberg News
Seeking to avoid investor litigation, Simon Property Group Inc. earlier this year eliminated a $120 million stock award to Chief Executive Officer David Simon in favor of a performance-based bonus. Now the company and its directors have been sued anyway.
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Attorney wins summary judgment appeal

September 23, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
An Indianapolis attorney ensnared in a dispute between a land developer and a creditor was successful at convincing the Indiana Court of Appeals he is identical to the other defendants and should be granted summary judgment.
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Omitted information in notice does not bar entry of summary judgment

September 11, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Failure in a notice of dissolution to describe information that must be included in a claim filed against the company does not make the notice invalid, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. Since the notice was valid, a convenience store owner’s lawsuit is time-barred. 
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Court must hold hearing on injunction involving medical practice

September 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court’s assessment of the public interest regarding whether a doctor is prohibited under a noncompete agreement to practice within 25 miles of his former office in Rensselaer was contrary to law, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday. The judges reversed the denial of a motion for a preliminary injunction preventing the doctor from opening a new practice next door to his previous one.
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Beer distributor Monarch stepping up booze push

September 8, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin, IBJ Staff
In a campaign to enter the hard liquor business, Monarch Beverage Co. is pursuing a new tactic that takes aim at state regulators.
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Justices order in camera review of report to determine if material is privileged

September 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court tackled two issues of first impression Wednesday in a dispute involving a family business and claims the company president caused a significant decrease in shareholder value.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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