Business Law

Smoking-ban lawsuits face long odds, legal expert says

May 30, 2012
Scott Olson
Ten bar owners who are taking Indianapolis to court over a new citywide smoking ban that takes effect Friday at 6 a.m. stand little chance of stopping the ordinance, an Indianapolis law professor predicts.
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Plaintiffs fail to prove claim that Zimmer misrepresented information

May 21, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
Two pension funds that own shares of Zimmer Holdings Inc. were unable to prove that Zimmer defrauded its investors by suppressing information, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.
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7th Circuit affirms lower court in appeal over firing

May 21, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a bank did not violate a woman’s rights by terminating her employment because of her husband’s immigration status.
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7th Circuit rules Lilly sales reps not entitled to overtime

May 9, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Pharmaceutical sales representatives from Eli Lilly & Co. and Abbott Laboratories were properly classified by their employers under the administrative exemption to the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled. The lawsuit brought by employees of both companies raised an issue of first impression for the Circuit court.
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7th Circuit vacates sanction in contempt judgment

May 1, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found that an order, while unclear, did require a company to become the operator of leases involving oil and gas fields in Texas. But the judges held the District Court judge didn’t fully explain why he was imposing the sanction he did, so the 7th Circuit vacated the sanction.
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COA rules on Kroger fuel sign dispute

April 25, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment for a developer on its claims of criminal mischief, criminal trespass and criminal conversion against grocer Kroger after the store modified a shopping plaza’s sign once it added a fueling station. There isn’t evidence that Kroger had criminal intent when it modified the sign pylon.
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COA rules in favor of previous shareholders in dispute with new owners

April 16, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Benton Circuit Court erred in denying partial summary judgment to the former shareholders of a garden accessories company, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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Andy Mohr target of Volvo Trucks lawsuit

April 11, 2012
Scott Olson
When Volvo Group North America LLC sought to sell its semi trucks in the Indianapolis area, the company turned to veteran auto dealer Andy Mohr to help it gain a foothold in the market.
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Supreme Court rules AOL required to pay online use taxes

March 16, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has held that companies purchasing online promotional materials from outside the state must pay a use tax when those materials are distributed within Indiana.
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COA: trial court erred in piercing corporate veil

March 6, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Because there was no causal connection established between misuse of the corporate form and fraud or injustice, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s decision to pierce the corporate veil.
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Judge rules on summary judgment motions in IBM case

January 26, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The State of Indiana may be on the hook to pay IBM $40 million in subcontractor assignment fees per the contract it had with IBM to update the state’s welfare system, a contract the state cancelled in October 2009 because it wasn’t happy with results.
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Supreme Court upholds unemployment benefits for Chrysler workers

January 19, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has affirmed the decision by the Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development granting unemployment benefits to Chrysler workers who took voluntary buyouts.
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FedEx wins reversal of jury's $66M award to ATA

December 27, 2011
IBJ Staff
FedEx Corp. has won an appeal that overturns a $66 million verdict in favor of defunct Indianapolis airline ATA Airlines Inc.
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COA affirms trial courts in truant kindergartner cases

November 18, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has sided with the trial courts in two cases that have been consolidated in one appeal in determining that referral and attendance records for truant students were admissible at trial under the state’s business records exception.
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Judges find certain property not included in sheriff's sale

October 31, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals relied on a decision from Colorado to rule on a case involving the sale of business personal property at a sheriff’s sale when the notice only mentioned the sale of real property.
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Securities law conference Oct. 18

October 10, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum will host a conference on securities law from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 18 at the ICLEF Conference Facility, 230 E. Ohio St., 5th floor, Indianapolis.
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Tax Court rules in brewery's favor

August 19, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Ruling on an issue that previously has come before the Indiana Tax Court, Senior Judge Thomas Fisher has upheld that sales to Indiana customers who hired common carriers to pick up alcohol at an Ohio facility shouldn’t have been included in the sales factor of Miller Brewing Co.’s adjusted gross income tax and supplemental net income tax.
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Federal appeals court examines disputed telephone charges

August 16, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Writing for a unanimous 7th Circuit Court of Appeals panel, U.S. Judge David Hamilton authored an opinion Tuesday full of what he calls “telephonese.” The opinion delves into a small business’s disputed phone bill charges and how those matters are governed by state and common law.
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COA turns to dictionary in contract dispute

June 30, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Citing Black’s Law Dictionary’s definitions of “solicit” and “induce,” the Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a trial court’s finding that a software company did not violate terms of its contract with another business.
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High court questions whether transactions are leases or security interest sales

June 21, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Examining whether a transaction between two businesses is a lease or a sale subject to security interest, the Indiana Supreme Court has adopted an approach used in Colorado. The court held that various factors, such as the economy, must be considered in each situation to decide that question.
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Lawyer sentenced for theft, corrupt business practice

May 16, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A northeast Indiana attorney who pleaded guilty to stealing from his clients has been sentenced to 11 years in prison, with five and one-half of those years suspended to active probation.
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Ethics commission fines, bans attorney from state employment

May 13, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana State Ethics Commission has found a former general counsel and chief administrative law judge for the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission violated the law when he participated in decisions involving his future employer, Duke, while still with the IURC.
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COA rules on unjust enrichment issue for first time

April 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
For the first time, the Indiana Court of Appeals addressed an issue involving express contracts and equitable remedies and decided that the existence of a contract, in and of itself, doesn’t preclude equitable relief which isn’t inconsistent with the contract.
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COA divided on noncompete agreement, injunction

February 23, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Even though Indiana courts strongly disfavor noncompete clauses in employment contracts as restraints of trade, the majority of Indiana Court of Appeals judges affirmed the grant of a preliminary injunction against a Porter County man. They found the company had a legitimately protectable interest in the man’s knowledge of its customers and market.
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Supreme Court posts foreclosure best practices

January 4, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
The Indiana Supreme Court has posted best practices regarding mortgage foreclosures filed in Indiana. The Indiana attorney general also filed a petition with the Supreme Court supporting the best practices and asking for the Supreme Court to require those recommendations in mortgage foreclosure proceedings.
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