Real Estate/Construction

City billboard suit spooks Montage on Mass developers

October 16, 2015
Indianapolis Business Journal, Scott Olson
A controversial piece of the proposed $50 million Montage on Mass mixed-use apartment project won’t be considered by the city of Indianapolis until after the first of the year.
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Pool appeal sinks Carmel homeowner deeper underwater

September 14, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Carmel homeowner who stopped paying a contractor over quibbles with an in-ground pool installation filed a lawsuit that flopped at the trial court. His appeal went no more swimmingly.
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Bingham partner Solada key player in zoning disputes

August 26, 2015
Scott Olson
Mary Solada has built a reputation as one of Indianapolis’ top real estate attorneys by representing large developers on important zoning matters.
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Housing-discrimination lawsuits backed by US Supreme Court

June 25, 2015
 Bloomberg News
The Supreme Court of the United States said people who file housing-discrimination lawsuits don’t have to show they were victims of intentional bias, in a blow to lenders and insurers and a surprise legal victory for the Obama administration.
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Judge strikes another blow against proposed Illiana Tollway

June 17, 2015
 Associated Press
A U.S. District Court judge in Chicago ruled Tuesday that the federal government's approval of the proposed Illiana Tollway linking northern Illinois and Indiana is invalid.
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COA finds homeowners association committed slander of title

June 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in favor of an Iowa couple, finding the homeowners association where the couple lived and subsequently rented out their home committed slander of title. The homeowners association recorded a lien against their home after finding the couple did not comply with the covenant's requirements when leasing their home.
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COA orders foreclosed Golden Corral to be in sheriff’s sale

June 9, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the holding of a Lake County court that allowed the mortgage holder of a restaurant in Merrillville to immediately take possession of the parcel of land. Under Indiana law, the parcel should go into a sheriff's sale, the majority held.
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Court erred in concluding vested title severed by tax sales

June 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ordered judgment entered in favor of two families on their claim for adverse possession over a disputed tract of land in Pulaski County. The judges found the trial court erred when it found two tax sales involving the disputed property divested the adverse holders of their title to the real property.
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Environmental groups sue over Illiana Tollway approval

May 27, 2015
 Associated Press
Illinois environmental groups have filed a lawsuit over the proposed Illiana Tollway. They claim federal approval relied on faulty information and didn't adequately consider environmental impacts.
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Gov. Mike Pence passes law to address vacant housing

May 11, 2015
 Associated Press
City officials in Indianapolis are applauding a law that Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed last week that won't let municipalities hold banks responsible for upkeep on vacant homes.
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Pence signs bill repealing Indiana construction wage law

May 7, 2015
 Associated Press
Local boards will no longer set minimum wages for public construction projects in Indiana under a law signed Wednesday by Gov. Mike Pence.
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COA orders judgment in favor of woman on adverse possession claim

April 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because there is evidence that both the woman who purchased land from a trust and the trustee paid taxes on a disputed 1.8 acres of land for at least 10 years, the woman’s claim for adverse possession of the land should be granted, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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Mother-daughter home rehab team gets s shot at HGTV gig

April 29, 2015
Scott Olson
An Indianapolis attorney and her daughter who rehab homes in the Fountain Square neighborhood are getting a shot at the national spotlight. If it takes off, Karen Jensen says she'd have to shut down her practice to accommodate filming.
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Senate narrowly backs repeal of construction wage law

April 15, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana Senate has narrowly approved a Republican-led push to repeal the state law that sets wages for public construction projects.
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Senate considers changes to bill repealing construction wage

April 15, 2015
 Associated Press
The Republican-controlled Senate defeated several proposed changes Tuesday to a measure that would repeal the state's construction wage law, despite growing concerns over how the bill will affect Indiana's construction industry.
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7th Circuit decision provides 'well-reasoned test' for standard exclusion provision

April 8, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
When construction on a mixed-use development project in Missouri ran short of money and eventually stopped, the “standard exclusion” included in many title insurance policies came before to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals for another review.
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Stevenson: Construction contractor non-delegable duties: then & now

April 8, 2015
With over 200 years of history, the non-delegable duty doctrine is not likely to disappear. As with many long-standing legal principles, it will likely be molded to fit today’s complex construction world.
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Senate panel approves repeal of construction wage law

April 7, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana's practice of having local boards set wages for public construction projects would be repealed under a GOP-led push that Senate committee members approved Tuesday, a move opponents say could have a negative impact on the industry's workforce.
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Jury returns guilty verdicts in Indy Land Bank case

March 19, 2015
Indianapolis Business Journal, Cory Schouten
A federal jury on Wednesday evening returned guilty verdicts on eight felony counts including wire fraud and bribery against Reggie Walton, a former Indianapolis city employee who managed the Indy Land Bank.
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Former Indy Land Bank chief grilled over inconsistent testimony

March 17, 2015
Indianapolis Business Journal, Cory Schouten
Former Indy Land Bank director Reggie Walton opted to take the stand in his own defense in federal court this week, and prosecutors used the opportunity to use his words against him.
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Indy Land Bank trial could turn on government wiretaps

March 4, 2015
Cory Schouten
Reginald T. Walton is guilty of "very poor judgment" and "ethics violations," and also "did a pretty good job concealing" his involvement in private real estate partnerships during his tenure leading the Indy Land Bank, but he's not guilty of any crime, his attorney argued in federal court Wednesday.
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Cumberland ups ante in fight to save historic church

March 3, 2015
Indianapolis Business Journal, Scott Olson
Cumberland officials are stepping up their efforts to stop a supermarket and convenience store chain from demolishing a historic church by hiring one of Indianapolis’ top real estate attorneys to argue their appeal.
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Debate on common wage repeal lingers during contractor event

March 3, 2015
 Associated Press
A Republican-backed proposal to repeal the state law that sets wages for public construction projects requires further study instead of a quick vote, opponents of the measure said Monday.
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COA ruling revives non-union subcontractor’s Antitrust Act claim

February 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A non-union subcontractor presented evidence establishing a genuine issue of material fact that the company awarded a contract to build a new school violated Indiana’s Antitrust Act by unlawfully restraining open and free competition for the public project, the Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Senate to take up repeal of state construction wage law

February 25, 2015
 Associated Press
The leader of the Indiana Senate says it will take up a Republican-led push to repeal the state law that sets wages for public construction projects.
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  1. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  3. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  4. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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