Business Law

Judges disagree over use of summary judgment to pierce corporate veil

August 23, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
One Court of Appeals judge believed the “only reasonable inference” that could be drawn from the evidence in a collections case is that a former company was a “sham corporation,” so the trial court properly pierced the corporate veil on summary judgment.
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State moves forward with IBM appeal

August 21, 2012
Dave Stafford
Attorneys for the state of Indiana have begun the formal appeal process after a Marion County court in July awarded a $52 million judgment to IBM over cancellation of the company’s contract to privatize social service claims processing.
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Tax judge declines to require attorneys represent LLCs in court

August 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Department of State Revenue asked the Indiana Tax Court to create a rule requiring limited liability companies be represented by attorneys in court, similar to a rule pertaining to corporations, but Judge Martha Wentworth declined to “invent such a rule where one does not currently exist.”
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7th Circuit rules in favor of attorneys in failed business investment

August 16, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A group of investors suing attorneys who worked on the establishment of two business entities – which later failed – were unable to show the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that the attorneys owed the investors any legal duty.
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Appeals court sends dissolution lawsuit back to trial court

August 14, 2012
Dave Stafford
The dissolution of a family-owned limited partnership was remanded to a Lake County court Tuesday after the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that the trial court erred in allowing some of the partners to pursue a derivative action.
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Trial court erred in finding provision was liquidated damages clause

August 7, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A forfeiture provision in a purchase agreement between the Dean V. Kruse Foundation and Jerry Gates, the buyer of West Baden property, did not constitute a liquidated damages clause as the trial court ruled, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday. The judges ruled that the Kruse parties are entitled to more damages as a result of Gates’ breach of contract.
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7th Circuit upholds ruling in favor of borrowers

August 3, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A dispute between a lender and subsidiaries created by a restaurant owner to refinance its debt made its way before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals for the second time. This time, the judges ruled in favor of the borrowers.
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Regulations are few, but food trucks do have laws and codes to meet

August 1, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Take a food truck to Chicago and you may be required to attach a GPS tracking device to it. Park a food truck in Indianapolis and enjoy being able to do business in an environment of few regulations.
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Ruling for IBM likely first act in legal epic

August 1, 2012
Dave Stafford
A ruling that ordered the state to pay more than $52 million to IBM due to cancellation of its contract to privatize social service claims processing certainly will have a second, and most likely a third, act.
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New suit alleges NCAA monopoly, seeks class action

July 27, 2012
Dave Stafford
A new federal lawsuit has been filed alleging that the Indianapolis-based NCAA constitutes an illegal college sports monopoly.
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State must pay $52M over terminated welfare contract

July 18, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Marion Superior Judge David Dreyer has ordered the state to pay IBM an additional $12 million in early termination closeout payments and for equipment it retained after canceling a contract with IBM to implement a modernized welfare system. The judge previously ruled in January that the state was on the hook for $40 million in subcontractor assignment fees for terminating the contract.
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Zoeller: Indiana to get $6.3 million in drug-maker settlement

July 3, 2012
Dave Stafford
Indiana will receive more than $6.3 million as part of a national Medicaid fraud settlement with drug-maker GlaxoSmithKline, Attorney General Greg Zoeller said in a statement Monday.
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Appeals court affirms breach ruling in truck dispute

June 25, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a Floyd Superior breach of contract ruling for a defendant who made a contract with a purchaser who defaulted after assuming payments on a Freightliner truck.
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Appeals court reverses summary judgment in business ownership dispute

June 18, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals on Monday reversed summary judgment in favor of defendants in a dispute involving ownership of a business.
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7th Circuit affirms District Court in mortgage dispute

June 11, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held that financier Morgan Stanley acted lawfully when selling a loan to another party.
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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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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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