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Virginia statute of limitations holds in Evansville radio purchase

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Nearly identical provisions in business agreements meant a media owner had to file his complaint against another communications company by the statute of limitations deadline in Virginia, not in Indiana.

In 2000 and 2002, Alan Brill, owner of radio stations and newspaper in medium markets including Evansville, signed confidentiality agreements with Regent Communications Inc. as part of the negotiations to sell his radio stations. Both contracts contain nearly identical choice of law language that the provisions will be interpreted under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Brill and Regent disputed the scope of the choice of law language when negotiations fell apart.

In August 2008, Brill filed a complaint against Regent and other defendants for breach of contract, fraud and additional acts of malfeasance. A month later, he filed an amended complaint. In January 2009, he filed a second amended complaint naming Regent as the sole defendant.

Regent responded in August 2010 by filing an Indiana Trial Rule 12(B)(6) motion to dismiss Brill’s second amended complaint. The company claimed Brill had filed after the Virginia five-year statute of limitations had expired.

The trial court denied the motion and Regent appealed.

Before the Indiana Court of Appeals, Brill argued the choice of law provision applied only to substantive law and that Indiana law applied to procedural issues. Therefore, he filed his second amended complaint well within the Indiana six-year statute of limitations.

Regents countered that Virginia law applied in both substantive and procedural matters.

The Court of Appeals agreed with Regent and reversed the denial of the motion to dismiss in Alan R. Brill, Business Management Consultants, LP f/k/a/ Brill Media Company, LP, and the Non-Debtor Companies v. Regent Communications, Inc., n/k/a Townsquare Media, Inc., 82A01-1304-PL-174.

Pointing to OrbusNeich Med. Co. v. Boston Scientific Corp., 694 F. Supp. 2d 106 (D. Mass. 2010), the COA found the additional phrase in the Brill-Regent agreements indicated the parties’ intent that Virginia law governs both substantive and procedural issues.

 
 

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  1. A sad end to a prolific gadfly. Indiana has suffered a great loss in the journalistic realm.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  4. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

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