Not So Fast, My Friend

Not So Fast, My Friend   On a television show I particularly enjoy on a certain well-known sports network on Saturday mornings between August – December, one of the long-time stars of the show (who also happens to be a former head football coach at Indiana University), has a line he frequently uses when he disagrees with the opinions of one of the other hosts of the show.  That line, “Not so fast, my friend” actually can help us understand what can happen when a legal dispute goes to court and the parties rely on a judge (or jury) to decide who wins and losses.  Clients typically come to us quite confident in their position in a dispute or legal situation in which they find themselves.  They see absolutely no way they can lose, and want us as their attorneys to affirm this belief.  “You agree with me, right?” is something that is often asked of us.  Of course, 25 years of experience, and of winning of cases I should have lost and losing cases I should have won, tells me otherwise.  I often need to counsel clients that when it comes to litigation, you never know what can happen. A recent Indiana Supreme Court case provides yet another illustration and cautionary tale that demonstrates why we are always so cautious about making predictions about litigation.  The detailed facts of the particular case are not terribly important for this article.  What is important is to understand the relatively straight forward nature of the applicable law and what happened as that case found its way to the Indiana Supreme Court. ...

We’re Growing!

Boutique business and commercial law firm seeks an associate attorney with 1-3 years of experience in litigation or commercial law who can hit the ground running.  This position may also include real estate, bankruptcy and transactional work.  We want an attorney who is looking to be part of a team environment, who understands that more hands make the load lighter and is interested in helping us grow.  We expect a lawyer who knows that communication is vital to our success and is capable of communicating effectively.  We hope to find a person who wants to be a long-term member of our team and can grow with us.  If you are interested in this position, please email your resume and a writing sample to the firm administrator at sclark@bbrlawpc.com.  Please also send a cover letter including salary history and desired compensation. Required Skills & Experience Have a valid license to practice law in Indiana – currently in good standing with the Bar. Be professional, courteous and accommodating to client, staff and co-workers. Have excellent verbal and written communication skills. Have the ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment. Possess strong negotiation skills. Provide sounds counsel and judgment on legal questions or issues. Take responsibility for court appearances, motions, depositions, mediations, negotiations and trial...

DIY: Not Always the Best Plan

        DIY: Not Always the Best Plan     There are many things that I could pay to have someone do that I do myself. Many people pay to have yard work done, but I rather enjoy it, plus being a healthy person who loves the outdoors I cannot justify paying someone to do the work I am perfectly capable of doing myself.             Other things, however, are things I gladly pay someone to do because I know that because of their years of professional training they will be able to do the job effectively and correctly and I do not have to worry about it. Plumbing and changing my car oil are two examples for me personally. While I might be able to learn how to do the particular job myself, in certain areas even if I had taught myself I would feel better having a knowledgeable professional handle it and be able to deal with the intricacies and any unforeseen situations that could arise.             Why am I sharing this in the legal blog? Because a recent case from the Indiana Supreme Court illustrates the potential pitfalls of trying to go it alone in the sometimes complicated world of litigation.  In McCullough v. CitiMortgage, two homeowners unsuccessfully challenged the foreclosure of their home.  While that does not make for a particularly interesting fact pattern, what is interesting is the opinion from the Supreme Court and “reading between the lines” the Court seems to imply that the homeowners may have had some legitimate arguments to make and potentially even win the appeal.             The main...

No Cheating Clause

No Cheating Clause     As anyone who has read this blog before knows, we have often written about the fact that Indiana courts will enforce contracts between parties when those contracts were freely negotiated.  One of the most recent decisions from the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed this longstanding and well settled principle, but the facts of this case were just too good to pass up.             Rather than rehash all of those facts, I will leave those to the readers, but it is safe to say that not every day in legal opinions do we have to read what the legal term for “cheating” is in the context of a relationship or a court’s rather poignant statements that in this contract which included a “no cheating” clause, the woman “wasted little time in breaching the contract.”             There is no doubt that the Court likely was also swayed by the fact that the real estate at issue formerly was owned by the man’s parents.   In any event, this case shows that not all the things that lawyers have to read are that boring and the lengths people will go to fight after a relationship falls apart.   Name(required) Email(required) Website Comment(required)      ...

After You Agree to a Judgment, That Is It.

After You Agree to a Judgment, That Is It. We have talked often in this blog about Indiana courts enforcing agreements that have been negotiated between parties, and not interfering with those agreements absent the agreements being illegal or there being some fraud involved in reaching that agreement. The Indiana Court of Appeals recently reaffirmed this principle, albeit in a context that is somewhat different than what business people may be accustomed. In situations where one party owes another party money, and a lawsuit has been filed to collect that money, it is not unusual for those parties to enter into an agreement whereby there will be an “agreed judgment” filed with the court, which the court then consents to and enters as a matter of record.  Those agreed judgments often will involve a payment plan for the amounts that are owed.  In the recent case, the parties had done just that.  The agreed judgment called for the defendant to pay to the plaintiff $400.55 plus an additional $450 in attorneys’ fees.  Four years after the agreed judgment was entered, and presumably because the defendant had not paid what she had agreed to pay, the plaintiff filed motions with the court seeking to garnish the defendant’s wages to satisfy the agreed judgment.  At that time, the defendant then appealed the entry of the agreed judgment.  Through some procedural maneuverings, and even though by this time the underlying debt had already been paid, a new trial was ordered and a judgment was entered against the plaintiff after the plaintiff did not appear for the new trial.  That judgment was then...
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