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Appellate judges rule against Simon in defamation case

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A defamation lawsuit filed by Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon and his wife against a California attorney looks as though it will be thrown out.

A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges on Wednesday reversed the decision of a Marion Superior Court judge that denied attorney Joseph Davis’ motion to dismiss the suit.

The lawsuit stems from comments Davis made to Indianapolis television station WTHR-TV Channel 13 regarding lawsuits involving the Simons, specifically one filed by a former nanny, whom Davis represented.

WTHR contacted Davis by phone for comment on the suit, in which he responded: “[T]he firing is because my client refused to engage in an unlawful, meaning a criminal, act pursuant to our immigration laws. ... This was all designed to conceal from local and state authorities the existence of this undocumented worker.”

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge tossed the lawsuit filed by the nanny, who claimed the Simons fired her because she became pregnant.

The Simons sued in Marion County for defamation based on Davis’ statements. Davis moved to dismiss the suit for lack of jurisdiction because Davis resides in California. Marion Superior Judge Heather Welch denied the motion.

On appeal, judges Elaine Brown and John Baker ruled in favor of Davis.

“Davis neither wrote nor disseminated the news story which is the object of the Simons’ defamation and false-light claim,” Brown wrote. “In short, the record does not reveal ‘purposeful conduct’ which was ‘intentionally directed at’ Indiana on the part of Davis to defame the Simons in Indiana, and accordingly Davis did not ‘expressly aim’ conduct at the State of Indiana.”

Judge James Kirsch dissented, writing that Davis engaged in intentional conduct in Indiana that was calculated to cause injury to the Simons in Indiana by “intentionally communicating defamatory statements … to a reporter for an Indianapolis television station.” He believed Davis’ conduct was “expressly aimed” at Indiana.
 

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  • Illegals
    As I read through the article, it appears that some, not all, people do employ, or attempt to employ, illegal workers. I guess if you talk about it, you are at fault, not the person(s) doing the hiring. Numerous questions come to mind, such as taxes, social security withholding, worker compensation insurance, which would potentially send up a red flag for authorities.

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  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

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