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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. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

  4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

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