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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. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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