IBJNews

Simon widow's attorneys want judge to step down

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Attorneys for Bren Simon turned their ire toward a Hamilton County judge on Tuesday, asking him to recuse himself from a legal battle over real estate magnate Melvin Simon's $2 billion estate.

They took issue with Judge William J. Hughes' choice of personal counsel to represent him in front of a state judicial commission. The judge hired two attorneys with Bingham McHale after he was arrested for driving while intoxicated in North Carolina in October.

Other attorneys at the Indianapolis-based firm represent Simon Property Group Inc. in the contentious estate dispute.

Hughes said in open court Tuesday that he jettisoned the Bingham McHale attorneys—Kevin McGoff and James Bell—on Nov. 22, three days after Bren's attorneys objected and asked for a stay in the case.

Hughes said he has "no bias" for any party or attorney in the case.

Attorneys for Bren, Melvin's widow, were not convinced.

"I am seeking fair and impartial judgment on behalf of my client," attorney Michael Ciresi said in a terse exchange with the judge.

Hughes, who was vacationing when he was arrested Oct. 27, said he was not under the influence when he amended an order in the Simon case earlier that same day.

In court on Tuesday, Hughes turned down a request to put off hearings on several procedural matters, but the judge said he would not immediately rule on the items under discussion.

Melvin’s daughter Deborah Simon is challenging the will in court, saying her father was coerced into approving a new estate plan that dramatically increased the amount of his fortune going to Bren. She also wants her stepmother removed as trustee of the estate while the broader case is pending.

Simon Property Group, meanwhile, joined the dispute to determine whether it must honor Bren Simon’s request to convert $500 million of her late husband's ownership stake in the publicly traded company into common shares or cash.

Hughes said he will cooperate if Bren's attorneys follow legal protocol in appealing to a higher court to have him removed from the case. But he refused to allow verbal arguments on the issue in open court.

"I'm not turning this into a circus for anyone's benefit" said Hughes, a 22-year veteran of the bench.

His initial court hearing in the DWI case is scheduled for January.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Who benefits from this?
    The estate is being peed away by the Simons. All of them. Laywers are the beneficiaries, of course. All that money, and a big chunk of it going to lawyers. Pitiful.
  • jack daniels
    Maybe you have been drinking to much of your namesake. The guy didn't beat him up...he TRIED TO KILL HIM. This wasn't a street fight. The guy laid in wait and attempted to murder him. You have now clue.
  • What's Wrong?
    Is 40 years too much for attempted murder? What would be an appropriate prison sentence for an individual convicted of trying to kill an elected official? I don't understand your argument against the judge here ...
  • fyi
    fyi
  • Greed to the max...
    I can understand why they wont just split it 4 ways and everyone gets 500 million. This is what greed does to wealthy families - splits them apart. I know because it happened to me. This is a prime example of why you don't make a family member the executor. It will tear a family apart EVERY TIME.
  • toast to hughes
    isn't this the same judge that gave a guy 40 years for beating up delaney? if so, this judge is what is wrong with the judicial system, and is a major reason why a lot of people don't trust it. maybe he was wasted when he handed down the 40 year sentence. here's to you, judge hughes! it's 1:40 PM, have yourself another!
    • Who benefits from this?
      We're watching a multi-billion dollar estate being peed away by attorneys. By the time this is done, it'll be worth several hundred million and the attorneys will have the remaining billions.

      Personally, I would have walked away with several hundred dollar and let the others walk away with the $xB

      Post a comment to this story

      COMMENTS POLICY
      We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
       
      You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
       
      Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
       
      No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
       
      We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
       

      Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

      Sponsored by
      ADVERTISEMENT

      facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

      Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
      Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
       
      Subscribe to IBJ
      1. This is still my favorite Mexican restaurant in town. What I do love about the new version is it is much quieter than the most recent version. TV's were off, the music wasn't too loud, and the wait staff were not hyperactive like they had been the past few times I had been there. I just wish they would bring back the MOLE for the enchiladas!

      2. Not a bad paper. There is a need for local community news and city government issues. Don't really need the owner's constant national political rants. We all know where they stand by now.

      3. What nice people. Menard should've known better than to team up with the guy who robbed and drove Conseco to ashes. I'm surprised Timothy Durham isn't involved in this.

      4. Hello, I am Maris Peters, currently living in Texas city, USA. I am a widow at the moment with three kids and i was stuck in a financial situation in August 2014 and i needed to refinance and pay my bills. I tried seeking loans from various loan Companies both private and corporate but never with success, and most banks declined my credit. But as God would have it, I was introduced to a Man of God a private loan lender who gave me a loan of $65,000USD and today am a business owner and my kids are doing well at the moment, if you must contact any firm or company with reference to securing a loan without collateral , no credit check, no co signer with just 2% interest rate and better repayment plans and schedule, please contact Mr William David. He doesn’t know that am doing this but am so happy now and i decided to let people know more about him and also i want God to bless him more.You can contact him through his email: Davidloanfirm@yahoo.com

      5. It is beyond me how anyone can think this was a "bad deal" for the state! If they could take the money back then, yes, but they can't! Protections were built in the agreement. Now, if they roll the roads up and take them away, I will agree that it was a bad deal. Otherwise, the only way to have paid for the infrastructure that was badly needed was for the state to issue bonds....that is a four letter synonym for debt folks!!

      ADVERTISEMENT