Recently in Business Litigation Category

Should You "Divorce-Proof" Your Business

January 27, 2010

According to a research study sponsored by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, more than 60 percent of business owners have no plan in place to protect their companies in the event of a divorce. Harris Interactive recently published the results from more than 500 business owners in FamilyPreneurship: What Every Entrepreneur Should Know Before Starting a Business with a Family Member.

The report is timely considering the recent recession. Historically, bad economies have been bad for marriages. With divorce rates hovering around 50 percent, it is logical that more divorce attorneys are seeing family and small businesses as assets to be divided in the marital pot. Despite the divorce statistics, few business owners have considered the impact a divorce could have on their bottom line and even fewer have made preparations to protect their interests.


Businesses that are co-owned by divorcing couples face serious risks. Divorce can paralyze the business and cause employees to “choose sides.” Owners may be forced to sell a business with the proceeds divided by the parties depending upon a state’s statutes on property division or a party’s contribution to the business. Even if a business isn’t co-owned by a spouse, a divorce could still lead to division of the business as a marital asset, affecting decision-making and employee productivity. Owners also have to consider the potential threat the distraction of a divorce can have on the profitability of a business. Divorces, especially messy ones, are stressful, emotional and time-consuming. The attention normally paid to management responsibilities may be misdirected. This sobering information was supported by the study which indicated nearly half of the owners who divorced admitted it negatively impacted their businesses.

With those risks in mind, there are some strategies owners may want to consider with the most obvious being to execute a prenuptial agreement before marrying. For others who build a business after marriage, they may want to consider a buy-sell agreement (which can be triggered by certain events including divorce), postnuptial agreements or trusts. In order to ascertain the appropriate option, an owner should consults with a financial professional experienced in risk-management and wealth-preservation as well as an attorney experienced in family law and/or business break-ups, often referred to as “business divorces.”


The month of January is notorious among family law attorneys as “divorce month” representing the largest volume of new divorce cases each year. As everyone's thoughts turn to tax season, business owners need to also consider options to “divorce-proof” their companies.

The above is for informational purposes only should not be considered legal advice. Each case is unique and you should consult an attorney for advice regarding your particular situation. Attorney Jill Dimick Chairs the Business Litigation Practice Group of Jocham Harden Dimick Jackson in Carmel, Indiana. She has twenty years’ experience representing parties in business breakups.

What is cyberbullying and is it a crime?

January 14, 2010

"Cyberbullying" is a new term in our vocabulary, one that has social and legal definitions. The term was developed to address a form of harassment somewhat similar to the old concept of the school yard bully, but with actions confined to digital and technical forms of communication such as internet, texting, and email communication. This term is typically limited to only describe interactions between minors, which are intended to bully, harass, threaten, humiliate or demean another child or teen. If an adult is involved in the interaction, the term is referred to as cyberharassment or cyberstalking.

Perhaps the most well-known case involving online harassment is the case of Megan Taylor Meier, who committed suicide as a result of bullying by Lori Drew, the mother of a classmate of Megan's. Drew impersonated a teenage boy pretending to care about Megan. Once trust was gained, Drew began bullying and humiliating Meier, who had a history of depression and self-esteem issues. Meier’s parents learned about the impersonation and contacted authorities about Drew’s activities. The FBI investigated for nearly one year and in 2008, subsequently charged Drew with three counts of felony unauthorized computer access, under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The charges were the first in the country in a cyber-bullying case. Drew was ultimately acquitted of the more serious charges and convicted of misdemeanors, receiving only probation and a fine. Her attorneys are appealing the decision claiming that Drew’s actions violating terms of service are not criminal.

Other types of cyberharassment or cyberstalking have occurred, with cases involving adults who have met on chat sites or internet dating sites. These cases may involve a series of repeated communications or actions through a digital, online or technical form of communication including instant messaging, discussion boards or online forums. The actions may be anything from defamatory or derogatory comments to sending unsolicited emails or viruses. As with cyberbullying, the intent is to harass, intimidate or threaten another adult. These types of cases have been referred to as “mental assault.” Other examples of cyberharassment have included parents in heated custody disputes who have taken to the internet to criticize their former spouses or in some cases, the ex’s new significant other. These actions can have serious detrimental effects to the harassing party, with court’s accepting information from social networking sites, emails and texts as evidence in cases.

One thing cyberbullying is not is any situation in which an adult solicits or lures a minor for sexual exploitation.

The effects of cyberbullying are often cumulative as most occurrences are rarely single communications. Usually, it involves multiple interactions or communications, which may escalate. In many situations minors involved are using lewd or inappropriate language, which is tantamount to a game of name-calling in a more sophisticated medium. However, in some situations, the taunts have become threats of bodily harm or death, which are obviously more serious than posts intended to embarrass or humiliate.

With the precedence of the Drew case, cyberbullying or cyberharassment may result in misdemeanor or felony charges. If a minor is involved in cyberbullying, he or she may be charged with juvenile delinquency. In typical cases which have not escalated, it is more common to see email, text or instant messaging accounts suspended or closed for violation of service terms of the provider or host. If password theft or hacking was involved in any cyber crime, it may lead to more serious charges with greater penalties due to violation of other state and federal laws protecting identity.

Schools are drawn into the enforcement of cyberbullying since it is a progression of traditional bullying which occurs within the school dynamic. However, lawsuits resulted from schools attempting to discipline students or enforce for behavior which took place away from school or outside of school hours. Thos suits have alleged the school’s actions violated a student's free speech right. They also, often lose. However, parents whose children have been victims of cyberbullying have consistently implored schools to assist in enforcement and education to prevent cyberbullying. Another term to come out of this developing area is cyberethics, which more schools are implementing in student handbooks. Schools have been successful in litigation by asserting that a student’s off-campus activities may be disciplined if the activity adversely affects the safety and well-being of a bullied student while in school. Ultimately, the question for schools is whether or not this a contractual or a constitutional issue.

Please contact JHDJ Law at 317-569-0770 for more information about cyberbullying or this blog post.

The above is for informational purposes only should not be considered legal advice. Each case is unique and you should consult an attorney for advice regarding your particular situation.

SSJ_on_Kim_Iverson-Cyberbullying.mp3

Making a Will Should be Your New Year’s Resolution

December 29, 2009

Holiday parties, shopping, gift-wrapping and travel arrangements consume precious hours this time of the year, making it common for many to continue to put estate planning on the back burner. However, one of the most precious gifts one can give to children and loved ones is a properly executed or updated will. Many do not understand the ramifications of dying “intestate,” or without a will, which often has profoundly unintended consequences. If you die without a will, decisions regarding your property or your children may be made by the state. There is added stress on surviving family who must deal with the legal and personal matters without knowing your wishes.

It is a topic with which many are uncomfortable, and most assume that end of life planning doesn’t need to be discussed until “later” or “when we’re older.” But the harsh reality is that people with young families may face tragedy, something we hear more frequently during holiday travel time when weather and traffic increase accidents and fatalities. For many families living far apart, holiday gatherings may be one of the few opportunities to discuss your wishes in person. Although it can be a difficult subject to bring up, there are different ways to initiate the conversation, including utilizing an example of a relative, co-worker or news story. Once you’ve shared your wishes, it is important to take the next step to protect your family.

Make it your new year’s resolution to prepare proper legal documents. There are common misconceptions that only wealthy people “need” estate planning, or that it is an expensive and time-consuming process. While there are more detailed options for families with larger assets, a simple Will is sufficient for the average person to identify a personal representative and provide instructions on distribution of their property. Parents with minor children can add trust provisions to their Wills naming guardians for their children. Wills are often accompanied by a durable power of attorney, a document naming a representative to act on your behalf for financial matters in the event of your incapacity or death. It is also important to prepare Advanced Directives, commonly known as a “living will.” This enables you to specify your wishes regarding life-sustaining procedures and to name a health care representative to make those decisions in the event you are unable to do so. At JHDJ Law, our attorneys can help you determine what documents are needed to protect your family. The process is efficient and cost-effective, typically involving an inexpensive flat fee for the preparation of simple estate packages. By formalizing your wishes legally, you exercise control over decisions regarding your property and your children and you reduce stress and prevent confusion for your surviving family.

Please contact JHDJ Law at 317-569-0770 for more information about our low cost options for simple estate planning.

The above is for informational purposes only should not be considered legal advice. Each case is unique and you should consult an attorney for advice regarding your particular situation.

Carmel Litigation Attorney Presents at NBI Seminar on Damages

November 5, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Press Contact:
Amber Burton Small
JOCHAM HARDEN DIMICK JACKSON, PC
11450 N. Meridian
Carmel, IN 46032
Phone: 317.569.0770
Web site address: http://www.jhdj-law.com

CARMEL, IN - November 5, 2009 - Jill Dimick, who chairs the Business Litigation Group of Carmel law firm Jocham Harden Dimick Jackson presented 2 sessions at the National Business Institute's seminar on Damages: Current Trends and Strategies. Ms. Dimick's presentations included "Calculating Business Loss" and "Damages in Employment Litigation."
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Ms. Dimick is a native of Muncie, Indiana and a graduate of Ball State Univeristy Honors College. She received her Juris Doctor in 1989 and recently celebrated her 20th law school reunion at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. After graduation, Ms. Dimick joined a New York City law firm in the Wall Street District. She returned to Indiana in 1993 to work with the newly elected Indiana Attorney General. In 1995, Ms. Dimick re-entered private practice and has been a partner in two of Indianapolis' largest law firms before helping found Jocham Harden Dimick Jackson, PC.

Over her extensive legal career, she has gained a wealth of experience representing an array of clients ranging in size from large public companies to small privately-owned businesses, professional corporations, franchisees, and financial institutions. Equally comfortable representing either plaintiffs or defendants, Ms. Dimick's clients also comprise public officials, business owners, directors, officers and former employees. Her cases involve a variety of issues such as breach of contract, shareholder disputes, cyber-law disputes, breach of fiduciary duties, receiverships, landlord-tenant issues, zoning, trademark infringement, defamation, unfair competition, covenants not to compete, wage claims and employment discrimination and sexual harassment. Ms. Dimick's diverse litigation history includes being retained as legal counsel for a congressional campaign for one of the top-ten contested elections in the nation.

JOCHAM HARDEN DIMICK JACKSON, PC, is a Carmel law firm providing personalized service with a responsive and compassionate approach. Experienced attorneys offer assertive advocacy for clients complemented by a philosophy focused on minimizing conflict and negotiating resolution. The practice assists clients in all areas of family law, adoption, mediation, business litigation. For more information, please contact Jocham Harden Dimick Jackson, PC at 317.569.0770, or visit http://www.jhdj-law.com.

Jill Dimick Quoted in Article on Business Women Connect

November 1, 2009

Jill Dimick, who Chairs the firm's Business Litigation Group is quoted in this month's article on Business Women Connect "Let's Make It Legal-When Should You Consult An Attorney"

Business Women Connect-Let's Make It Legal

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The Article, written by Emily Chew addresses the questions of when is the right time to talk with an attorney if you're considering starting a business. An excerpt from the article:

And life presents the occasional tricky situation, even for women who don’t own a business. How do you decide when to roll up your sleeves, do some research and handle these issues on your own? Do you know when consulting a lawyer is the best decision to save you time, money and future problems?

As a founding member of JOCHAM HARDEN DIMICK JACKSON, PC, Ms. Dimick chairs the Business Litigation Group. With 20 years in litigation, Ms. Dimick brings a wealth of experience representing an array of clients ranging in size from large public companies to small privately-owned businesses, professional corporations, franchisees, and financial institutions. Equally comfortable representing either plaintiffs or defendants, Ms. Dimick’s clients also comprise public officials, business owners, directors, officers and former employees. Her cases involve a variety of issues such as breach of contract, shareholder disputes, cyber-law disputes, breach of fiduciary duties, receiverships, landlord-tenant issues, zoning, trademark infringement, defamation, unfair competition, covenants not to compete, wage claims and employment discrimination and sexual harassment. Ms. Dimick’s diverse litigation history includes being retained as legal counsel for a congressional campaign for one of the top-ten contested elections in the nation. Visit her bio to read more about her experience: http://www.jhdj-law.com/index.php/our-team/jill-dimick/

Attorney Holly Wanzer Helping Law Students Survive Law School

October 8, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Press Contact:
Amber Burton Small
JOCHAM HARDEN DIMICK JACKSON, PC
11450 N. Meridian
Carmel, IN 46032
Phone: 317.569.0770
Web site address: http://www.jhdj-law.com

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CARMEL, IN – October 8, 2009 – Holly Wanzer, an attorney and domestic mediator at JOCHAM HARDEN DIMICK JACKSON, PC, presented "What You Need to Know About Law School," at the IU School of Law, Indianapolis. Holly spoke with students about how to survive the first semester and exams and answered questions from the perspective of an attorney who has been there. The presentation is part of the Indianapolis Bar Association’s ongoing Help Session for Law Students. Holly will be presenting on a new topic at an upcoming session in November.

Ms. Wanzer is a member of the Family Law Group of JOCHAM HARDEN DIMICK JACKSON, PC. A native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, she graduated magna cum laude from Ball State University, and earned her Juris Doctor summa cum laude from Indiana University School of Law, Indianapolis in 1999. Ms. Wanzer represents clients with family law matters including divorce, child support, custody, parenting time, modifications and contempt issues. Her commitment to the private resolution of family issues, the preservation of positive working relationships within families and her calm demeanor and sensitivity in the face of emotional challenges make her the ideal choice as a mediator for family matters. As a domestic mediator, she has been active in promoting alternative dispute resolution, and became one of three attorneys of JHDJ Law to complete collaborative law training. She is now a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (“IACP”), and the Collaborative Family Law Association of Indiana, Inc.

JOCHAM HARDEN DIMICK JACKSON, PC provides personalized service with a responsive and compassionate approach. Experienced attorneys offer assertive advocacy for clients complemented by a philosophy focused on minimizing conflict and negotiating resolution. With a dynamic team of professionals, the practice assists clients in all areas of family law, collaborative law, adoption, mediation, business litigation and appeals. For more information, please contact Amber Burton Small at 317.569.0770, or visit http://www.jhdj-law.com.

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JHDJ Law Participates in 2 Golf Fundraisers in 1 Day

September 14, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Press Contact:
Amber Burton Small
JOCHAM HARDEN DIMICK JACKSON, PC
11450 N. Meridian
Carmel, IN 46032
Phone: 317.569.0770
Web site address: http://www.jhdj-law.com

CARMEL, IN – September 14, 2009 –As part of its ongoing commitment to community causes and charitable activities, JOCHAM HARDEN DIMICK JACKSON, PC (“JHDJ Law”), is sponsoring two different golf tournaments on September 14, 2009. Founding attorneys Stephenie Jocham and Jill Dimick will be participating in the first event, coordinated by the Indiana State Bar Association, benefiting Riley Children’s Hospital. The ISBA Golf Classic is a sold out event which has already raised more than $30,000 and comes on the heels of the popular 2009 U.S. Senior Open held at the Crooked Stick Golf Course this summer. Attorney Michele Jackson and Development Director Amber Burton Small will be attending another tournament at Eagle Creek Golf Club to benefit Adoptions of Indiana, a non-profit adoption agency located in Carmel. This is the second annual event hoping to match the success of the inaugural 2008 tournament which raised more than $20,000 for adoption programs. JHDJ Law is proud to participate as hole sponsors for both worthwhile charities.

JHDJ Law's Adoption Practice Group offers domestic and international adoption services including private infant adoptions, step-parent adoptions, second parent (same sex) adoptions, and various international family law services, including contract reviews and orphan visa appeals. The firm provides representation to birth or adoptive parents, and provides resources and adoption education.

JOCHAM HARDEN DIMICK JACKSON, PC, is a Carmel law firm providing personalized service with a responsive and compassionate approach. Experienced attorneys offer assertive advocacy for clients complemented by a philosophy focused on minimizing conflict and negotiating resolution. The practice assists clients in all areas of divorce and family law, collaborative law, mediation and arbitration as well as business litigation and adoption. For more information, please contact Jocham Harden Dimick Jackson, PC at 317.569.0770, or visit http://www.jhdj-law.com.

JHDJ Law Sponsors WFYI's Speaking of Women's Health

August 3, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Press Contact:
Amber Burton Small
JOCHAM HARDEN DIMICK JACKSON, PC
11450 N. Meridian
Carmel, IN 46032
Phone: 317.569.0770

Web site address: http://www.jhdj-law.com



JHDJ LAW SPONSORS INDIANA WOMEN’S HEALTH CONFERENCE

CARMEL, IN – August 4, 2009 –Jocham Harden Dimick Jackson, PC is pleased to be a part of the 12th Annual Speaking of Women's Health© Conference, presented by St. Vincent Health on Friday, August 28 from 8 am to 3 pm at the Indiana Convention Center. The theme of this year's conference is A Fresh New You! The conference focuses on providing a fresh, new approach to health education for women. The unique, daylong conference features keynote speakers, timely breakout topics and health screenings especially tailored to the needs of Indiana women. Attendees can explore new ways to improve health through education and awareness. JHDJ Law's participation is another opportunity for our firm to support community based programs designed to improve the overall health of women in the greater Indianapolis area.

With the leadership of the firm’s founders, the attorneys and staff of Jocham Harden Dimick Jackson are committed to volunteerism and community involvement. In the past year, the firm has sponsored several charitable organizations including the Riley Hospital (Miracle Ride Golf Outing), Indianapolis Zoo (Zoobilation), and Gleaner’s Food Bank as well as events for The Fatherless Foundation and Heart of Sailing. In addition to sponsorship, the team has volunteered their time for various not-for-profit activities in addition to the time they’ve spent giving back through pro bono services of the Indianapolis Bar Association.

JOCHAM HARDEN DIMICK JACKSON, PC is a Carmel based law firm providing personalized legal services with a responsive and compassionate approach. Experienced attorneys offer assertive advocacy for clients complemented by a philosophy focused on helping clients minimize conflict and work toward resolution. With a dynamic team of professionals, the practice assists clients in all areas of divorce and family law, collaborative law, adoption, mediation and arbitration, business litigation and appeals. For more information, please contact Amber Burton Small at 317.569.0770, or visit http://www.jhdj-law.com.


Federal Court Says No Evidence of Reverse Gender Discrimination

July 2, 2009

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the US District’s Court’s ruling in a case alleging reverse gender discrimination. In David Farr v. St. Francis Hospital and Health Centers , No. 08-3203, District Court Judge Sarah Barker decided that the there was no merit to the Plaintiff’s claim that St. Francis hospital had discriminated against him by terminating him for improper use of work computers. Farr was a respiratory therapist in the hospital's Pulmonary Rehabilitation Department. He was the only male employee in the department staff of seven. They all shared the same computer but had different user names and passwords.

Farr was fired following an investigation into the discovery of "lurid" and "obscene" sites which had been accessed on the department’s computer. The investigation by the department showed that Farr’s user name had accessed the inappropriate sites and found that no other employees’ names were associated with the violation. The investigation also showed that Farr was the only employing working a specific Saturday when a significant portion of computer activity involved pornographic sites. Farr was suspended for five days, and ultimately fired for breaching various hospital policies.

Farr filed a grievance, and admitted that he’d accessed at least half of the sites identified on the report issued by the hospital’s IT department. However, he hired his own expert who contended that the other sites where placed on the computer by malware without his knowledge. The grievance committee upheld the termination, and in 2007, Farr filed suit alleging he was a victim of gender discrimination. Farr claimed the hospital assumed he was the only one looking at the inappropriate sites because he was the only male in the department. Judge Barker granted summary judgment in favor of the hospital in an August 1, 2008 decision, which Farr appealed.

In its decision, the federal appellate panel found that Farr’s claims didn’t hold water based on the evidence and that it was reasonable and not discriminatory for the hospital to investigate the person who was officially logged on to the computer at the times the sites were accessed. Given Farr’s admission that he had accessed at least half of the inappropriate sites, there was a nondiscriminatory basis for the employer’s action. The panel affirmed Judge Barker’s ruling, and dismissed Farr’s other claims

Attorney Jill Dimick attends Foundation event at Motor Speedway

May 8, 2009

On May 8, attorney Jill Dimick attended an outing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in support of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation ("IBF"). Attendees were hosted by Indy 500 Historian Donald Davidson and provided with a tour of the IMS Museum. Lunch folllowed in Mari Hulman George's suite, with guests wrapping up the day with a tour of the garage area. The IBF is a 501(c)3 charitable entity which funds a variety of programs furthering its mission to advance justice and promote positive change in the Indianapolis community through philanthropy, education and service.

Jill Dimick is a founding member of JOCHAM HARDEN DIMICK JACKSON, PC, and chairs the Business Litigation Group. With 20 years in litigation, Ms. Dimick brings a wealth of experience representing an array of clients ranging in size from large public companies to small privately-owned businesses, professional corporations, franchisees, and financial institutions. Equally comfortable representing either plaintiffs or defendants, Ms. Dimick’s clients also comprise public officials, business owners, directors, officers and former employees. Her cases involve a variety of issues such as breach of contract, shareholder disputes, breach of fiduciary duties, receiverships, landlord-tenant issues, zoning, trademark infringement, defamation, unfair competition, covenants not to compete, wage claims and employment discrimination.

Ms. Dimick has been a speaker at conferences and continuing legal education seminars, including most recently at the Indiana State Bar Association’s 2009 Women’s Bench Bar Retreat. Her community involvement includes service as a volunteer for WFYI (Speaking of Women's Health and the Indy Wine Fest), the Humane Society, Special Olympics, the American Heart Association and various federal, state and local political campaigns. She is a member of the Georgetown University Law Center 20th Reunion Committee and a volunteer for the Hamilton Southeastern Foundation. Her professional memberships also include the Indiana State Bar and Indianapolis Bar Associations.

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Jury Verdict for Defendant in Gender Discrimination Case

March 10, 2009

In the case of Stephen Blessing v. Indiana Department of Correction, U.S. District Court, Southern Distric of Indiana, Indianapolis Division No. 1:06-cv-1294, a jury rendered a verdict in favor of the Defendant. Blessing, the Plaintiff, was a nurse employed at the Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility. Blessing alleged gender discrimination, claiming he was treated differently than his female coworkers. In support of his claim, Blessing asserted that he had been treated unfairly when he was suspended for five days for inappropriate computer use, while a female nurse received a written reprimand for the same infraction. Blessing was subsequently terminated when it was determined he was providing an improper dosage of medication to a juvenile. Blessing again claimed that females nurses were committing the same errors but were not subjected to investigation or disciplinary proceedings.
Blessing's attorneys, Raymond Haftsten, Jr. and Christopher Wolcott, had filed a complaint on his behalf against the employer, requesting compensation for injuries including lost wages and emotional distress. The case went to trial on January 26-27, 2009. Despite Blessing's claims, the jury failed to find in his favor, and instead returned a verdict for the employer.

Attorney Jill Dimick Presents at Women’s Bench Bar Conference

March 9, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Press Contact:
Amber Burton Small
JOCHAM HARDEN DIMICK JACKSON, PC
11450 N. Meridian
Carmel, IN 46032
Phone: 317.569.0770
Web site address: http://www.jhdj-law.com

CARMEL ATTORNEY PRESENTS AT WOMEN’S BENCH BAR CONFERENCE

CARMEL, IN – March 9, 2009 – Attorney Jill Dimick was a presenter at the Indiana State Bar Association’s 2009 Women’s Bench Bar Retreat on March 7 at Culver Cove, Indiana. The theme of this year’s event was “The Magic of Eight” as it marked the 8th annual retreat, providing continuing legal education seminars as well as fun and relaxation for the attending attorneys. Ms. Dimick’s presentation focused on “How to Transition to a Small Practice” and discussed the challenges faced during the first five years of practice. Having been a partner in two of Indianapolis’ largest law firms, Ms. Dimick’s experience was valuable to seminar attendees, as she shared information on her own transition as the founder of boutique Carmel law firm, Jocham Harden Dimick Jackson, PC.

Ms. Dimick is Chair of the Business Litigation Group of JOCHAM HARDEN DIMICK JACKSON, PC. A native of Muncie, Indiana, she graduated from Ball State University Honors College and received her Juris Doctor in 1989 from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. Ms. Dimick went on to practice in New York City for a Wall Street firm before returning to Indiana.

With 20 years in litigation, Ms. Dimick brings a wealth of experience representing an array of clients ranging in size from large public companies to small privately-owned businesses, professional corporations, franchisees, and financial institutions. Ms. Dimick’s clients also comprise public officials, business owners, directors, officers and former employees. Her cases involve a variety of issues such as breach of contract, shareholder disputes, breach of fiduciary duties, receiverships, landlord-tenant issues, zoning, trademark infringement, defamation, unfair competition, covenants not to compete, wage claims and employment discrimination. Her diverse litigation history includes being retained as legal counsel for a congressional campaign for one of the top-ten contested elections in the nation.

JOCHAM HARDEN DIMICK JACKSON, PC provides personalized service with a responsive and compassionate approach. Experienced attorneys offer assertive advocacy for clients complemented by a philosophy focused on minimizing conflict and negotiating resolution. With a dynamic team of professionals, the practice assists clients in all areas of family law, collaborative law, adoption, mediation, business litigation and appeals. For more information, please contact Amber Burton Small at 317.569.0770, or visit http://www.jhdj-law.com.

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Court of Appeals Says Fax is Contract

October 24, 2008

In a recent edition of the Indiana Lawyer, staff writer Jennifer Mehalik reported on the Court of Appeals' recent publication of a case affirming summary judgment in favor of a landlord in his breach of lease claims against the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The court found a faxed agreement amending the original terms of the lease constituted a contract. In Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles c/o Joel L. Silverman, commissioner v. Ash, Inc., No. 74A01-0711-CV-518, the BMV appealed the grant of summary judgment and damages award to Ash, Inc. The BMV contended a fax sent to Ash modifying the terms of the original lease didn’t constitute a contract, so the BMV wasn’t bound by it. The BMV argued the January 2003 fax between the leasing director and Ash didn’t constitute a contract, so it could cancel its lease with 60-days notice as under the original contract. The Court of Appeals ruled the fax was binding because it was in writing, both the BMV’s leasing agent and Crone signed the fax, and the Statute of Frauds doesn’t apply in this case, wrote Judge Carr Darden. As such, the cancellation term was no longer available to the BMV. Even if the fax wasn’t considered a contract, Ash would still be entitled to summary judgment under the doctrine of promissory estoppel, the judge continued. Read the complete publication at:
InBMV_Contract_Case.pdf