What's new - Hoeppner, Wagner & Evans
Hoeppner Wagner & Evans Named to "Best" Law Firm List for Eleven Consecutive Years. Readers of Northwest Indiana Business Quarterly named Hoeppner Wagner & Evans the "Best Law Firm for Litigation" in the 2010 annual reader poll. NWIBQ readers have awarded the firm top honors in corporate and litigation law firm categories since the survey was started in 2003.
Looking for a speaker for your next company meeting or professional organization program? Contact Hoeppner Wagner & Evans. Our attorneys possess extensive speaking experience on topics of interest to a variety of businesses and organizations. Call us to learn more: (219) 464-4961.
On May 6, 2016, John Hughes and Lauren Kroeger obtained Summary Judgment for a Lake County employer in a suit for wrongful discharge, retaliatory discharge, identity theft and fraud. As a result, the defendant employer prevailed on all claims filed by the former employee, and avoided the expense and risk of a jury trial.
Gerry Stout successfully reduced a client’s assessed value for a significant reduction in the client’s property taxes for tax years 2012, 2013, and 2014. The Porter County Assessor assessed the client’s rural homestead at $1.2 million (for each year). Gerry appealed the assessment to the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals who agreed with the Porter County Assessor, in contradiction to appraisals obtained by the client. Gerry then appealed the matter to the Indiana Board of Tax Appeals. In preparation for the appeal to the Indiana Board of Tax Appeals the Assessor decided to obtain their own independent appraisal. The Indiana Board of Tax Review scheduled its review for May 18, 2016. Upon the Porter County Assessor’s receipt of their own independent appraisal, the Assessor decided that they would be unable to win at the IBTR Hearing and agreed to reduce the assessed value to $825,000 for tax years 2012, 2013, and 2014. This resulted in a significant savings to the client and the cancellation of the May 18 hearing. Immediately thereafter, the client received more good news. Our pending appeal of the assessment for 2015 taxes payable 2016 was reduced also to $825,000. Four years of reduced assessments for the client!
Lauren Kroeger and Larry Evans obtained summary judgment in the federal court for an industrial inspection company which had been sued by an injured employee of the owner for failing to require the owner to correct potential dangers, after notifying the owner of the issue. The case is Sara v Globex Corporation, 2015 U.S. Dist. Lexis 121738.
BEWARE: The Tax Exempt Filing Deadline is 6 Weeks Earlier! For more details check out our latest Legal Update.
Registration for our 18th annual Accountant's Seminar is now online! Click here to join us November 12th at the Valparaiso University Harre Union.
Gerold Stout successfully represented a client in a real estate tax appeal involving the proper application of the Tax Cap Credits provided for in Article X, Section 1 of the Indiana Constitution. This was the first case of its kind brought before the Indiana Board of Tax Appeal.
Todd Leeth spoke at ICLEF's annual Real Estate Institute May 14th and 15th. More information here.
Todd Leeth spoke on Land Use and Zoning Law at the Indiana Commercial Board of Realtors on April 28th at the Innsbrook Country Club.
Larry Evans has been selected as a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America. The LCA is a trial lawyer honorary society composed of less than on-half of one percent of American lawyers. Fellowship in the LCA is highly selective and by invitation only. Fellows are selected based upon excellence and accomplishment in litigation, both at the trial and appellate levels, and superior ethical reputation.
Jim Jorgensen attended the Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce quarterly membership luncheon on April 28th at the Harre Union.
Hoeppner Wagner & Evans was recently featured in the Chicago Tribune for its work with Lake County, Indiana. Read more...
Gerold Stout attended the 15th Annual Property Tax Institute seminar presented by ICLEF on March 11th.
Hoeppner Wagner & Evans were named one of 2015's best law firms.
Larry Evans has been selected as a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America. The LCA is a trial lawyer honorary society composed of less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers. Fellowship in the LCA is highly selective and by invitation only. Fellows are selected based upon excellence and accomplishment in litigation, both at the trial and appellate levels, and superior ethical reputation.
Tim Scannell and HWE's Keith Wolak collaborated on an article titled "When Should You Talk to Your Child About ... Crowdfunding?" The article encourages teaching your children about the risks and rewards assosciated with investing in Crowdfunding projects.
On October 17th Hoeppner Wagner and Evans hosted its 17th Annual Accountant's Seminar at Sand Creek Country Club. Presenters included Keith Wolak, Matt Glaros, Gerold Stout, Todd Leeth, Jim Jorgensen and Senator Ed Charbonneau.
Michael Tolbert was presented with the 2014 Rabb Emison Organization Award at the Indiana State Bar Association’s annual meeting on October 8th. The award was presented by ISBA’s Diversity Committee in recognition of an individual and an organization that have demonstrated a commitment to promote diversity and/or equality in the legal profession.
Tim Scannell and HWE's Keith Wolak collaborated on an article titled "Beware of Your Good Deeds." The article details potential risks that investing in charitable organizations may involve.
On Sunday, September 21, 2014, Northwest Indiana National Association of Women in Construction, Chapter 311 held its annual membership picnic and installation of officers. Sean E. Kenyon was installed as President, Shelbie J. Byers as Secretary and Kim P. Peil as a Director. The Northwest Indiana Chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction comprises of Lake, Porter, and Laporte Counties. NAWIC is a professional association dedicated to the enhancement and success of women working in the construction industry, through education and networking opportunities.
Jamie Gill attended a Constitution Day event co-hosted by the Women Lawyers Association. The program focused on past jurors sharing their trial experiences with attorneys and Judge Hawkins. Click here for more information.
Bill Satterlee was featured in the August 13-26 edition of The Indiana Lawyer for a jazz radio program he has been involved with for many years on Lakeshore Public Radio 89.1 FM. According to the article, “Each week longtime friends Bill Satterlee, managing partner at Hoeppner Wagner & Evans LLP in Valparaiso, and Kent Lindquist, senior judge for the Bankruptcy Court in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, share their mutual love of jazz by recording a two-hour show that airs Sunday nights on the local public radio station.”
Gerry Stout has received notice from the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency that he has been issued a Real Estate Instructor Permit. The permit is valid from August 22, 2014 through June 30, 2016, and allows Gerry to serve as a continuing education instructor for the real estate industry, including real estate agents, brokers, and assessors.
Congratulations to Larry Evans, who has again been selected by his peers for inclusion in the 21st Edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the practice areas of Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Litigation - Construction, Litigation - Labor & Employment, and Litigation - Real Estate.
Congratulations to John Hughes, who has again been selected by his peers for inclusion in the 21st Edition of The Best Lawyers in America.
Todd Leeth recently obtained approval for a child care facility to be located in the Town of Chesterton. The approval required amendment to an old and outdated PUD design by creating a new ordinance and plat approved by the Plan Commission after a public hearing and adopted by the Town Council. Easements were also vacated by the Town Council through a separate process.
Joe Jaskowiak and Lauren Kroeger received summary judgment for a franchisor client in a dispute involving claims that the franchisor took money that belonged to Infinaquest under an alleged perfected security interest in a franchisee’s receivables. The federal court, in entering judgment for the franchisor, held that Infinquest’s interest in the franchisee’s receivables was subject to the franchisor’s contractual set-off rights under the franchise agreement. Plaintiff Infinaquest’s conversion claim failed because the franchisor did not exercise unauthorized control over the property of another. Here, the property (i.e. the money) belonged to the franchisor, which exercised control over it pursuant to its contractual set off rights. Similarly, Plaintiff’s tortious interference with contract claim failed because the franchisor was justified in keeping the franchisee’s receivable based on its contractual set off rights. Infinaquest, LLC v. DirectBuy, Inc., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61739 (N.D. Ind. May 5, 2014).
Joe Jaskowiak and Lauren Kroeger were successful in dismissing a case based on the doctrine of res judicata. The plaintiff Trust had previously filed a breach of contract claim against the defendant franchisor. In that case, the franchisor moved to dismiss the lawsuit arguing that the Trust lacked standing to file the lawsuit. The trial court denied the motion, but the Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the Trust had no standing.
After the Court of Appeals’ decision in the first case, the Trust and its beneficiaries filed a second lawsuit against the franchisor, asserting the same breach of contract claim as in the first case. The franchisor moved to dismiss based on res judicata. The trial court dismissed the lawsuit, holding that the four factors required to satisfy res judicata had been satisfied: the former judgment was rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction; the former judgment was an adjudication on the merits under Trial Rule 41(B) (which provides that any dismissal, other than a dismissal for lack of jurisdiction, operates as an adjudication on the merits); and the trust beneficiaries are privies with the Trust.
The trial court also determined that the matter at issue in the second lawsuit was, or could have been, determined in the prior action. The court observed that the Trust beneficiaries could have, pursuant to Trial Rule 12(B) as a matter of right for ten days, joined the lawsuit as plaintiffs in order to determine whether the franchisor was liable for back rent. For whatever reason, the beneficiaries decided not to do so and never sought permission of the trial court to do so after the ten day period.. The trust beneficiaries were not permitted to do so in a second lawsuit, which encompasses essentially the same parties and subject matter and requests the same remedies.
John E. Hughes obtained dismissal with prejudice for an employer client of a twice amended complaint for alleged wrongful termination, disparagement and intentional interference with contract and business relations. The Court had dismissed the action for failure to state a claim for wrongful termination/breach of contract and ordered more specific statements of alleged wrongful conduct with respect to disparagement and intentional interference with contract and business relations. The Court found the Plaintiff’s Second Amended Complaint failed to cure the deficiencies and entered an Order of Dismissal with Prejudice.
Larry Evans and Kim Peil obtained summary judgment in an Indiana state court for the seller of a product that had been sued by an injured plaintiff under theories of negligence and products liability. Larry and Kim demonstrated to the court that after the product was sold to the initial user, it had been modified and was not installed in a foreseeable manner, which constituted a meritorious defense under Indiana law.
On June 9, Shelbie Byers and Kim Peil awarded three students scholarships from the Col. John Wheeler Middle School in Crown Point, Indiana in recognition of their Law Day essay contest submissions. Law Day was presented in conjunction with the Young Lawyers Section of the Lake County Bar Association, of which Shelbie and Kim are members. Hoeppner Wagner & Evans LLP sponsored the first place scholarship.
Jim Jorgensen spoke at the Wednesday, June 4th Portage Chamber of Commerce Rise and Shine series. The topic presented, “Hiring Do’s and Don’ts” was well received by the Chamber members and their guests. Jim is resident in our Valparaiso office and practices among other areas of law, employment law.
On May 23, 2014, Shelbie J. Byers, at the request of the Indiana Civil Rights Commission, spoke at a Continuing Legal Education seminar. Her presentation was titled, Title VII: Bankruptcy, Credit, Corporations. The seminar was attended by attorneys and members of the public at Purdue University Calumet. The Indiana Civil Rights Commission enforces Indiana Civil Rights Laws and provides education and services to the public in an effort to ensure equal opportunity for all Hoosiers and visitors to the State of Indiana.