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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 3 today (and 4 NFP)

For publication opinions today (3):

In Beck's Superior Hybrids, Inc. v. Monsanto Company, et al., a 28-page, 2-1 opinion, Judge Najam writes:

In 2002, Monsanto Company and Monsanto Technology, LLC (collectively, “Monsanto”) entered into a corn license agreement and a soybean license agreement with Pioneer Hi-Bred International and its parent company, E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Company (collectively, “DuPont”). Pursuant to those agreements, any disputes between the parties were to be resolved by arbitration in New York City. On May 4, 2009, Monsanto filed a demand for arbitration against DuPont, alleging that DuPont had engaged in a sublicensing scheme involving numerous third parties throughout the United States, including Beck's Superior Hybrids, Inc. (“Beck's”) in Indiana. Thereafter, at Monsanto's request the arbitration panel issued a subpoena duces tecum to Beck's, ordering Beck's to appear at a preliminary hearing, in Indiana, before one of the panel members and to produce business records relating to Monsanto's arbitration claim.

Beck's refused to comply with the subpoena on the grounds that the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. §§ 1 to 16 (2010) (“the Act”), required Monsanto to seek enforcement of its nonparty subpoena in “the United States district court for the district” in which the arbitration panel was sitting, the Southern District of New York. See 9 U.S.C. § 7 (2010). Cognizant of the fact that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction to file a petition in the New York federal court, and that that court lacked personal jurisdiction over Beck's, Monsanto instead filed a petition to assist in the Hamilton Superior Court, pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 28(E), to compel Beck's to comply with the subpoena. The trial court agreed with Monsanto and ordered Beck's to comply with the arbitration panel's subpoena.

Beck's now appeals, asserting that Section 7 of the Act preempts Indiana Trial Rule 28(E). We agree and hold that Section 7 is unambiguous: to enforce an arbitration panel's subpoena against a nonparty, the party seeking enforcement must file its petition “in the United States district court for the district” where the arbitration panel, or a majority of its members, is sitting. See id. That district court is in the Southern District of New York. We also hold that Monsanto's lack of federal subject matter jurisdiction to enforce its subpoena does not justify ignoring the plain text of Section 7. To the contrary, the statutory gap in enforceability reflects a clear policy choice by Congress that we may not reconsider. Therefore, we reverse the trial court's order and remand with instructions that the court dismiss Monsanto's petition to assist. * * *

We hold that, by its plain language and upon the facts before us, Section 7 of the Act preempts Trial Rule 28(E). Thus, the trial court erred in entering judgment for Monsanto on Monsanto's Trial Rule 28(E) petition to assist. We reverse that judgment and remand with instructions that the trial court dismiss Monsanto's petition.
Reversed and remanded with instructions.

MATHIAS, J., concurs.
BAKER, J., dissents with separate opinion. [that begins, at p. 26 of 28] I respectfully dissent. I agree that if there were federal court jurisdiction over these parties, then Congress intended the federal district courts to be the exclusive venue in which an arbitrator's subpoena may be enforced. But I simply cannot conclude that where, as here, there is no federal court jurisdiction, Congress intended to tie the hands of the arbitrators and the States in this fashion. If there is no federal court jurisdiction, then this is simply an intra-state dispute.

In Alesa Pack v. Indiana Family and Social Services Administration , in an opinion on rehearing, Judge Bailey writes:
In our original decision, we stated that “Medicaid determinations are reviewed under the Administrative Orders and Procedures Act ('AOPA').” Id. at 1222; also id. at 1225. We now clarify our prior decision to note that while AOPA applies to judicial review of Medicaid determinations, separate rules apply to the review of such decisions by an ALJ as they pertain to recipients of and applications for Medicaid benefits, which rules we applied when we reviewed the ALJ's decision in our original decision. See Ind. Code § 4-21.5-2-6(3)(c); 405 IAC 1.1-1 et seq. With this clarification, we affirm our original decision in all respects.

KIRSCH, J., concurs.
RILEY, J., votes to deny petition for rehearing without opinion.

In Brian Reese v. State of Indiana - "Reese has demonstrated no abuse of the trial court's discretion in the admission of evidence or in the instruction of the jury. There is sufficient evidence of Reese's intent to kill Officer Fishburn. Finally, Reese has not shown that the trial court abused its sentencing discretion or that his maximum sentence is inappropriate.
Affirmed."

NFP civil opinions today (0):

NFP criminal opinions today (4):

Glenn L. Carpenter v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Lucas Scholl v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Camiell Chest v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Wesley D. Willis v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 12, 2011 11:02 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions