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Monday, January 20, 2014

Ind. Decisions - More on "Lawyer Has Triable Tort Claim Against Client That Allegedly Got Her Kicked Out as Partner"

Updating this ILB post from Dec. 31, 2013, which quoted from a story Joan C. Rogers in Bloomberg BNA, Tim Evans of the Indianapolis Star today has a lengthy story headlined "Attorney loses job, but battle remains vs. Anson development, Duke Realty." Some quotes:

What would ensue was a classic not-in-my-backyard square-off. They happen all the time in Indiana and across the U.S. as residential and commercial creep swallows up farmland outside of small towns and big cities.

The time, however, there was a twist: [Carol Sparks] Drake was an attorney. And not just any attorney. She was a longtime partner in the law firm that happened to represent Duke on the Anson development — the very project she feared would spoil her rural lifestyle.

Drake was not directly involved in the firm’s work with Duke, but her personal fight with the important client created a problem.Duke made that clear on more than one occasion. And in 2006, three years into her fight with the developer, Drake was booted from her job at the Lebanon-based law firm where she had been a partner for more than 20 years.

Still, Drake continued to fight the development, even as Anson began to grow up around her farm.

But that fight, too, has taken an odd twist: Drake is suing Duke for interfering with her employment. She claims the repeated ultimatums from Duke cost her the job with Parr Richey Obremskey & Morton. Drake, however, is not suing the law firm, because the other partners had every right to vote her out.

So starts a very long and complex story.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 20, 2014 10:10 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions