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In a recent decision from the Kentucky Court of Appeals, two generations of the descendants of Edna Murphy battled over a trust which held the Murphy family farm.  Edna Murphy contributed her 180-acre Larue County farm to the Murphy Family Farm Trust created by her five then-living children.  Three of those children were ultimately named as co-trustees of the trust, which held the farm at the time of litigation. 

Brands may now register for “scandalous” trademarks, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last Monday. Erik Brunetti, a streetwear designer and head of the brand “FUCT,” filed to federally register its brand with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) in 2011.  The PTO rejected the application because of the phonetic pronunciation and offensiveness of the word.

The Indiana Supreme Court’s recent opinion (“Opinion”) in an annexation case affirming the trial court’s order voiding an annexation ordinance adopted by the Town of Brownsburg (“Brownsburg”) provides guidance to municipalities on the “subdivided” and “reasonably near future” requirements in Indiana’s annexation statutes. The Opinion also clarifies the standards of review by courts regarding annexations. And the Opinion adds to the catalogue of required reading for municipalities seeking to successfully pass and defend annexation ordinances.

On September 27, 2018, in Northern Kentucky Area Development District v. Danielle Snyder, the Kentucky Supreme Court held that an employer is prohibited from requiring an employee to enter into an arbitration agreement as a condition of employment within the state. As a result of Snyder, Kentucky became the only state in the nation to prohibit employers from terminating or refusing to hire an individual who would not agree to sign an arbitration agreement. (Jacqueline Pitts, Senate passes bill clarifying Kentucky’s policies on arbitration agreement, KY CHAMBER BOTTOM LINE, (Feb. 21, 2019), https://kychamberbottomline.com/2019/02/21/senate-passes-bill-clarifying-kentuckys-policies-on-arbitration-agreement/

Water and wastewater utilities around Indiana should take note of several laws passed this most recent legislative session that will impact current practices or institute formal data collection and reporting requirements. Legislators emphasized and sent a clear message prioritizing the collection of key data sets and collaboration amongst Indiana utilities.

Posted in Estate Planning

The Kentucky Court of Appeals recently ruled that Kentucky does not recognize the cause of action known as tortious interference with inheritance or gift.  This ruling confirms a previous line of several unpublished opinions which previously ruled that Kentucky does not recognize such a tort.  In this case, the daughter of the settlor of a trust argued that her mother had intentionally interfered with the daughter’s inheritance from her late father’s trust, by placing a bequest to the daughter in the mother’s own estate plan to cover any shortfall in a large specific bequest made to the daughter in the father’s trust.

Late into the evening on Wednesday, April 24th, the Indiana General Assembly voted to approve what may fairly be referred to as the most significant omnibus gaming bill in a decade. 

A recent published decision from the Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled on several issues in a long-running dispute between the corporate Trustee of a Trust and a minority of the Trust beneficiaries. The opinion noted that the beneficiaries had filed no less than four (4) lawsuits in Federal and Kentucky Courts since the dispute originally arose in 1998.  In this case, the minority beneficiaries lost again. However, the lower court’s award of approximately $2.7 million dollars in attorney fees and costs to the Trustee was set aside pending further review by the trial court of the legal bills incurred by the Trustee. 

A recent order of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (“IURC”) sheds lights on the validity of municipal ordinances purporting to require utilities to pay the costs of utility relocations. The IURC voided a municipal ordinance that attempted to require utilities to pay relocation costs as being unreasonable and inconsistent with Ind. Code 8-1-2. In the Matter of the Complaint of Duke Energy, Cause No. 44804 (Ind.U.R.C. Jan. 23, 2019) (“Decision”).

On September 27, 2018, in Northern Kentucky Area Development District v. Danielle Snyder, the Kentucky Supreme Court held that an employer is prohibited from requiring an employee to enter into an arbitration agreement as a condition of employment within the state. As a result of Snyder, Kentucky became the only state in the nation to prohibit employers from terminating or refusing to hire an individual who would not agree to sign an arbitration agreement. (Jacqueline Pitts, Senate passes bill clarifying Kentucky’s policies on arbitration agreement, KY CHAMBER BOTTOM LINE, (Feb. 21, 2019)).

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