from the Marion Superior Court. The Honorable Timothy Oakes,
Judge; Trial Court Cause No. 49D13-1310-CT-37987.
FOR APPELLANT: Timothy F. Devereux, Dustin F. Fregiato,
Ladendorf Law, Indianapolis, Indiana.
FOR APPELLEE: Jon R. Pactor, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Timothy Devereux appeals the denial of his motion for summary
judgment. He argues Rene DiBenedetto's claim against him
was barred by the limitations period set forth in her
contract with Conour Law Firm, LLC (" the Firm" ).
DiBenedetto argues Devereux is not a party to the contract
she made with the Firm or, in
the alternative, the contract's language shortening the
limitations period was the product of unfair dealing,
violated Rule of Professional Responsibility 1.8(h), and
violates public policy. DiBenedetto cross-appeals, asserting
the trial court erred when it did not rule on her motions to
strike certain evidence Devereux designated. We affirm.
and Procedural History
On April 25, 2010, DiBenedetto entered into a contract with
the Firm to pursue damages stemming from an automobile
accident. On July 1, 2010, DiBenedetto received a letter
advising her that her case would be taken over by a new firm
named Conour Devereux Hammond. She was advised by Conour that
she could contact any of the attorneys on staff at Conour
Devereux Hammond to discuss her case.
In January 2011, the insurance company for the other driver
involved in the automobile accident settled the suit and paid
policy limits of $50,000.00. On January 13, 2011, DiBenedetto
signed a Release in Full of all Claims and Rights, but
reserved her right to maintain a claim for underinsurance
against her own insurance company. DiBenedetto did not
receive any money from the January 2011 settlement. At some
point in the summer of 2011, DiBenedetto met with Devereux to
inquire about the status of her case.
In September 2011, DiBenedetto's underinsurance claim
against her insurance company was settled. The settlement
check was dated October 11, 2011, and DiBenedetto signed the
Release in Full of all Claims and Rights on November 29,
2011. DiBenedetto did not receive proceeds from the September
2011 settlement. Devereux left Conour Devereux Hammond on
December 22, 2011.
On April 27, 2012, Conour was indicted on multiple counts of
wire fraud involving the misappropriation of client funds.
The Indiana media covered Conour's indictment, as well as
his subsequent resignation from the Indiana Bar. Conour pled
guilty and was incarcerated.
DiBenedetto filed a complaint against Devereux on October 11,
2013. She alleged Devereux breached a " duty to make
sure that the law firm would make reasonable efforts to
ensure that the firm had in effect measures giving reasonable
assurance that all lawyers and non-lawyers in the firm
conform to the Rules of Professional Conduct." (App. at
8.) DiBenedetto contended Devereux " is liable for Rene