On April 21, Governor Eric Holcomb signed into law an enactment of the General Assembly that Secretary of State Connie Lawson called “the most farreaching revision of Indiana business laws in more than two decades.” The new act consolidates in a single place in the Indiana Code and harmonizes certain administrative provisions and provisions governing transactions that had previously been contained in five different business entity statutes. Although the new law does not bring about much substantive change, it contains an unprecedented amount of procedural simplification.
There is a scene in the movie Marley & Me where the main character, John, takes his dog, Marley, to a beach. The beach had a strict leash policy, prohibiting owners from letting their dogs run free on the sand and in the ocean. Earlier in the movie, despite Marley’s less-subtle attempt to use puppy eyes to guilt John, John resists taking Marley off the leash, fearing the glares he might get from his fellow beachgoers if Marley misbehaved. However, John, now years older and much wiser (or so the audience is led to believe), lets Marley off his leash. For about a minute, the audience sees shots of Marley running on the beach and splashing in the water, quashing any fears John may have had. But naturally, only seconds later, Marley runs in the shallow water and begins to relieve himself, to the disgust of everyone else on the shore.
Most lakefront property owners in Indiana know a “Marley” of their own. Although many lakefront property owners are happy to allow neighbors to pass along their shoreline and enjoy some of Indiana’s greatest natural resources, when dogs leave “gifts” on their shore or neighbors overstay their welcome, these property owners begin to contemplate what rights they have to exclude access to their shore. While some use scowls and verbal pleas to resolve these matters, others are forced to pursue litigation. That was the case in Gunderson v. State, a case where the parties were awash in a dispute over the public’s right to Lake Michigan’s shoreline.
Roger Owen DeBruler died on February 13, 2017, at the age of eighty-two. He was the longest serving justice on the Indiana Supreme Court during the twentieth century – the third longest serving justice ever – and his influence on Indiana jurisprudence is pervasive. I had the great good fortune to serve on the Court during the final three years of his tenure and am honored that the Indiana Law Review has asked me to prepare a tribute to him for publication.