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Liberty Alumni Successfully Argue State Supreme Court Cases


June 12, 2015

Liberty University School of Law alumni continue to excel in their fields.

During the past three weeks, two Liberty University School of Law alumni have successfully argued cases before their respective state supreme courts.

On June 4, Brandon Osterbind (’08) successfully argued the appeal of a Lynchburg woman who argued that the jury was given incorrect instructions in her lawsuit against a real estate company.

Debra A. Ballagh filed a complaint in 2012 that Fauber Enterprises, Inc. misrepresented the quality of a property she purchased from them.

The jury sided with the real estate company, but Ballagh appealed, arguing that the standards for proof given to the jury were too strict.

Osterbind argued Ballagh's case before the Supreme Court of Virginia, and in the court’s opinion, Justice William C. Mims sided with Ballagh and sent the case back to Lynchburg Circuit Court.

Last month, Nate Hibben (’09) successfully argued before the Supreme Court of Wyoming against an appeal regarding a creditor’s claim against an estate.

The estate rejected the creditor’s claim via certified mail which was returned unclaimed. The creditor asserted that was due to a post office error.

Subsequently, the creditor called the estate representative, who notified the creditor that the claim was rejected.

The creditor waited more than 30 days to file its objection to the disallowance of the claim, which was subsequently rejected at the district court level because the statutory time limitation had expired.

At issue was the creditor’s assertion that the initial response by certified mail was inadequate, and that the second notification by phone did not meet the proper standard because it wasn’t sent by certified mail.

The Supreme Court sided with the estate represented by Hibben.

In other news for Liberty Law alumni, Professor Timothy Todd (’11) is now a regular contributor to the Forbes website, forbes.com.

His most recent article highlights the IRS whistleblower program and a victory in tax court that ruled whistle-blowers could still be rewarded for providing information even though they weren’t aware of the program at the time and filed their reward claims after providing the information.