COA: Companies not engaged in joint venture

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In this appeal, we are asked once again to consider what constitutes a joint venture. DLZ Indiana, LLC, (“DLZ”) appeals from partial summary judgment in favor of Greene County, Indiana (“the County”) on the County’s second-amended complaint alleging breach of contract. DLZ presents a single issue for our review, namely, whether the trial court erred when it concluded that DLZ was engaged in a joint venture with United Consulting Engineers, Inc. (“United”) to provide architectural services for the County (“the Project”).

Conclusion (slip op. at 14):  We hold that United and DLZ were not engaged in a joint venture as a matter of law. We reverse the entry of summary judgment for the County and instruct the trial court to enter partial summary judgment for DLZ on this issue.

Key Analysis (slip op. at 13, 14):  In sum, the Agreement is unambiguous with respect to whether United and DLZ were doing business as a joint venture. First, there is no evidence that they exercised joint or mutual control over the Project, which is an essential element . . . Second, and of equal significance, there is no evidence within the Agreement that United and DLZ shared profits . . . And finally, even if the Agreement were ambiguous, the designated, extrinsic evidence also demonstrates that the essential elements of joint or mutual control and shared profits are missing.

About Bose McKinney & Evans LLP

Bose McKinney & Evans LLP is a business law firm, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, serving both publicly held and privately held businesses, governmental entities and high-growth industries. Our clients include Fortune 100 companies, international manufacturers, national and regional financial institutions, agribusinesses, sports teams, university-incubated start-ups, media, utilities, cities and schools, to name a few. We strive to build strong relationships with our clients as key business advisors, to exceed expectations in the quality of our work, to be knowledgeable about our clients’ businesses and sectors, to be responsive to service needs and to continually seek to improve the delivery of client services. Our ultimate focus is on our clients.
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