Probably not, at least right away. Ultimately, yes. Much of what lawyers and clients do in the legal system is far removed from the courtroom. However, where litigation is involved, the stakes are often high—in terms of loss of freedom, money/property or children. This type of litigation is a client’s life. A court loss is traumatic and sometimes leads to an appeal. All appeals are important but sometimes litigants just want “to go to the supreme court”. This blog covers few cases that automatically go to the Indiana Supreme Court versus the Court of Appeals and covers how a case ...
November 20, 2018CD
“Paraphernalia” is a strange word, but one that most of us have heard at some point in our lives. But what exactly does it mean? And what are the legal consequences involved if it is criminal contraband? The term paraphernalia is used in many contexts and has varying legal consequences depending on circumstances, such as, whether you are in possession of paraphernalia or whether you manufacture paraphernalia. In the (penal) drug world, possession of paraphernalia in defined as possession of “an instrument, a device, or another object that the person intends to use for” (1) introducing drugs into one’s body; ...
November 6, 2018CD
The concept that you are “innocent until proven guilty by evidence beyond a reasonable doubt” is a cornerstone of the American legal system. Arising out of this important legal concept is what is known as the rule of lenity. The rule of lenity requires that criminal statutes be strictly construed against the drafter (the State), and any ambiguities or uncertainties that exist within the statute are to be applied in the manner most favorable to the defendant. The reasoning behind this is that an individual, who is presumed innocent, should not be held criminally liable due to some vague penal ...
September 5, 2018CD
You have been convicted and sentenced. You may have even filed a direct appeal and lost. You are not guilty, or the State did not prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. So, you want to file a Petition for Post-Conviction Relief (“PCR”). The remedy of PCR is one of the most difficult criminal procedures to interpret and understand and has little chance of success if the rules and laws are not strictly followed. Errors in filing can result in waiver of this remedy. For this reason, you should have an attorney carefully review and prepare your case before filing ...
August 21, 2018CD
On Wednesday, August 8, 2018, a decision1 was handed down by the Indiana Court of Appeals that is poised to dramatically increase the number of drug charges and convictions. This is alarming since the headlines of Indiana’s news stories continually recount the State’s “opioid crisis”. At the same time, statistics reflect county jails and Indiana’s prisons are “full” of inmates with drug convictions, at a significant burden to the taxpayer. This stands in contrast with compelling arguments and scientific evidence that other than stopping violence, drug issues are best dealt within the mental health system--not the penal system. Before this ...
August 9, 2018CD
Every litigant in Indiana administrative proceedings or trial courts has the ultimate right to appeal to the Indiana Court of Appeals. Trial courts make many orders, but typically it is the last one deciding the issues that is the final order that is subject to appeal. Usually. However, life and law are complex and sometimes an appealed order is not final as to all of the issues or not a final order at all. A recent case, Severance v. Pleasant View, demonstrates that even where a case before the Court of Appeals does not present a final appealable order, it ...
March 26, 2018CD
For the most part, the legal system is structured to allow freedom of choice in picking your attorney, much like the medical system allows you to pick your doctor. Different professionals in each field fit and fill different needs. However, sometimes there is the wrong choice of fit and, within the legal field, an attorney waives an issue at trial that is necessary for the appeal or misses the appellate deadline. This blog covers some rare appellate remedies that might apply in the right type of case. First, with criminal cases, the failure to initiate a timely appeal by filing a Notice ...
November 2, 2017CD
On its own motion or granting of a Motion for an oral argument, the Indiana Court of Appeals may have the litigants, by counsel, make its argument before the judges who will normally decide the opinion. At a recent CLE, two seasoned Court of Appeals judges shared wisdom for making the best oral argument. Ciyou & Dixon P.C. conducts arguments in the Court of Appeals and share this blog post with you. First, it may seem like a basic and no-need-to-be said rule: but show up on time and be prepared. Normally, for first-timer lawyers, this means physically visiting the court ...
October 26, 2017CD
The number of appeals in Indiana is small compared to the overwhelming number of cases tried in Indiana’s trial courts each year. Correspondingly, there are only a few more than twenty appellate judges and senior judges who decide appellate cases. There are few attorneys who handle appears on a regular basis. On occasion, the small appellate bench and bar get to interact at professional events. At a recent gathering, the appellate judges provided wisdom about four key mistakes that they see with appellate briefing you should avoid in your brief (or insisting your attorney place in your brief). These are gems ...
October 20, 2017CD
What makes our society safe (police) and free (doing what you want) is the delicate balance of power created by the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. For Hoosiers, there is also a balance of power created by Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution. A topic not well understood but in the daily news is when the police act (or fail to act). For police and citizens there is no agreement in any given case, but do you know the law? This blog post explores when police may “stop” a person on the street or public place. This is ...
August 9, 2017CD