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Dispute Resolution - Solving Cases Outside of Court

Dispute Resolution: Solving Cases Outside of Court

While it may seem that America, and even Indiana are getting more and more litigious and new lawsuits are never ending, the cases that actually go to jury trial are far fewer than actual cases filed. This is because many cases settle outside of court, using either alternative dispute resolution or are dismissed.

A recent profile by the Indiana State Judiciary examined the judiciary system in Indiana for 20121. In Indiana, during 2012, 1.6 million new cases were filed2. However, only 1,338 jury trials were held in Indiana in 2012, a decline from past years.3 These cases include criminal and civil cases, such as felonies, wrongful death, and medical malpractice. Statistics from the Indiana Supreme Court also note a drop in the number of new cases filed, down from 2 million in 20084.

Most domestic cases are heard before the bench, or the judge only as the trier of fact. There are not generally juries for divorces or custody matters. There may be a jury in a child support matter, but not to determine child support; rather, if a party has failed to pay child support and is charged criminally for failure to pay.

Some cases that would potentially go to jury are dismissed outright after some discovery (information gathering) is completed. If the case is not strong enough, a party may dismiss the suit. Others settle in alternative dispute resolution5 such as mediation, where a neutral third party meets with the parties of a lawsuit to negotiate a settlement. However, the numbers show that the number of cases referred to alternative dispute resolution is also declining from 2010.6

The field of law is constantly changing and evolving as are the means of settling cases and the trend of the outcome of cases, and we hope that this blog post has been helpful in exploring recent trends. If you are involved in a lawsuit, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney in order to determine the best course of action.

Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. practices throughout the state of Indiana. This blog post was written by attorney, Jessica Keyes.


  1. https://www.in.gov/judiciary/admin/files/rpts-ijs-2012-judicial-v2-statistics.pdf
  2. Odendahl, Marilyn, “Fewer cases being decided by juries, according to Indiana Supreme Court stats”, The Indiana Lawyer, November 4, 2013.
  3. Id.
  4. Id.
  5. See Indiana Rules for Alternative Dispute Resolution
  6. Odendahl, Marilyn, “Fewer cases being decided by juries, according to Indiana Supreme Court stats”, The Indiana Lawyer, November 4, 2013.
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Ciyou & Dixon, P.C., is a law firm located in Indianapolis, Indiana. We serve clients in six core practice areas: family lawappellate practicefirearms lawgeneral practicepersonal injury and criminal law.

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Based in Indianapolis and founded in 1995, Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. is a niche law firm focused on successfully dealing with the complexities of divorce, high-conflict child custody and family law. Known for their ability to solve extremely complex situations with high quality work and responsiveness, Ciyou & Dixon will guide you every step of the way. The family law attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. will help you precisely identify your objectives and the means to reach your desired result. In addition, this practice focus is augmented by the firm's other three core areas, namely appellate advocacy, civil practice, and firearms law. Life is uncertain. Be certain of your counselSM.

Indianapolis Divorce Attorneys, Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. of Indianapolis, Indiana, offers legal services for Indianapolis, Zionsville, Noblesville, Carmel, Avon, Anderson, Danville, Greenwood, Brownsburg, Geist, Fortville, McCordsville, Muncie, Greenfield, Westfield, Fort Wayne, Fishers, Bloomington, Lafayette, Marion County, Hamilton County, Hendricks County, Allen County, Delaware County, Morgan County, Hendricks County, Boone County, Vigo County, Johnson County, Hancock County, and Tippecanoe County, Indiana.