A key tool prosecutors and defense attorneys use to resolve criminal cases is a plea agreement. This is a contract of sorts between the two “parties”, the prosecutor and the defendant, but is not binding upon the court unless it is accepted. Plea agreements ensure the orderly and timely administration of justice by allowing most cases to resolve without a bench (judge) or jury trial (where allowed). For most defendants, the biggest reason for a plea is to obtain charges being dropped, a lesser sentence, or the risk and expense of a trial. However, a plea agreement is admission to a ...
March 31, 2017Adam Hayes
tThe Indiana Dissolution Act encourages parties to reach agreements; and in fact, parties to a divorce can agree to a division of assets that a trial court judge could not order under the law that guides judges. This is because of the constitutional right to contract, strongly enforced by Indiana trial courts, the Court of Appeals, and Indiana Supreme Court. This means that having buyer’s remorse and later wanting to go to a contested divorce trial or further negotiate is not possible. The settlement agreement, assuming approved by the court, is a binding contract. However, there are times when a settlement is ...
September 15, 2016Adam Hayes
The Divorce Act and cases that control Indiana divorce law are driven by policies that favor the parties reaching agreements. Particularly where children are involved, agreements avoid the “warfare” that sometimes ensues with contested custody cases. However, all such agreements must be in the children’s best interests. Ultimately, Indiana’s trial court judges stand in loco parentis (act as a parental figure) and review agreements to ensure all such agreements between the parties over their children are, in fact, in their best interests. In most cases, this is the case. Recent Indiana decisions have re-confirmed there are two matters parents cannot agree to. ...
March 22, 2016Adam Hayes
Many legal cases, including domestic cases, come to a settlement/agreement between the parties prior to a final hearing. One way to reach a settlement is through mediation, where a neutral third party facilitates negotiation and agreement between the parties1. To help encourage the best setting for mediation to hopefully get a case settled and an agreement reached, it is best to be prepared. The following list includes three (3) key items to assist with working toward a successful mediation. Background information: Mediation is a settlement negotiation. It is helpful for the mediator to have some background of the case to understand how the ...
January 15, 2015CD
As the end of summer nears and schools are beginning to prepare for a new year, the question of costs associated with education is often one on the minds of parents. Who will pay for back to school clothes, field trips, and book fees? The answer depends. The Indiana Child Support Rules and Guidelines provide guidance as to some of these fees1. For example, clothing, book fees, and supplies are considered controlled expenses. These expenses are costs that are incurred on behalf of the child, that are not shared or duplicated. The custodial parent (or parent who is designated as the ...
November 4, 2014CD
These days, a lot of businesses are asking employees, especially those in positions that hold proprietary information, such as sales, technology, and product development, to sign non-compete agreements. But what is a non-compete agreement, and is it enforceable? A non-compete agreement is a contract between two persons or business entities (a company and employee or a person selling/buying a business). The contract essentially says that the employee, or seller of a business, will not open up another business, work for a competitor, or compete in the same business market place for a period of time. This agreement is to protect employers ...
October 28, 2014CD
While divorces are often contentious and parties find it difficult to agree on even the smallest details, agreements can be reached. Whether through the aid of your attorney, a mediator, or just by working through issues together, agreements can be reached before litigation becomes necessary. If the parties’ attorneys reach an agreement, often one of the attorneys will draft the agreement into a document that can be filed with the court. Both parties, and usually both attorneys, sign the agreement, which the judge can then either approve or deny. If approved, once the divorce is finalized, the agreement is incorporated into ...
June 12, 2012CD
On the whole, most litigants, attorneys and judges would agree that divorce is not a good thing or a pleasant process. Yet, it is a reality for one in every two marriages. However, there are a number of legal concepts, such as no-fault divorce to binding arbitration, which globally seek to minimize the emotional and financial impact, as well as speed up what is usually a lengthy process. Sometimes this is not enough to address the facts (typically financial) of a given case. In the last blog post, addressing legal separations for older adults, Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. began looking at new ...
December 29, 2011CD
Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys sometimes receive questions like this. This aspect of a divorce carries at least four different meanings, one of which is viewed as a taboo topic. The first is simply what a spouse contemplates and does just before meeting with a divorce attorney (or after) to facilitate the process. This is a common conversation that Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys have with clients: “Please bring us the following documents: your last three years’ tax returns, last six pay stubs, a completed financial declaration, a copy of your most recent statements on any financial account . . . ...
April 5, 2011CD