In most civil litigation, when you are sued, such as in a divorce, which is technically a complaint, you have to provide an answer to avoid a default judgment and losing.1 However, in divorce, there is no requirement to provide a cross-petition (or answer in a technical sense).2 Yet in a few instances, it may make sense to cross-petition. This blog addresses cross-petitions and their uses and some common myths surrounding cross-petitions. Factual mistakes: Perhaps the most common reason to file a cross-petition is that the divorce petition has factual mistakes that should be corrected to have accurate filings before the ...
Tag: civil litigation
May 28, 2020CD
In domestic cases, trial courts are given wide discretion to decide matters initially, such as when the parties divorce or later in child-support and/or physical and/or legal custody modification proceedings. Further, because so much time, emotion, and judicial resources go into domestic cases, Indiana’s appellate court gives trial courts vast leeway to judge the credibility of witnesses when deciding issues.2 Even if the Court of Appeals might have decided the case differently, it defers to domestic courts on how much weight to assign to a witnesses’ credibility. However, the appellate court’s do not defer to the trial court if it applies ...
May 6, 2020CD
The special aspect of a trial is you are able to have a neutral judge (who is a lawyer) hear the unique facts of your case and receive evidence in the form of exhibits (documents) and live testimony from witnesses before applying the relevant law and deciding your case. This does not occur with appeals to a higher court. However, there are times when key witnesses simply cannot come to court to testify because of infirmity or distance (some may even live abroad) so they need to testify by phone if possible. This blog explores the problem with witness telephonic ...
April 23, 2020CD
One of the most frequent questions that personal injury attorneys gets asked by prospective clients is “What is my case worth?” after an individual has been injured in an accident. Unfortunately, this is a very difficult question to answer because the answer depends on a myriad of factors, many of which are outside the control of both the injured person and his or her attorney. In fact, it may be a bit reckless for an attorney to provide a clear-cut answer to that question because attorneys cannot predict the future, and again, personal injury cases depend on many factors which ...
April 29, 2019CD
A common statement or question from litigants relates to obtaining attorney’s fees for the expenses for their attorney in general civil litigation and divorce and paternity cases. Most of America’s laws are based on English common law. Under common law, the prevailing (or winning) party was entitled to receive an award of fees from the loser. In our society, this would be a difficult rule to apply as some cases have multiple parties and/or legal issues and a party may “win” some and “lose” some legal issues. For this and many other reasons, America rejected this legal concept and each side ...
July 12, 2018CD
Legal matters, particularly lawsuits, address complex matters that tear at the social fabric of our diverse society, ranging from criminal cases, such as murder, to a hostile divorce proceeding between spouses disputing custody. As wide spread misconception is that the other side, who litigants often believe will “lose,” should or will be ordered to pay legal fees. In the United States, and in Indiana,1 started with English law or common law. Under the English Rule, the party that loses or does not prevail pays the legal fees for both litigants. However, the US and Indiana quickly adopted the “American Rule” in ...
September 16, 2015Adam Hayes
The legal system is the default mechanism to resolving problems that cannot be worked out through a vast number of other mechanisms, such as through church or family intervention, social pressures, or just walking away. Usually, the cost, unknowns, and stress compound and make this event one of life’s major stressors. Over time we have gathered many valuable insights that may help you in any civil litigation you are involved in--to help your lawyer help you try to reach your objectives. Your reasonableness, flexibility, and understanding of the process will do the most to help you in this time of stress. ...
August 11, 2015Adam Hayes
When it comes to who pays attorney fees in civil litigation, there are two historical rules. First, the English rule, and it is the oldest rule, dating back to before America had its own legal system. The English rule mandates that the loser pays all the attorney fees for both sides. Second is the American rule, which has been adopted by all but Alaska. The American rule states that each side in a civil matter, pays their own fees, regardless of who prevails in the end. The English rule serves to penalize, even an innocent actor who believes they have a ...
January 22, 2013CD
Over the last several years, civil mediation has ‘caught on’ and has become the way almost all state-court legal disputes that would have been decided by a jury are now settled. A large number of cases that would ordinarily be decided by an Indiana trial court judge are also resolved in mediation under the watchful guidance of judges in the case and the attorneys that practice before them. At a basic level, Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys observe most litigants have a general idea of what mediation is all about and desire it–a chance to resolve the case sooner with a better ...
October 4, 2011CD