Life is messy. Divorce really is messy and emotional; this plays out in the courtroom. Trial court judges often face the presentation of evidence in final hearings that is disorganized and ranges from notes and texts to emails and photos. With highly contested divorces, there may be multiple days of hearings over many months or even years. Mostly, for this reason, there are three common mistakes that occur in final decrees that make for strong appeals. This blog covers these three issues for appeal.1 The issue that arises in such a context is divorce litigation where there numerous real and personal ...
May 15, 2018CD
Depositions are a way of gathering information about a case that actually involves your active participation with the attorneys. Most other forms of discovery are just through mail or electronic without both (or several) attorneys or a court reporter (who takes the deposition). A deposition is unique in nature because it allows questions to be asked of you and questions on responses that you cannot prepare for in advance. This blog covers five things you should know before you are deposed. Having this information in advance will allow you to provide more accurate or complete answers, advancing your case. Alternatively, it ...
February 8, 2018CD
In some divorces, there is “foreign” real estate within the total marital estate1. Typically, this falls into one of three categories: (1) a timeshare or some other similar factional ownership; (2) a home or property sited in another state; or (3) a home or property located in another country. Under the Indiana Divorce Act—Indiana’s body of law that guides judges in divorce proceedings—all such real property is subject to the jurisdiction of the divorce court and must be divided. This blog covers the unique legal concepts and issues related to “foreign” real property. The most common type of marital asset is ...
January 8, 2018CD
The Four Cardinal Rules You Must Follow It may seem like an odd blog post, How to “win” your divorce case in a bench trial. The law is applied to the facts by the judge who then decides the case, right? Not necessarily. Judges are impartial, but a case can be won or lost by an unprepared litigant or attorney or failure to follow what are the four cardinal rules of trial. These are the topic of this blog post. The first and most important part of a trial is to have a trial theme that defines your case. This is like ...
October 17, 2017CD
Having a contempt petition (sometimes called a rule to show cause) filed against one in a civil or criminal case is generally unsettling. What is the purpose? Generally, civil and criminal contempt is the legal process by which trial courts enforce their orders and/or maintain decorum in the courtroom. A key and relatively recent Indiana case, Stanke,1 has refined civil contempt and it, along with the array of contempt types and proceedings, is addressed in this blog post. The first (and least common) type of contempt is direct contempt.2 This has multiple components. Most broadly, direct contempt is the stuff of ...
April 11, 2017CD
Everyone has watched courtroom television dramas unfold in which a fictional attorney stands up in courtrooms and witness by loudly exclaiming, “I object!” Next, the opposing counsel scoffs, and mutters something under his breath, while the judge decides whether to allow the testimony (this is overruling the objection if the witness is allowed to continue). On television, a scene like this certainly serves its dramatic, cinematic purpose, but when you are in an actual courtroom proceeding, understanding the most common objections will help you be a better-informed litigant and more fully relay your “story” to the court. This is key ...
March 30, 2017Adam Hayes
Good lawyers never stop learning. Some valuable insights into trial practice and how to be a better advocate from your client can be learned in the heat of the moment—trial. In this blog post, it covers three valuable tips Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys have learned over the last several months of trial. We hope they help you better understand inside courtroom, which is vastly different than what is depicted on television courtroom shows. The first relates to objections. A large number of potential objections are unnecessary because the evidence in question will be admissible in a number of other ways. ...
September 29, 2016Adam Hayes
Law, trial process, and litigation is highly evolved by rules, cases, and statutes to allow trial court judges to receive the most accurate and relevant evidence, subject to tests of veracity, to make a fair and impartial decision. Often these technical rules provide confusion to divorce and custody litigants. This blog post explores the three most common evidentiary rules for these types of matters. The first is hearsay. Other than what one party said to another party, as both are in the courtroom to testify if accurate, one party cannot say what he or she has been told by a third ...
September 20, 2016Adam Hayes
Court room proceedings and trials before judges are misunderstood many times by members of the public and compared with certain reality TV court shows. In reality, the courtroom process is a high-emotion place with those who prevail and those who do not. Television and the pressures of trial sometimes obscure the simple reality of a trial: within the bounds of certain laws and trial rules, a trial is aimed at giving a neutral fact finder the information necessary to make a sound, fair legal decision. It is not that much different from going to the doctor, your boss, church or any ...
May 5, 2016Adam Hayes
Lawyers do a great job of presenting a client’s best position in court in obtaining their legal objective. Judges sort through it. Often sitting in the courtroom as a casual observer, it is difficult to tell which story is accurate and what evidence the court should rely on to decide the division of property (presumption being equal) and child custody (gender neutral). After sitting through hundreds of trials, the attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. use this blog to explore three highly effective visual aid strategies that often help courts. In custody cases, for example (and some property dispute division), a ...
November 24, 2015Adam Hayes