In Indiana, unlike some other states, there are two higher courts, the Indiana Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. Generally, litigants have an appeal as a matter of right from any losing (in whole or part) final order issued from an Indiana trial court. Appeals are made in written format and have very precise rules and requirements because of the vast amount of time and resources an appeal takes. Whether considering an appeal or retaining counsel, this blog sets forth mistakes that can dilute your appellate brief, cause dismissal, or even sanctions. The key takeaway is appeals need the ...
July 5, 2018CD
All final orders issued from Indiana trial courts may be appealed as a matter of right. Most appeals first go to the Indiana Court of Appeals. The appeal process is all done by written briefs based on the record (testimony and exhibits) from the trial court that decided the issues. In most cases, trial attorneys defer to those who routinely practice in the appellate realm to prepare the appeal. This means you most likely change counsel. In an appellate consult with a new counsel, there are several things you need to gather to make the most of your time with ...
June 12, 2018CD
Over time, we have reviewed many cases for appeal where the party has been dissatisfied with the trial court’s decision and wishes to appeal. In almost all cases, to preserve the right to bring an appeal, it is begun or perfected by filing a Motion to Correct Errors or Notice of Appeal. If properly handled, these allow for an appeal to proceed. However, there are three rather common situations we observe where a party wishes to appeal but cannot because of where the case stands when we review it for appeal. These three mistakes are the focus of this blog. ...
May 31, 2018CD
Appeals to the Indiana Court of Appeals and Indiana Supreme Court are meant to provide litigants and attorneys with very specific guidance by and through the Appellate Rules to take an appeal through the appellate process. These Rules ensure uniformity, efficiency, and, ultimately, justice. However, in life and law, there are certain circumstances where rules fall short, and life liberty and property hang in the balance. In a rare glimpse into how Indiana’s highest court, the Indiana Supreme Court, handles these situations, it decided a case yesterday that shows how it is always able to effectuate justice by deviating from the ...
December 14, 2017CD
We have all exercised our First Amendment Right to free speech at some point in time, perhaps even in a tense debate. However, in the heat of the moment, it is important to be aware that “the First Amendment. . . permits a State to ban a ‘true threat’. . . .”1 If this occurs, this is criminal intimidation and can result in arrest and conviction. This blog post explores this limit to help you avoid crossing the line. Specifically, “where the person making the threat means to communicate a serious expression of an intent to commit an act of unlawful ...
October 3, 2017CD
What You Need to Know in Picking an Appellate Attorney and Identifying Issues for Appeal In Indiana, we are fortunate (in most cases) to have the automatic right to file an appeal of a final order with the Indiana Court of Appeals. However, an appeal is a sophisticated and complex legal instrument that is often both time-consuming and costly. For these two reasons, and obviously, to hopefully obtain a reversal of what is believed to be an error made by the trial court, the appellate briefing should be as good as it can be. Thus, you should great care in choosing ...
September 26, 2017CD
With each appeal taken to the Indiana Court of Appeals (“Court”), the appellant (bringing the appeal) and appellee have the right to file a brief of about thirty pages with the Court. However, the appellant has the right to have the last say and file one last brief to the appellee’s brief. At a recent, appellate continuing education seminar, attorneys and practitioners had the ability to exchange ideas and tips for making “more appeal” to an appeal. This blog covers three unique points’ that practitioners and/or judges discussed during this event and dinner. Distillation of the key points. Because original briefs ...
May 23, 2017Adam Hayes
There is an old phrase, “Justice Delayed is Justice Denied.” This is generally viewed in the negative, such as when a defendant has been charged and incarcerated, addressed by the right to demand a speedy trial. Sometimes it takes a defendant or civil litigant a long time otherwise to obtain a trial. In most situations law is inherently slow because it addresses and unravels complex problems that often took a long time in the making. However, the Indiana Supreme Court is actively shortening the process for trial court filings and appeals by moving to electronic filing as of July 1, 2016 ...
July 28, 2016Adam Hayes
In all criminal convictions (sentencing) and civil judgments (final orders), the non-prevailing litigant has an automatic right to appeal. Most appeals go to the Indiana Court of Appeals. With a criminal conviction at the time of sentencing, a defendant who believes he has been wrongfully convicted or received an excess sentence should most always appeal. This blog explores the two key reasons for seeking such an appeal, even in a case such as a revocation of probation. First, failure to seek an appeal may well mean a conviction of an innocent person (on some or all counts stands) attaching a criminal ...
July 14, 2016Adam Hayes
In Indiana, when a trial court issues its order (a final order), it is possible that the consequences are or perceived to be so detrimental that the litigant wishes to stay (stop) the order from being enforced during an appeal. This is not automatic. This blog post explores the two avenues to obtain a stay of a final judgment. Where the case is primarily one that boils down to money, the litigant (who did not prevail at trial), may, in accordance with trial rules or appellate rules, post a sum of money during the appeal. In domestic cases, a trial court ...
April 28, 2016Adam Hayes