Anyone who has found themselves in the unenviable position of being in a traffic stop knows the stress and panic it can cause. Whether it be a DUI check-point, a rear headlight being out, or failure to use a turn signal, no one likes being pulled over. You may ask yourself, “can a police officer pull you over at any time?” or “what are the limits on being pulled over?” While there are no hard and fast rules governing traffic stops, the United States Supreme Court has set out limits. The Supreme Court has stated that a police officer can ...
March 20, 2019CD
Anyone who has dealt in the administration of an estate knows the amount of work that goes into it. Whether it be the estate of a recently passed loved one, a family member, or a friend, administration of an estate becomes tough due to the emotions typically involved with the passing of someone close to you. You may find yourself asking what to do? Where do you go for questions? What rights does a deceased individual’s estate continue to have? The Indiana Supreme Court touched on this last question in its recent decision of Estate of Shaner v. Milford1. In the ...
March 6, 2019CD
Probably not, at least right away. Ultimately, yes. Much of what lawyers and clients do in the legal system is far removed from the courtroom. However, where litigation is involved, the stakes are often high—in terms of loss of freedom, money/property or children. This type of litigation is a client’s life. A court loss is traumatic and sometimes leads to an appeal. All appeals are important but sometimes litigants just want “to go to the supreme court”. This blog covers few cases that automatically go to the Indiana Supreme Court versus the Court of Appeals and covers how a case ...
November 20, 2018CD
The concept that you are “innocent until proven guilty by evidence beyond a reasonable doubt” is a cornerstone of the American legal system. Arising out of this important legal concept is what is known as the rule of lenity. The rule of lenity requires that criminal statutes be strictly construed against the drafter (the State), and any ambiguities or uncertainties that exist within the statute are to be applied in the manner most favorable to the defendant. The reasoning behind this is that an individual, who is presumed innocent, should not be held criminally liable due to some vague penal ...
September 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
For the most part, the legal system is structured to allow freedom of choice in picking your attorney, much like the medical system allows you to pick your doctor. Different professionals in each field fit and fill different needs. However, sometimes there is the wrong choice of fit and, within the legal field, an attorney waives an issue at trial that is necessary for the appeal or misses the appellate deadline. This blog covers some rare appellate remedies that might apply in the right type of case. First, with criminal cases, the failure to initiate a timely appeal by filing a Notice ...
November 2, 2017CD
On occasion, there are meetings or continuing education classes where the appellate bench and appellate practitioners get to interact and field questions and concerns. This year has been a banner year for these meetings. For the most part, appellate attorneys appeal cases tried by other attorneys and are limited to the record from that proceeding (the testimony and exhibits). This means that conversations in chambers or between counsels or attorneys and litigants that did not make it into the record are not appealable. First, if you are anticipating litigation or are embroiled in it, there are four general matters that should ...
October 24, 2017CD
Is This Enough for a Police Investigatory Stop and Criminal Charge? Indiana has just debated “constitutional carry” which is generally thought of the innate right to carry a handgun without a license. Indiana’s License to Carry a handgun is not indexed to concealed or open carry, but is required for most to carry in the state. This bill did not advance and has not been reintroduced. However, it raises a key criminal law and defense issue you should know and take care to ensure is familiar to your criminal counsel should you ever get a gun charge. This law is very technical ...
October 23, 2017CD