The number of appeals in Indiana is small compared to the overwhelming number of cases tried in Indiana’s trial courts each year. Correspondingly, there are only a few more than twenty appellate judges and senior judges who decide appellate cases. There are few attorneys who handle appears on a regular basis. On occasion, the small appellate bench and bar get to interact at professional events. At a recent gathering, the appellate judges provided wisdom about four key mistakes that they see with appellate briefing you should avoid in your brief (or insisting your attorney place in your brief). These are gems ...
October 20, 2017CD
What makes our society safe (police) and free (doing what you want) is the delicate balance of power created by the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. For Hoosiers, there is also a balance of power created by Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution. A topic not well understood but in the daily news is when the police act (or fail to act). For police and citizens there is no agreement in any given case, but do you know the law? This blog post explores when police may “stop” a person on the street or public place. This is ...
August 9, 2017CD
In many divorce and paternity cases, a continuum is presented where the parent-child relationship may be strained to non-existent. Parents want to see their children. Children want to spend time with their parents. This is a basic bond of parent-child relationships and why parents have a fundamental right to rear and make decisions for their children—one of the oldest and most protected rights under the United States Constitution. For these and many other reasons, supervised visitation (by a third party) of a parent with his or her children is a remedy that is not meant to be a long-term way for ...
June 7, 2017CD
Civil appeals are guided by very rigid appellate rules. Generally, missing an appellate deadline precludes a civil appeal. The only remedy is a malpractice action against counsel who failed to advise his or her of the appellate deadline or missed this deadline. This is unlike criminal appeals, where belated appeals may be allowed due to the potential loss of life and liberty by incarceration. This blog explores a very narrow remedy that the Indiana Court of Appeals and Supreme Court have embraced where the facts of a civil are such that the case should be decided on the merits.1 Most attorneys confuse ...
May 16, 2017Adam Hayes
In large part, criminal defense cases have remained unchanged since America was founded. Technological developments merely brought television reporting into the courtroom and changed the format of recording trials, from steno to taping trials (reel-to-reel courtroom recordings). However, the way cases were charged and defended remained unchanged. In 1986, advanced science made a big appearance in the criminal scene when DNA was used in England in a criminal prosecution. In the ensuing decades, DNA is reversing convictions from the 1960s and 1970s; and DNA results now are a routine part of criminal defense. Yet, not much else changed--until now: someone or -thing ...
May 11, 2017Adam Hayes
While most people have some general understanding of the process that occurs in a trial, appeals are far different and the entire process is not generally reflected on television or by the general experience of the public. In this blog, the four cornerstones of an appeal are identified and addressed. The more you understand about any the process, the better able you will be to aid your attorneys in helping you make the best appeal to the Indiana Court of Appeals.1 The first and most important part of an appeal—and what allows the appeal itself—is “the record”. The record is generally ...
April 4, 2017Adam Hayes
Indiana is fortunate to have an intermediate court, the Indiana Court of Appeals, where final judgments from Indiana’s trial courts may be taken as a matter of right for most of the tens of thousands of cases decided each year. This blog post focuses on the ways this Court may decide and rule on an appeal. In the broadest terms, there are two primary “options” the Court of Appeals may rule, labeled: “Affirmed” or “Reversed”. Affirming a trial court order agrees the trial court made a sound order that stands. Reversing a trial court order means the order is in some ...
March 20, 2017Adam Hayes
Maybe and Maybe Not! Criminal prosecution and defense, as with the rest of law and society, has become complex. Thus, even routine criminal cases should be pair an accused with an informed and skilled defense counsel. The Indiana Supreme Court’s recent case on Miranda warning in a field sobriety checkpoint reflects this need. Typically, during any police detainment of any duration and questioning, Miranda warnings apply. However, in State v. Brown, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled consistently with the United States Supreme Court. The Indiana Supreme Court held that where there was a brief (under 2 minutes) stop at a well-lit checkpoint, ...
March 9, 2017Adam Hayes
Without question, more third parties--from neighbors to grandparents--are caring for or raising others’ children. What are their rights to contact, visitation, parenting time, and custody of the children they are caring for and/or raising? This is a complex factual and legal question since the United States Constitution provides biological (and adoptive) parents with the fundamental (i.e., high level) right to raise their children; this legal right trumps the fact a third party may do a markedly better job. This blog post explores the current exceptions to this (fundamental) constitutional right of parents and explores third-party rights or exceptions recognized under Indiana law--given ...
February 16, 2017Adam Hayes
A controversial topic across the United States with divorced families or children born out of wedlock is: “Who pays for post-secondary education?” Post-secondary education is generally defined as education beyond high school. A recent national case in New Jersey brought this matter to the forefront. Here Caitlyn Ricci sued her parents for tuition at Temple University and lost that battle.1 This blog covers post-secondary education as a policy and as it applies in Indiana. In many states, the duty to pay any support for a child, including post-secondary education, ends at age 18 or when the child completes his or her senior ...
February 14, 2017Adam Hayes