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 ...
May 11, 2017 / Criminal Law
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; ...
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 ...
March 20, 2017 / Indiana Court of Appeals
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 ...
March 9, 2017 / Civil Law
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 ...
Four Legal Categories “Third Parties” Who May Have Legal Rights to Contact with Children Other Than Parents
February 16, 2017 / Third Party Custody
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 ...
February 14, 2017 / College Tuition/Expenses
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, ...
While very few cases of the tens of thousands of cases carefully decided by Indiana trial court judges are appealed to the Indiana Court of Appeals or Indiana Supreme Court each year, a litigant with an adverse civil judgment or criminal conviction should carefully weigh the options of appealing. This is because a judgment after the time for appeal (typically 30 days) stands and there are very few legal reasons to bring a challenge at a later date. In criminal cases, first, the ...
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 ...
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 ...