Perhaps everyone has observed a television legal show where a witness “cracks” on cross-examination and admits to a crime;1 or in a civil case, the point a party or witness makes some other admission or statement when cross-examined by the opposing party’s attorney that ends the case. An example is when a witness or party is confronted with an incriminating email on cross-examination showing he or she knew some tortious act was occurring, but to that point had denied this knowledge--until admitting it on cross-examination. This blog covers the general background of answers on cross-examination and provides five typical answers ...
July 26, 2018CD
A common statement or question from litigants relates to obtaining attorney’s fees for the expenses for their attorney in general civil litigation and divorce and paternity cases. Most of America’s laws are based on English common law. Under common law, the prevailing (or winning) party was entitled to receive an award of fees from the loser. In our society, this would be a difficult rule to apply as some cases have multiple parties and/or legal issues and a party may “win” some and “lose” some legal issues. For this and many other reasons, America rejected this legal concept and each side ...
July 12, 2018CD
This blog discusses the considerations in the division of a farm as part of the marital estate and how same may be valued in a dissolution proceeding. A farm that as part of the marital estate creates unique issues in a dissolution of marriage, and the potential for argument over the ultimate division of the farm property, which the firm has handled at the trial court level and on appeal to higher courts. In determining the division of farm property, some consideration must be given to how the farm was acquired, which may impact the ultimate division from the presumption of ...
January 31, 2018CD
The Impact Upon Children in a High Conflict Custody Case This blog discusses the importance of trying to resolve disputes in high conflict custody cases to try to avoid emotional harm to the children. Often in high conflict cases involving child custody disputes, the single most important factor is ignored by the parties: “what is in the best interest of the child”. Many times, the conflict begins because one party, the non-custodial parent “wants” something, usually more time with the child, and the custodial parent is absolutely opposed. Both parties may have a variety of reasons for their positions. But ultimately the ...
January 17, 2018CD
Throughout the last several years, the concept of parenting coordination has been catching on in Indiana. Effectively, Parenting Coordinators (known as “PCs” in high conflict matters) help parties resolve disputes in real time so children do not miss events or time with the other parent. The only other viable option before parenting coordination was a contempt petition or other legal filing in court, which was heard after the fact. As of January 1, 2017, the Indiana Supreme Court officially recognized Parenting Coordination; it approved rules regarding appointment and terms of service. These build on the knowledge and benefits that Parenting Coordinators ...
September 22, 2017CD
Over time, the nature and complexities of divorce have changed. In the 60s and 70s, for instance, before uniform acts were adopted by the states on custody jurisdiction, a parent wanting to obtain child custody simply went on “vacation” with the children to another state, filed divorce, and had custody decided in a more favorable place to their legal objectives. Laws, lawyers, judges, and legislatures have done a great deal to level the playing field for litigants. However, there are certain “no-nos” even today that almost always backfire and give the other party a tactical advantage in the litigation or a ...
April 18, 2017Adam Hayes
Time shares and boats bring many families a great amount of joy during the marriage. However, they sometimes bring back the memory of a divorced or failed relationship and most litigants do not want the timeshare. Upon divorce, time shares are often a great deal of contention in the property settlement because in most locations, they are slow to sell and have on-going dues associated with them. Typically, neither party wants the time share. This blog addresses three (of the other) ways to address time shares if that is the case. First, sale of timeshares at loss is a possibility. Most ...
November 22, 2016Adam Hayes
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 failure to appeal to highest discretionary court (meaning the court does not have to accept the case) limits ...
November 3, 2016Adam Hayes
In most cases, a trial ends with a judge or jury verdict for a party. In a small number of cases, the losing party wants to stop the judgment from being executed for a variety of reasons or change the order before an appeal. There are four different ways this may be accomplished, although all are relatively rare. The first, which is more focused on correcting the error in an order to avoid or limit an appeal, is a Motion to Correct Error. As a general rule, these are not required in cases and an appeal can directly proceed. However, often ...
May 12, 2016Adam Hayes
In our mobile society, people relocate for work or move much more frequently than in the past. When new to the State, sometimes it coincides or hastens a rock marriage to divorce. This often presents us with questions about what it takes to file for divorce. There are four major requirements or considerations. The first is that one of the parties lives in the State for at least six months and the county for three months. Where this is not the case, a divorce filing is unavailable to that party, at least until the time passes for this connection to Indiana. ...
January 12, 2016Adam Hayes