In love, war, divorce and most other major aspects of life and daily living, someone or some side has an actual or perceived advantage. Most fathers in child custody dispute cases recognize that a large part of our society has a general belief that mothers should have custody of their children and believe this is reflected in custody laws—mothers have an advantage because women carry and bear the children of the world. However, many changes are occurring. Now there is gay marriage and adoption and more children are being raised by third parties like grandparents. So, the question becomes, where ...
Tag: rules of evidence
August 1, 2018CD
In Indiana, and in virtually all other courts across the United States, attorneys and judges have “wrestled” with evidentiary issues surrounding social media (is it admissible?) in all sorts of ways in civil and criminal cases: How do you authenticate something is actually real (versus fabricated) in cyberspace, never existing in a tangible form? Many of these questions have been addressed by trial and appellate courts. Now Facebook posts are routinely authenticated and used in civil and criminal courts; some courts have even allowed a spouse to a divorce to serve divorce papers by Facebook. Unlike most other forms of social ...
July 30, 2018CD
As with all cases brought against an individual or family (civil or criminal), the State has the burden of proof. With respect to neglected children (“CHINS”) or children who commit acts that would be crimes (“Juvenile Delinquents”) if an adult, the Indiana Department of Child Services (“DCS”) acts for the State. In a recent case, a divided Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a Child in Need of Services (“CHINS”) determination against a father. This case has three key holdings or points for parents who may become involved in CHINS proceedings. First, a CHINS filing (petition) is often made by acts or ...
April 19, 2017Adam Hayes
In today’s information-driven world, we all hear a variant of the same story or proclamation on everything from complex legal questions to matters of medical health—it’s all on the internet. In some respects this is true. The information has taken static tools, like the dictionary and made them available anywhere there is access. On the other hand, perhaps every professional, in particular doctors and lawyers, see patients and clients who are better educated and better for help as well as those who are self-practitioners. The problem is law, medicine, engineering, and the like are an integrated body of ever-changing information that ...
September 15, 2015Adam Hayes
Trials are dynamic events and no two are the same, even on the same or similar issues between the same parties. To have a fair and accurate trial free of most types of evidence that can misdirect a court, there are four key rules of evidence parties and witnesses struggle to follow as sometimes they seem counter-intuitive. These are addressed in this blog post to help you put your best foot forward at trial. The first is hearsay. Unless the matter is what one “party” (not other witness) has said to the other, statements or testimony about what someone else said ...
September 9, 2015Adam Hayes
If you are a party or a witness to a legal matter, you may be called to the stand to testify. Many people are familiar with this generally, from TV shows and movies. Witnesses are generally sworn in, and then each side gets to ask them questions. Whether the Plaintiff of Defendant (criminal cases) or Petitioner or Respondent (Civil Cases) calls the particular witness determines which side gets to question first, meaning whichever side called them witness gets the first go round of questions. After the side that called the witness has completed questioning (Direct Exam), the other side will ...
March 20, 2014CD
During trial, pictures can often assist in presenting a case. They can visually demonstrate what has otherwise only been testified about. For example, in family law, pictures can help demonstrate a bond between children and a parent. Father can testify that he participates in his daughter’s activities, and introduce a picture of him coaching her on weekends. This creates an additional layer of evidence to help bolster a case. Pictures can also help weaken the case of another. For example, if one parent has a suspended license and there is a picture introduced showing that person behind the wheel of a ...
July 25, 2013CD