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Appeals on Wheels continues to enjoy the open road

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The Indiana Court of Appeals will hit a milestone this week when it convenes at Trine University in Angola.

The court’s traveling program, dubbed Appeals on Wheels, will conduct its 400th oral argument June 19 before an audience of high school juniors attending Hoosier Boys State. Judges John Baker, Melissa May and Cale Bradford will constitute the panel hearing Dodson v. Seven Corners, Inc., a civil case on appeal from Marion Superior Court.

Launched during the Court of Appeals’ centennial in 2000-2001, Appeals on Wheels has traveled across Indiana to high schools, colleges, law schools and other venues to give state residents a close-up look at the court in action.

“The entire court can be proud of this milestone,” said Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik. “We appreciate the tremendous interest of audiences across the state and the excellent advocacy of so many attorneys who’ve participated through the years.”

Appeals on Wheels is not a moot court program. All the arguments involve pending civil or criminal appeals from Indiana trial courts. Individuals who attend receive a study guide about the Court of Appeals and the case along with copies of the case briefs, if requested. The court also provides a preparation checklist to the host site, sends a news release to area media and notifies the host site after the opinion is issued.

“Traveling oral arguments are just as focused on the case and the law as the rest of our caseload,” Vaidik said. “But they involve an added dimension of public outreach and education that benefits the court, the law and our audiences.”

 

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  5. I whole-heartedly agree with Doug Church's comment, above. Indiana lawyers were especially fortunate to benefit from Tom Pyrz' leadership and foresight at a time when there has been unprecedented change in the legal profession. Consider how dramatically computer technology and its role in the practice of law have changed over the last 25 years. The impact of the great recession of 2008 dramatically changed the composition and structure of law firms across the country. Economic pressures altered what had long been a routine, robust annual recruitment process for law students and recent law school graduates. That has, in turn, impacted law school enrollment across the country, placing upward pressure on law school tuition. The internet continues to drive significant changes in the provision of legal services in both public and private sectors. The ISBA has worked to make quality legal representation accessible and affordable for all who need it and to raise general public understanding of Indiana laws and procedures. How difficult it would have been to tackle each of these issues without Tom's leadership. Tom has set the tone for positive change at the ISBA to meet the evolving practice needs of lawyers of all backgrounds and ages. He has led the organization with vision, patience, flexibility, commitment, thoughtfulness & even humor. He will, indeed, be a tough act to follow. Thank you, Tom, for all you've done and all the energy you've invested in making the ISBA an excellent, progressive, highly responsive, all-inclusive, respectful & respected professional association during his tenure there.

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