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IndyBar: The Appellate Courts Demystified

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By the IndyBar Professionalism Committee

For some trial attorneys, the courtroom becomes like a second home. They can come to feel like they spend more time there than with their families or friends. However, those same attorneys can feel the fear in their hearts when they hear a case has gone up in appeal. Many view the appellate process as if it were a foreign country where they don’t speak the language and have no idea of the local customs.

While some of the same rules of civility apply in the appellate courts as in the trial courts, the judges and justices in the appellate courts may have some expectations of civility which would surprise attorneys more familiar with the trial court systems. As part of the Professionalism Committee’s ongoing series of videos on civility, Hon. Margret Robb, Chief Judge of the Indiana Court of Appeals, has recorded a video where she discusses some of the rules of civility for the appellate court system.

If you have a case coming up in the appellate courts, or if you fear the appellate courts more than the dentist, take a moment and watch Judge Robb’s video. It may make you feel as if you’ve been given a guidebook explaining some of the local customs of that foreign country.

New videos will be distributed regularly and are available on the IndyBar website at www.indybar.org/resources/video-gallery. If you have any suggestions for future topics regarding professionalism and civility, please contact Caren Chopp at cchopp@indybar.org.•

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  1. My mother got temporary guardianship of my children in 2012. my husband and I got divorced 2015 the judge ordered me to have full custody of all my children. Does this mean the temporary guardianship is over? I'm confused because my divorce papers say I have custody and he gets visits and i get to claim the kids every year on my taxes. So just wondered since I have in black and white that I have custody if I can go get my kids from my moms and not go to jail?

  2. Someone off their meds? C'mon John, it is called the politics of Empire. Get with the program, will ya? How can we build one world under secularist ideals without breaking a few eggs? Of course, once it is fully built, is the American public who will feel the deadly grip of the velvet glove. One cannot lay down with dogs without getting fleas. The cup of wrath is nearly full, John Smith, nearly full. Oops, there I go, almost sounding as alarmist as Smith. Guess he and I both need to listen to this again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRnQ65J02XA

  3. Charles Rice was one of the greatest of the so-called great generation in America. I was privileged to count him among my mentors. He stood firm for Christ and Christ's Church in the Spirit of Thomas More, always quick to be a good servant of the King, but always God's first. I had Rice come speak to 700 in Fort Wayne as Obama took office. Rice was concerned that this rise of aggressive secularism and militant Islam were dual threats to Christendom,er, please forgive, I meant to say "Western Civilization". RIP Charlie. You are safe at home.

  4. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  5. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

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