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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. Major social engineering imposed by judicial order well in advance of democratic change, has been the story of the whole post ww2 period. Contraception, desegregation, abortion, gay marriage: all rammed down the throats of Americans who didn't vote to change existing laws on any such thing, by the unelected lifetime tenure Supreme court heirarchs. Maybe people came to accept those things once imposed upon them, but, that's accommodation not acceptance; and surely not democracy. So let's quit lying to the kids telling them this is a democracy. Some sort of oligarchy, but no democracy that's for sure, and it never was. A bourgeois republic from day one.

  2. JD Massur, yes, brings to mind a similar stand at a Texas Mission in 1836. Or Vladivostok in 1918. As you seemingly gloat, to the victors go the spoils ... let the looting begin, right?

  3. I always wondered why high fence deer hunting was frowned upon? I guess you need to keep the population steady. If you don't, no one can enjoy hunting! Thanks for the post! Fence

  4. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  5. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

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