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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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