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ISBA offers 'insider view' of appellate courts

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Indiana attorneys and jurists came together Wednesday to get an insider's view of the state's appellate process and learn more about the nuances of the system.

An afternoon continuing legal education seminar took about 100 attorneys on a walk through the appellate process, from filing motions, how staff attorneys and courts review, and what lawyers can do to make the process easier.

"This is the stuff we all get sweaty palms about, and we'd like to know where the daggers might be coming from," said Indiana State Bar Association president Richard Eynon, who attended the two-hour session.

Put on by the ISBA's Appellate Practice Section, the afternoon seminar was led by a six-member panel including Kent Zepick with Bingham McHale, who moderated the panel discussion; Kevin Smith, Indiana Supreme Court Administrator and Clerk of the Appellate Courts; Heather Smith, Deputy Clerk of the Appellate Courts; Danielle Sheff, a staff attorney for the Indiana Court of Appeals; Russ Hughes, a staff attorney for senior judges on the Indiana Court of Appeals; and Steve Lancaster, Indiana Court of Appeals administrator.

Topics that received attention during the seminar included new procedures attorneys will have to follow for "rotunda filing" once new security systems are in place at the Statehouse, recent appeals involving state administrative agencies relating to how motions and notices must be filed, and how attorneys can assist judges and court staff by including trial court chronological case summaries with their appellate summaries even though court rules don't require it.

"Don't think our court has easy access to trial court records," Sheff said, noting that 7,800 motions with orders came last year and the court often uses Doxpop or CivicNet to access trial records when needed. "If we have to stop to look up the history on your motion, that takes time from everything else."

Another topic delved into an ongoing issue of attorneys' incorrectly citing "Not For Publication" memorandum decisions, especially those being picked up by WestLaw and given N.E. 2d citations.

Panelists also discussed an appellate e-filing system that is currently being studied and could be implemented by the end of the fiscal year July 1, 2008. The courts are investigating IT needs for the entire appellate level this month and want to hear from the legal community this year about how the courts can better assist everyone on this.

"This is your chance to tell us what you like and don't like," Smith said.
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  1. "Am I bugging you? I don't mean to bug ya." If what I wrote below is too much social philosophy for Indiana attorneys, just take ten this vacay to watch The Lego Movie with kiddies and sing along where appropriate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etzMjoH0rJw

  2. I've got some free speech to share here about who is at work via the cat's paw of the ACLU stamping out Christian observances.... 2 Thessalonians chap 2: "And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to everyone in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last."

  3. Did someone not tell people who have access to the Chevy Volts that it has a gas engine and will run just like a normal car? The batteries give the Volt approximately a 40 mile range, but after that the gas engine will propel the vehicle either directly through the transmission like any other car, or gas engine recharges the batteries depending on the conditions.

  4. Catholic, Lutheran, even the Baptists nuzzling the wolf! http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-documents-reveal-obama-hhs-paid-baptist-children-family-services-182129786-four-months-housing-illegal-alien-children/ YET where is the Progressivist outcry? Silent. I wonder why?

  5. Thank you, Honorable Ladies, and thank you, TIL, for this interesting interview. The most interesting question was the last one, which drew the least response. Could it be that NFP stamps are a threat to the very foundation of our common law American legal tradition, a throwback to the continental system that facilitated differing standards of justice? A throwback to Star Chamber’s protection of the landed gentry? If TIL ever again interviews this same panel, I would recommend inviting one known for voicing socio-legal dissent for the masses, maybe Welch, maybe Ogden, maybe our own John Smith? As demographics shift and our social cohesion precipitously drops, a consistent judicial core will become more and more important so that Justice and Equal Protection and Due Process are yet guiding stars. If those stars fall from our collective social horizon (and can they be seen even now through the haze of NFP opinions?) then what glue other than more NFP decisions and TRO’s and executive orders -- all backed by more and more lethally armed praetorians – will prop up our government institutions? And if and when we do arrive at such an end … will any then dare call that tyranny? Or will the cost of such dissent be too high to justify?

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