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Lucas: Trial reports give glimpse into litigation strategies

January 4, 2012
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EidtPerspLucas-sigNot so long ago, trial reports were a popular element in the Indiana Lawyer. They provide litigators the opportunity to share success stories and relay some of the unique issues that arise and arguments that are made in what might otherwise be considered routine cases. Every lawsuit has a story, and through trial reports, lawyers have the opportunity to convey those to their peers.

Over time, the number of trial reports the newspaper has received has slowed to what could now be described as a trickle. Sure, the recently released trial court statistics from Indiana’s state courts reveal that the overall number of issues that go to trial has dropped in the last decade, (see more about the trial court statistics in our story on page 1) and that might account for some of the reduction, but I don’t believe that is the primary reason for the decline in submitted trial reports.

Everyone is busy. It is difficult to find time for things that are not required. There are not enough hours in a day – I get that; I live that! But when you are involved in a trial that presents interesting issues or has an outcome that you see as “justice being served,” I hope you will take a moment to submit a trial report. It is as easy as visiting www.theIndianaLawyer.com and selecting the green “submit” tab, followed by the “submit a trial report” tab and completing the accompanying form.

We ask you for the facts: case name and number, injuries incurred, bench or jury trial, disposition/awards, etc. We’ll give you the opportunity to describe the facts of the case, compelling expert testimony and the arguments made. In the name of accountability, we require the attorney submitting a trial report to send the report to opposing counsel and verify that step has been taken.

Lawyers learn quite a bit from the experiences of their professional peers. By reading about cases similar to their own, they learn how other courts are ruling on a particular issue. By reading about trial strategies, techniques and experts used, they gain valuable insights – strategies they may employ in the future.

The Indiana Lawyer would like to revive the trial report section of the newspaper in 2012. I encourage you to submit your reports. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact me at klucas@ibj.com or 317-472-5233.•

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  1. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

  2. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  3. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

  4. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  5. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

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