In order to increase efficiency and reduce administrative redundancies at the appellate clerk’s office, attorneys and law firms will no longer receive weekly e-mails about cases the Indiana Supreme Court has agreed to consider.
Indiana Appellate Clerk and Supreme Court Administrator Kevin S. Smith sent an e-mail Friday that alerted members of the public and legal community about the change. The clerk’s office for several years had been sending weekly updates about the state justices’ transfers granted during their private weekly conferences.
Those weekly updates known as the “Clerk’s Transfer Action Report” will be replaced with full online lists about the appeal transfers and denials by the Indiana Supreme Court. The transfer disposition information is already being posted on the state judiciary’s website at www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions, and will also be publicly released in Twitter updates by the state’s highest court.
“Because the Clerk’s Transfer Action Report contains the same information that our staff is separately typing up in these “Transfer Granted” e-mails, it makes little sense, administratively, for us to continue separately producing and transmitting the “Transfer Granted” e-mails as well, especially when the resources we devote to this effort are greatly needed elsewhere,” Smith wrote in the e-mail.
Smith also pointed out that his office is creating this report in a Microsoft Excel document, allowing viewers to sort and filter the data on whatever cases they might want to see.
Traditionally, those transfer granted e-mails from a clerk’s office staff member have gone out as soon as Thursday on the day of the justices’ conferences, but usually are received by Monday the following week. Smith said the online reports will be posted in a timely manner and depend on various factors such as staffing availability, the number of transfer orders issued by the Supreme Court, and other court orders and activity that may be happening simultaneously with the three state appellate courts.
With the most recent conference activity from last week, the clerk’s office posted the online report today about the 14 cases considered on Thursday. Justices didn’t grant any transfers. But the denial in Cory A. McClarin v. State of Indiana, No. 20A05-0909-CR-553, in which all the justices concurred, there is an interesting and uncommon note regarding Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard’s thought on the case ruled on by the Court of Appeals in March.
The denial note says the chief justice “joins in denying the Petition to Transfer, believing that the trial court has correctly been affirmed, but compliments to attorney Donald Shuler on the very high quality of the brief he filed on his client's behalf.”