Appellate Practice Section

March 11, 2016
Are "Wranglers" and "Whisperers" Part of Your Team?

A study reveals the two key players on the "amicus machine."

February 22, 2016
Pro Bono Breakfast Highlights CTAP and Mediation Assistance Program

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana held its third annual pro bono breakfast on February 17th. Chief Judge Richard L. Young spoke about the Court’s Civil Trial Assistance Program and the Mediation Assistance Program.

February 10, 2016
Comments on Proposed Rule Changes

The Indiana appellate courts and the Rules Committee are seeking public feedback on several proposed rule amendments.

February 8, 2016
Amount of Attorney Fees to be Awarded by Contract Generally Decided by Trial Court, Not Jury

Indiana Court of Appeals Decides that a Determination of the Amount of Attorney Fees to Be Awarded by Contract is Generally an Issue to be Decided by the Trial Court, not a Jury.

February 3, 2016
Interview Times Set for 30 Supreme Court Applicants

The Judicial Nominating Commission has announced its schedule for the interviews of the 30 applicants for the Supreme Court position.

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The purpose of the IndyBar Appellate Practice Section is to promote the objectives of the Association within the field of appellate law. To that end, it is the purpose of this Section to provide an educational and diverse forum in which to discuss current appellate issues, interact with local appellate attorneys and judges, provide services to its members in the form of CLEs and moot oral arguments and, when appropriate, be the voice of the local appellate bar.
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A Message from the Section Chair

Libby Goodknight

“In 2016, the IndyBar Appellate Practice section seeks to provide more opportunities than ever for appellate lawyers to learn from each other and the judges before whom we practice. We have an exciting lineup of CLEs to offer all levels of practitioners, from those just beginning to learn the appellate process to our most experienced colleagues. We have also implemented a dynamic moot court program—the Indiana Appellate Institute—designed to assist lawyers preparing for their first or second oral argument. The Amicus Committee for the section considers requests for the Appellate Practice section to participate as amicus in cases bearing on appellate or civil procedure. And the section promotes camaraderie among members, seeking to build relationships with long-lasting benefits. Through all these efforts, we strive to enhance the quality of and satisfaction from appellate practice for lawyers living or working in the greater Indianapolis area and practicing before our state and federal appellate courts. Welcome to this webpage, and for those who are not members of the section, please consider joining the Appellate Practice section to take advantage of all opportunities open to section members. ”

Libby Goodknight - 2016 Appellate Practice Section Chair - Krieg DeVault LLP


Indiana Appellate Institute

The Appellate Practice Section recently created the Indiana Appellate Institute, a resource available to lawyers throughout the state who have oral arguments scheduled before the Indiana Supreme Court or Court of Appeals. Modeled after the Supreme Court Institute at Georgetown Law School, the Indiana Appellate Institute offers “moot” or practice argument sessions before a panel of experienced appellate advocates, former judicial clerks, and law professors well-versed in the subject matter of the case and general appellate court procedures. More information on the program can be found here.

To learn more about the Indiana Appellate Institute and to access forms to request a moot argument, click here.

Any questions about the Institute may be directed to Joel Schumm at (317) 278-4733 or

To submit your name as a volunteer judge for this program, please fill out this form  and return it to

Amicus Committee

The Amicus Committee of the IndyBar Appellate Section monitors and reports on pending litigation or appeals that may affect appellate practitioners or appellate practice in Indiana. The Amicus Committee also considers requests for the section to participate as amicus in appeals that involve matters of Indiana procedure. Although spearheaded by the IBA Appellate Section, final approval for filing an amicus brief or statement by the IndyBar Appellate Section rests with the IndyBar Board of Directors to ensure no conflicts of interest among other sections of the IndyBar exist. Depending on the issue or issues involved, the IndyBar Appellate Section will consider filing amicus briefs jointly with other sections of the IndyBar where appropriate. If you have questions or would like to submit a request for consideration, please contact any member of the executive committee or the IndyBar office. Please also help spread the word so that the IndyBar Appellate Section may become involved in appropriate and significant matters affecting Indiana appellate practitioners.

Appeals in which the Amicus Committee of the IndyBar Appellate Section submitted amicus briefs:

First American Title Insurance Co. v. Robertson
The Appellate Practice Section’s brief asked the Supreme Court to grant transfer to resolve the mixed guidance from previous decisions and to “provide guidance for the bench and bar alike” for the countless proceeding governed by AOPA. The section did not take a position on the merits of the appeal beyond the procedural questions. The Court granted transfer and provided the sought-after guidance. Click here to view the brief.

Drake v. Dickey
Click here to view the brief. In this brief, the Appellate Practice Section  urges the Supreme Court to accept transfer and provide guidance regarding whether an appellee who prevailed in the trial court below and does not seek reversal of the judgment must nevertheless file a cross-appeal under Indiana Appellate Rule 9(D) in order to preserve alternative theories for affirming the trial court’s judgment. The Appellate Practice Section believes that a cross-appeal is unnecessary in such circumstances, but the Court of Appeals took a different view in Drake v. Dickey, 2 N.E.3d 30, 32 n.2 (Ind. Ct. App. 2013), reh’g denied (2014). The Supreme Court has granted the Appellate Practice Section’s Motion to Appear as an Amicus Curiae in this case and accepted the Amicus Brief for filing. The Court of Appeals’ opinion from which the Appellate Practice Section seeks transfer can be found here.

Malenchik v. State
Joel M. Schumm, IU School of Law–Indianapolis, Bryan H. Babb, Bose McKinney & Evans LLP, James J. Bell, Bingham McHale, LLP, Fred R. Biesecker, Ice Miller LLP, Carol A. Nemeth, Price Waicukauski & Riley LLC, and Geoffrey G. Slaughter, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, as attorneys for Amicus Curiae Indianapolis Bar Association, Criminal Justice and Appellate Practice Sections submitted an amicus appellate brief in Malenchik v. State, 928 N.E.2d 564, 566 (Ind. 2010). In this case, the Indiana Supreme Court held that legitimate offender assessment instruments do not replace, but may inform a trial court's sentencing determinations. The court affirmed the defendant’s sentence because the trial court's consideration of the defendant's assessment model scores was only supplemental to other sentencing evidence that independently supported the sentence imposed. Click here to view the brief.

Filip v. Block
Paul L. Jefferson, Bryan H. Babb, Geoffrey G. Slaughter, Jana K. Strain, and Kent D. Zepick, Indianapolis, IN, as attorneys for Amicus Curiae Indianapolis Bar Association Appellate Practice Section submitted an amicus appellate brief in Filip v. Block, 879 N.E.2d 1076, 1078 (Ind. 2008). In this case, the Indiana Supreme Court held that the designation of evidence required under Indiana Trial Rule 56(C) may be accomplished in any one of several places, but must be done consistently. The court concluded that a trial court may resolve any inconsistencies in designations against the designating party. Finally, the court held that the statute of limitations for negligence claims against an insurance agent for failure to obtain a desired form of coverage begins to run at the time the failure was first discoverable through ordinary diligence. Click here to view the brief.

In re: Indiana Newspapers Inc.
The Amicus Committee of the Indianapolis Bar Association’s Appellate Practice Section filed an amicus curiae brief Monday, February 18, 2013, in the matter of In re: Indiana Newspapers, Inc. The amicus brief urges the Indiana Supreme Court to accept transfer and resolve an unsettled question of appellate procedure regarding whether a discovery order compelling a non-party to produce documents or information is appealable as a matter of right. To view the brief, click here.