Appellate Practice Section

December 15, 2014
School District Faces Trial Over School Shooting

Read more about a recent Indiana Supreme Court decision involving a lawsuit brought against a school district by the parents of two students injured during a school shooting.

December 9, 2014
Seventh Circuit Ruling Allowis Catholic Teacher's In Vitro Fertilization Suit to Go Forward

The Seventh Circuit Court unanimously decided to dismiss an appeal to a case where a Catholic teacher was fired because she became pregnant through in vitro fertilization. Read more in this post.

December 2, 2014
Indiana Supreme Court to Hear Constitutional Challenge to School Busing Fees

Catch up on a case that was heard on Nov. 24 about the school busing fees in Indianapolis in this post by Todd Relue.

December 2, 2014
Search of Student Backpack that Uncovered Handgun in Indianapolis School Ruled Constitutional

On Nov. 13, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that a school police officer's search of a student backpack was constitutional. Read more about this case in this post by Todd Relue.

November 21, 2014
AJEI Summit Attendee Shares Experience

Tricia McMath of the Marion County Public Defender Agency received the AJEI 2014 Summit Scholarship and recently attended the summit in Dallas. Check out this post for more about her experience.

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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

Steve Peters

“In 2014, 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. ”

Steve Peters - 2014 Appellate Practice Section Chair - Harrison & Moberly 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.

Attorneys with cases scheduled for oral argument who are interested in scheduling a moot argument with the Indiana Appellate Institute should complete the advocate form.  Requests should be made at least three weeks before a scheduled oral argument. Mooting sessions will generally be held one week before the argument to allow counsel adequate time to incorporate the panel’s critique. There is no charge for the service at this time.

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 To moot an argument, please fill out this form and return it

Amicus Committee

The Amicus Committee of the IBA 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 IBA Appellate Section rests with the IBA Board of Directors to ensure no conflicts of interest among other sections of the IBA exist. Depending on the issue or issues involved, the IBA Appellate Section will consider filing amicus briefs jointly with other sections of the IBA 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 IBA office. Please also help spread the word so that the IBA Appellate Section may become involved in appropriate and significant matters affecting Indiana appellate practitioners.

Recent appeals in which the Amicus Committee of the IBA Appellate Section submitted amicus briefs:

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.