Appellate Practice Section

August 25, 2014
Proposal to Shorten Principal Briefs Leads to Discussion

A blog post by Howard Bashman discusses the recent proposal to shorten the maximum length of principal briefs filed in the U.S. courts of Appeals.

August 21, 2014
Public Comment Period Opens for Proposed Amendments to Federal Rules of Procedure

The public comment period for proposed amendments to the federal rules on appellate, bankruptcy, civil and criminal procedures is now open.

August 14, 2014
Indiana Appellate Institute Moots Eight Cases, Raises Thousands for Scholarships

The Indiana Appellate Institute was created in 2010 by the IndyBar Appellate Practice Section and is an invaluable resource for lawyers who have oral arguments scheduled before Indiana's appellate courts.

August 8, 2014
Class Action Arbitration Should be Decided by Courts, Says Appellate Court

A recent federal court decision rules that arbitration of class action claims is an issue for courts to decide - not arbitrators.

July 30, 2014
IndyBar Scholarship to AJEI Summit Available

The IndyBar Appellate Practice Section is excited to announce that the Jill Ellis Scholarship is available for an attorney to attend the Appellate Judges Education Institute 2014 Summit on November 13-16 in Dallas.

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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.