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Family Law Tip of the Week: Cues from your JO and Juvenile Court Fact-Finding Forum - Family Law News

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Family Law News

Posted on: Jan 29, 2018

Welcome to Tip of the Week! Judicial officers will offer a tip each week for members of the Family Law Section. Feel free to send suggestions to Mag. Kim Mattingly at

By Mag. Kimberly Dean Mattingly, Marion Superior Court

  1. Listen for, and respond to, cues from your judicial officer. I realize that busy Marion County courts often push you to get your relevant evidence in and move on so we can finish on time and keep the calendar on track. Do try, however, to relax enough to be able to pick up on clues while presenting your case. Be on the lookout for phrases like “any redirect for this witness, Counsel,” or, “There aren’t any additional witnesses in your case in chief, right, Counsel?” I only use these phrases with counsel who have prevailed or made their point already. It is my subtle cue that, sure you could refute some of the points that your opponent made on cross, but you don’t have to do that in order to win. I realize there is some risk for you and your client if you misinterpret a hint and don’t put on additional evidence, so clarify if you feel you need to. I will not tell you how to try your case, but I will tell you if I think there is no need to ask additional questions or call additional witnesses. I, for one, will not stop you if you have not yet prevailed – I’ll let you keep going in case you might have the last piece of your puzzle hidden away and will only stop you if you have run out of trial time.
  2. Take advantage of a free lunch and a free soapbox and put this event on your calendar:

Last year, the Marion County General Term voted to send a second elected or appointed judge to the Juvenile Court in January 2019 to address the substantial growth in cases.  In order, to prepare for successful deployment of this second judge, on January 31, 2018, the Marion Superior Court’s Committee selected to address this issue will host a fact-finding forum to hear from Juvenile Court stakeholders about their questions, concerns and suggestions.

All interested parties are invited to attend this informal gathering to provide their insight, express their concerns and offer suggestions on how this major change can be successfully implemented. LUNCH WILL BE PROVIDED! So, we ask that you RSVP your attendance to Cindy Goss (317) 327-8392;

When: Wednesday, January 31, noon.
Where: Muster Room, Juvenile Court
Please come and help the court with your insight.

Stay tuned for a new tip next week!

If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Family Law Section page, please email Kara Sikorski at


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