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2020 Indiana Supreme Court Annual Report - Young Lawyers News

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Young Lawyers News


Posted on: Jan 28, 2021

By Joel M. Schumm, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

In December, the Indiana Supreme Court released its annual report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020. The report is full of interesting statistics, information about the court’s activities, and numerous colorful photographs. This post offers a few highlights; you may access the entire report here.

Opinions 
Most law is made in the Court of Appeals, which issues several hundred published opinions each year. Transfer is sought in less than half of the cases decided by the Court of Appeals. When it is, relatively few of the appellate opinions will be vacated by the Indiana Supreme Court through the grant of a petition to transfer.

Transfer was about three times more likely in civil cases (10.2 percent) than in criminal cases (3.7 percent). As shown on page 14 of the report, the Court issued 27 opinions in civil transfer cases while denying 237 petitions; it issued 17 opinions in criminal transfer cases while denying 448 petitions. 

For much of the past two decades, a high percentage of opinions (often over 80 percent) were unanimous. Last year was down to 67 percent, and this year was 62 percent. Two years ago, Justice David was the most likely to write a separate (dissenting or concurring) opinion. Last year Justice Slaughter wrote ten, and this year he wrote twelve (page 16). Read more.

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