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Friday, December 20, 2013

Ind. Courts - ‘Tis the Season: Will the Court of Appeals Issue a Slew of Opinions in the Final Five Opinion Days of 2013?

Clients (and lawyers) often wonder when they might expect an opinion from the Court of Appeals. The court’s annual report includes the average length of pending cases at year’s end, which was an impressive 1.0 month in 2012, down from only 1.2 months in 2011. The Court’s general desire to move cases quickly, coupled with its reporting on a calendar year basis, have generally meant that many opinions are issued near the end of the year.

Indiana Court of Appeals Opinions Issued in the Final Five Business Days of the Year
Year Final Day Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Total Opinions
FP / NFP FP / NFP FP / NFP FP / NFP FP / NFP FP / NFP -- Total
2012 3 / 21 3 / 13 3 / 5 0 / 13 2 / 4 11 / 56 -- 67
2011 8 / 24 5 / 17 2 / 17 0 / 9 1 / 19 16 / 86 -- 102
2010 7 / 18 6 / 11 2 / 5 2 / 15 5 / 14 22 / 63 -- 85
2009 7 / 17 6 / 17 7 / 15 0 / 9 1 / 4 21 / 62 -- 83
2008 7 / 16 5 / 12 5 / 8 1 / 7 5 / 9 23 / 52 -- 75
2007 9 / 19 13 / 21 5 / 12 4 / 15 4 / 5 35 / 72 -- 107

Five opinion days remain in 2013 (December 23, 26, 27, 30, and 31). Because the Court of Appeals’ caseload has been steadily declining over the past five years, I wouldn’t expect 100 or more opinions. But do expect more than the average of about nine each day.

I also anticipate opinions in some long-pending cases, such as Winston Wood v. State, which involves the duty of a boat operator after a fatal accident. The case was transmitted to the Court of Appeals on April 2 and argued at Hoosier Boys State in Angola on June 18.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 20, 2013 02:22 PM
Posted to Schumm - Commentary