Friday, June 24, 2016
Courts - "Crown Point native hears first cases at Supreme Court"
Dan Carden reports in the NWI Times about yesterday's oral arguments before the Indiana Supreme Court. Some quotes:
Justice Geoffrey Slaughter ... took his seat Thursday on the five-member high court for the first oral arguments since being sworn-in June 13 as Indiana's 109th justice.
The Crown Point native, who successfully argued a case to the Supreme Court as an attorney just three months ago, waited less than three minutes before exercising his judicial prerogative to interrupt and question Noblesville attorney Eric Benner.
Slaughter asked Benner to clarify whether his client was supposed to provide certain documents in a divorce proceeding, as Benner initially claimed, or merely make them available for inspection.
Benner conceded the latter actually was the trial court's order before continuing with his argument. * * *
Slaughter's questions to attorneys in the three cases tended to focus on clarifying specific, narrow points of law and legal procedure.
He was not confrontational.
Though at one point Justice Mark Massa seemed to help an attorney who appeared to be struggling to answer a Slaughter query about whether a court issuing a protective order is the same as an injunction, or just similar in nature to injunctive relief.
It's not known whether Slaughter will write the court's decision for any of the three cases heard Thursday, or even whether there will be opinions to write, since the high court has not yet agreed to transfer jurisdiction from the Court of Appeals in any of them.
Those decisions, like most of the case-reviewing and opinion-writing work of Indiana's Supreme Court justices, are made behind closed doors.
Oral arguments are the most public part of the appellate judicial process, but not necessarily the most important, several former high court justices have said.