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Document Type

Article

Abstract

This Article analyzes the citation patterns of the Indiana Supreme Court and the Indiana Court of Appeals from 2012 and 2013. The research underlying this Article involved a study of 1324 opinions from that time period. In those opinions, the Indiana appellate courts cited to out-of-state judicial decisions 738 times. This Article analyzes those citations to test the hypothesis that state courts are more likely to turn to decisions of geographically proximate state courts for guidance when homespun precedent is lacking. The evidence points to the conclusion that, while geographical proximity bears on persuasiveness, it does not cross regional divides. In other words, geographical proximity is important, but works only within groupings of states with shared regional identities. This answer provides a window into judicial decisionmaking that should guide advocates when selecting among a wealth of nonbinding authorities that could be cited. Moreover, it “convey[s] important information about the development of the law.”

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