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The Judicial Branch of Arizona, Maricopa County
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Protocol and Practice of Persons Appearing in the Court of Special Master George Schade
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Specific Comments or Advice for Litigants
Specific Requirements or Preferences
Regularly visit the Special Master's web site at http://www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/SuperiorCourt/
GeneralStreamAdjudication/Index.asp to see a calendar of proceedings, orders, decisions, and information. The pages What's New, Bulletin, Gila River Adjudication, Little Colorado River Adjudication, and Rules for Proceedings Before the Special Master contain lots of helpful and timely information.
The Rules for Proceedings Before the Special Master apply to time limits for filing responses and replies unless otherwise ordered.
When required, provide a copy of any papers filed to the other litigants.
The Special Master makes recommendations to the Adjudication Judge who after hearing may adopt the Special Master's report, modify it, reject it in whole or in part, receive further evidence, or may return the report to the Special Master with instructions. This process may take several months to complete.
Pre-Trial Practice and Management Issues
The Gila River Adjudication is not subject to the e-filing requirements. All papers are filed with the Clerk of the Apache County Superior Court or Maricopa County Superior Court.
Given the complexity of issues briefed, the Special Master will waive page limitations in motions but expects reasonableness. Counsel and parties should not expect that the Adjudication Judge will waive page limitations.
Litigants are expected to provide accurate and complete legal citations.
Providing the Special Master a copy of an important decision or document relied upon is helpful.
No motions are specifically discouraged or disfavored.
Oral argument will be granted on motions for summary judgment whose resolution will result in a determination of an issue.
Counsel will be asked to prepare and file a schedule of presentation and allocation of time no later than three court days prior to an oral argument. Generally, the Special Master will allow the litigants to determine the duration of oral argument, but will not extend the time after the start.
Oral argument is the opportunity for the participants to focus on the key issues and points and to fully engage in their discussion.
Discovery or Disclosure Disputes and/or Sanctions
Counsel and parties are expected to comply in a timely manner with all deadlines for filing disclosure statements, completing discovery, and filing motions. It is imperative that a briefing schedule be firmly followed.
Disclosure and discovery disputes can be brought to the attention of the Special Master, but the litigants are encouraged to exert good faith to resolve disagreements among themselves. Litigants should be guided by the applicable rules of practice and case law.
Other Pre-trial Practice Guidelines or Comments
A request for a prehearing conference will be granted if a conference is advisable. A request can be made by a single party or by stipulation.
There is no special preference for a telephonic or a courtroom conference, but often a telephonic conference will be the most convenient for litigants.
Allow sufficient time to notify all litigants of a telephonic conference.
Trial Practice and Protocol
Evidentiary hearings will be set months or weeks in advance.
A 15-minute morning and afternoon recesses will be taken each court day. A lunch recess lasting 1.5 hours will be taken each day.
Counsel and parties should arrange for special accommodations well in advance of a hearing.
Joint Pre-Trial Memo and/or Conference; Exhibits and Objections
Joint pretrial statements are favored in all evidentiary hearings.
A pretrial management conference will be held prior to an evidentiary hearing even if not requested.
Counsel and parties should complete the marking of exhibits prior to the commencement of an evidentiary hearing.
Motions in limine will be ruled upon prior to an evidentiary hearing.
Stipulations to resolve any issues are favored.
Trial Practice and Procedure
Use of PowerPoint or other computer assisted presentation is encouraged provided the PowerPoint is the standard outline type and does not include any items such as graphics, video clips, or audio clips that have not been stipulated into evidence or that counsel does not reasonably believe will be admitted into evidence. If in doubt about a presentation, counsel should request resolution of any objections to exhibits and can request that the Special Master review the presentation in camera.
Counsel should use the lectern or podium when presenting.
Because often many persons attend a hearing or oral argument, counsel should speak audibly so others present in the courtroom can hear them.
Speak at a reasonable pace so the court reporter can properly transcribe. Always identify yourself when speaking.
Counsel should ask for permission to approach a witness.
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Rotation February, 2015