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Protocol and Practice of Persons Appearing in the Court of Judge Andrew Klein << return to previous page
Pre-Trial Practice and Management Issues Motion Practice • Deliver to my division a courtesy, hard copy of any pleading when filed.  
 
• Be brief. Page limits as provided for in the rules do not mean your pleading has to be that long.  
 
• Only file motions for summary judgment when absolutely warranted. Do not file such a motion simply to educate the judge and try to dispose him or her to your position even though the chance it will be granted is slim.  
 
• I will only set oral argument, if I believe after reading the pleadings that argument will be meaningful to my ruling. Most of the time, I will not allow oral argument, and will rule within a couple of days of the matter being fully briefed. When I do hold oral argument, I will ask questions to address matters I believe are instructive to my ruling. I do not typically allow counsel to simply rehash what is in their pleadings.
Discovery or Disclosure Disputes and/or Sanctions • I do not like to be contacted by phone for the purpose of resolving impromptu discovery disputes. I will typically resolve the parties’ first discovery dispute. Thereafter, especially if the case appears to be one where discovery disputes will be the rule, not the exception, I will order the parties at their expense to submit discovery disputes to a special discovery master of their choosing. If they cannot stipulate to a person to serve in this role, I will let each side give me two (2) names, and I’ll pick.  
 
• Filing under seal is greatly discouraged. These requests are denied far more than they are granted as the Court views the judicial process as being open to the public.  
 
• Every case will have a joint scheduling order regarding discovery and disclosure deadlines.
Other Pre-trial Practice Guidelines or Comments • Every case assigned to this division will have an initial status conference. At that conference, after I have thoroughly reviewed the file, I will ask counsel substantive questions about the case to determine what kind of future hearings may be needed and how the Court can assist in moving the case forward. At the status conference, this Court sets dates for trial and the final trial management conference.  
 
• All cases assigned to me must have a mediation or settlement conference conducted prior to trial. It is the very rare case where I will allow the parties to waive this requirement on the grounds that it would be a waste of time. Often I will do my own settlement conferences before trial, and am frequently successful, even though previous efforts at mediation have failed.  
 
• I will award sanctions and attorney fees when appropriate.
Trial Practice and Protocol Trial Schedule • Trial days in this division are Monday-Thursday, 9:15 a.m.-12:00 p.m, and 1:30 p.m.-4:15 p.m. Each morning and afternoon a ten minute break is held. Friday is a dark day for trials.  
 
• When counsel tells me their time estimates for opening statements, closing argument, and witness examination, I hold them to it rigidly.
Joint Pre-Trial Memo and/or Conference; Exhibits and Objections • Every case going to trial will have a comprehensive final trial management conference. At the final trial management conference, counsel needs to submit proposed voir dire questions, a joint pretrial statement, and preliminary and final jury instructions.  
 
• Joint pretrial statements must be filed in compliance with the rules as well as the court minute entry setting forth what is required to be included in the joint pretrial statement.  
 
• Marking of exhibits will be conducted by and between counsel and the clerk. The court greatly encourages counsel to stipulate, as much as possible, to the foundation and admissibility of trial exhibits, so that trial time is not wasted on that issue.  
 
• I require that counsel provide me with my own bound copy of all trial exhibits.  
 
• While motions in limine are encouraged, counsel is advised to pick and choose their battles. It is respectfully urged that motions in limine should only be filed regarding relevant issues when the attorneys legitimately cannot decide among themselves whether or not certain evidence is admissible. Do not file a flurry of motions designed to keep out evidence that the rules clearly preclude from being admitted into evidence, or that to which opposing counsel will clearly not object.
Jury Selection • I use the struck method, as opposed to the strike and replace method.  
 
• I will do all voir dire, but allow attorneys limited voir dire, mostly to follow up on answers that jurors have given to my voir dire.  
 
• I will incorporate the voir dire of each side, if I believe the question is appropriate. In proposing voir dire questions, stay away from questions designed to get potential jurors to commit to positions before they hear the evidence.  
 
• I require counsel to stipulate to a brief statement of the case, to be read to the jury during voir dire, and encompassed in the preliminary jury instructions.  
 
• Jury questionnaires limited to a page or less can be utilized where appropriate to pre-screen prospective jurors, but court personnel not the jury commissioner’s office will conduct the pre-screen.  
 
• My verdict requirements are consistent with the rules of procedure.
Trial Practice and Procedure • Counsel must bring their own equipment to be used during the trial as the court has none to lend out.  
 
• I do not have particular protocol for how attorneys must examine a witness (e.g. at a podium, seated, or at counsel table), as long as they do not question the witness in front of the witness box, or next to the area where the jury is seated.  
 
• If written motions are going to be filed during trial, counsel must advise the Court ahead of time before the Motion is filed so the Court can determine if it’s necessary.
Courtroom Etiquette • I insist that the attorneys treat opposing counsel with respect. When they are in my courtroom, this means being courteous and professional at all times, even if outside the courtroom they have personal differences with opposing counsel.  
 
• If it is hot in the courtroom, and wearing a jacket is too uncomfortable, counsel may remove the jacket without seeking court permission.  
 
• Bench conferences are discouraged during trial, but where necessary, they will be conducted at Bench by utilizing “white noise” so the jury does not hear our conversation.  
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