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Protocol and Practice of Persons Appearing in the Court of Judge Karen Mullins << return to previous page
Specific Comments or Advice for Litigants Specific Requirements or Preferences Temporary Restraining Orders  
 
I do not set return hearings on applications for Temporary Restraining Orders or Preliminary Injunctions; instead I issue an OSC directly setting the application for evidentiary hearing. If you file an application for a TRO, you should be aware that I may not have the time to read, decide, and have a ruling issued the same day you file your application, especially if it is filed after noon or on a day when I am in trial, so please plan accordingly. Please be sure that you support your application in the manner required by the applicable statutes and rules. If you fail to comply with the applicable statutes and rules, your application will be summarily denied.  
 
Proposed Orders  
 
Please submit your proposed orders in Word format. Our e-file system does not allow me to edit a proposed order submitted in PDF format.
Pre-Trial Practice and Management Issues Motion Practice Expedited or Emergency Review  
 
If you seek expedited review, you must include the word expedited to the right of the caption. If the request for expedited/emergency consideration is granted, a Minute Entry setting forth an expedited schedule will be issued. If you need a ruling before the ordinary response/reply times elapse and you do not seek expedited review, you will not get a ruling until after the response/reply times elapse. Please do not request expedited review unless it is truly necessary.  
 
Motions for Summary Judgment  
 
Rule 56(a) states that “[a] party may move for summary judgment, identifying each claim or defense—or the part of each claim or defense—on which summary judgment is sought.” Rule 7.1(a)(2) limits motions to 17 pages, exclusive of any statement of facts. I interpret these Rules, when read together, to preclude any party from filing more than one motion for summary judgment. Thus, if you file multiple motions for summary judgment each addressing a separate claim or defense, I will reject those motions and require that they be filed as one motion, subject to the page limitation for motions. If you believe that the issues cannot be fairly addressed in 17 pages, you should request leave to exceed the page limitation on an expedited basis. I will not likely grant a page limitation filed at the same time you file a motion in excess of 17 pages.  
 
Docket  
 
We usually are not able to retrieve e-filed papers for several hours. If you file something within 24 hours of an oral argument or hearing, it is unlikely that I will have seen it or read it. Thus, please email any last minute filings to my JA.  
 
Oral Argument  
 
I do not always grant a request for oral argument unless it is concerns a motion for summary judgment.  
 
Timeliness of Rulings  
 
I try to rule within three weeks of the last responsive filing if no oral argument is set. I try to rule within two weeks after oral argument. If you do not receive a ruling from me within this time frame, please feel free to call my JA. In fact, I would prefer that you inquire so that if a calendaring error has been made, we can correct it as quickly as possible.
Discovery or Disclosure Disputes and/or Sanctions Discovery Motions  
 
The discovery rules require that a separate certification of personal consultation be filed before the Court may consider a discovery motion. Correspondence and email exchanges do not constitute personal consultation; rather, you must discuss the matter either by telephone or in person. I find that personal consultation almost always either wholly resolves or significantly narrows discovery disputes. Because the rules mandate personal consultation, I will not consider any discovery motion that is not accompanied by the required certification.  
 
As an alternative to formal motion, if you have a relatively straightforward discovery dispute, I will attempt to resolve it in an informal and expedited fashion by telephonic conference. Please follow these procedures:  
 
1. You must have first personally conferred and attempted to resolve the issue without success. The consultation must in person or by telephone conversation, and not by email or correspondence.  
2. You and opposing counsel (or self-represented litigant) must together call my JA and obtain a date and time for an informal telephonic conference. My JA will do her best to set a time within the next five judicial days.  
3. You must file a statement of the issue and your position on the issue, including facts and any relevant legal authority, not to exceed three pages. Exhibits may be attached not to exceed ten pages. If a written discovery request is involved, such as an interrogatory or request to produce, the discovery request and response must be included in the exhibits. This filing must be sent to my JA by email at the time it is filed (henningerb@superiorcourt.maricopa.gov). It must be filed at least one court day before the scheduled telephonic conference. No responses to the opposing party’s filing are allowed.  
 
If you are in the middle of a deposition and need immediate resolution on an issue, the above procedures would not apply. You may simply call my JA and I will do my best to answer your dispute at that time.  
 
Please do not attempt to use this informal process for discovery issues that are so central to your case that a full written record is more appropriate, or for issues that require significant legal research or significant document review. If after review of your materials I find that the issue raised is not appropriate for the informal expedited process outlined above, I will have my JA notify you and you will have to proceed by formal motion.  
 
 
 
Trial Practice and Protocol Trial Schedule Trial Schedule  
 
It is important to our Division that jurors not needlessly wait for us to resolve legal issues that could have been resolved before the jurors arrived for the day. Thus, I require trial counsel to arrive fifteen minutes prior to the start of trial each day and after the noon recess so that any legal issues can be resolved. Please be on time. If you have an issue that requires more time, please let me know in advance.  
 
Trials are Monday through Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with lunch from noon to 1:30 p.m.  
Trial Practice and Procedure Exhibits  
 
It takes a long time to mark exhibits so please abide by the schedule set forth in the trial setting minute entry. If you have exhibits for an evidentiary hearing, please bring them at least three days in advance so they can be marked in advance. I encourage attorneys to meet and stipulate to the admission of as many exhibits as possible. Please do not refuse to stipulate just to force the opposing party to jump through evidentiary hoops. Laying the foundation for exhibits that neither party truly disputes needlessly extends the trial.  
   
Technology  
 
Please arrive early and test any technology you will be using at trial so that there are no delays during trial. Our courtroom is equipped with a document camera, DVD and laptop interface and flat screen TV. My bailiff is responsible for running the camera/screen equipment during trial, so please direct any questions to her.  
 
Demonstrative Exhibits/PowerPoint  
 
Please provide opposing counsel with any demonstrative exhibits at least two days before you intend to use them at trial and notify me in advance if there are any objections.  
Other Courtroom Policies and Recommendations Self-Represented Litigants  
 
If you are representing yourself, the law requires me to hold you to the same standards as apply to counsel. I cannot advise you on the law, which means that I cannot, for example, tell you whether you should file a motion, make an objection, or question a witness in a particular way. I also cannot grant you an extension of time to file something you failed to timely file simply because you are representing yourself and you were unaware of the filing deadline. Thus, please prepare accordingly.  
 
Court Staff  
 
My staff is extremely competent and works very hard to ensure that our Division runs smoothly. It is rare that an attorney is disrespectful to one of my staff members but, given the stress of litigation, it does occasionally occur. Please remember to treat my staff with respect and courtesy. Also, please do not ask them for advice, such as whether you should file a particular motion, as they cannot provide you with legal advice.  
 
Contact Information  
 
My Judicial Assistant is Britani Henninger. Her email is: henningerb@superiorcourt.maricopa.gov  
 
My Bailiff is Dana Corona. Her email is: dcorona@superiorcourt.maricopa.gov  
 
Our division telephone number is 602-372-1160.  
 
Please do not email anything directly to me.  
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