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Protocol and Practice of Persons Appearing in the Court of Judge Randall Warner << return to previous page
Specific Comments or Advice for Litigants Specific Requirements or Preferences Welcome to Judge Warner's court. The following is information regarding Judge Warner's practices and preferences that you may find helpful. Michelle McBride is the Judicial Assistant and her email address is mcbridem002@superiorcourt.maricopa.gov. Our division phone number is 602.372.2966.
Pre-Trial Practice and Management Issues Motion Practice Format: Motions, responses and related pleadings should comply with the length and other requirements of the Rules.  
 
Motions to Strike: Motions to strike are strongly discouraged, especially if the point can be made in a responsive pleading.  
 
Scheduling Hearings: The court tries to schedule hearings promptly and at a time convenient to the parties. You may receive an e-mail or call from the Judicial Assistant asking for dates and times. Please respond promptly, otherwise the court will schedule the matter at its convenience. If a conflict arises and all sides agree to continue a hearing, you may wish to contact the Judicial Assistant first to see if this can be arranged informally before filing a motion to continue.  
 
Extensions: If an extension of response or reply time is necessary, try to reach agreement among the parties. If the parties agree to a brief extension (two weeks or less), you may send or e-mail a letter to this division confirming the extension in lieu of filing a formal motion or stipulation. For longer extensions (more than two weeks), a stipulation should be filed.  
 
Oral Argument: The court views oral argument as its one and only opportunity to ask questions to help it make an informed ruling. The court will have read the papers before oral argument, and often has specific issues it wants to talk about. Giving a prepared speech or restating what’s in the papers is not helpful. The court sets oral argument for a specific period of time, and may set time limits if necessary to complete the hearing on time.
Discovery or Disclosure Disputes and/or Sanctions Nobody likes discovery disputes, but it is the court’s goal to resolve them as expeditiously as possible. If the dispute is simple enough to be handled in a phone call, both sides may contact the Judicial Assistant together to set up a telephonic conference. For more complicated discovery disputes, written briefing is necessary. The court generally does not accept impromptu hearings during depositions.  
 
The court takes Rule 37(a)(2)(C) seriously: Counsel must try in good faith to resolve a discovery dispute before bringing it to the court. It is not enough to say you tried; rather, be prepared to demonstrate your good faith.
Trial Practice and Protocol Trial Schedule The court conducts trials from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, taking a 90-minute lunch break at noon and 15-minute breaks mid-morning and mid-afternoon. The court rarely goes later or earlier than this schedule because court staff needs the break times to complete other work.  
 
The court relies on the parties’ estimates of trial time in scheduling trial. The court may impose time limits to ensure that trials are completed on time and do not impinge on somebody else’s trial.
Joint Pre-Trial Memo and/or Conference; Exhibits and Objections The Pretrial Conference is typically held around a month or six weeks before trial. The requirements for that conference are in the minute entry setting trial.  
 
Jury Instructions: In addition to being filed with the Clerk, proposed jury instructions should be e-mailed to the Judicial Assistant in a format that can be edited by the court.  
 
Motions in Limine: The purpose of motions in limine is to bring to the court’s attention important evidentiary issues that may arise at trial, thus minimizing the chance of a mistrial and allowing the court to think through issues before they pop up in trial. Motions in limine are typically ruled on at the Pretrial Conference.  
 
Objections: The court typically resolves objections to exhibits and deposition testimony listed in the Pretrial Statement at trial, not the Pretrial Conference.  
 
Disclosure Issues: In the event evidence or testimony is objected to on the basis of non-disclosure, the parties should be prepared at trial to demonstrate compliance or non-compliance with Rule 26.1. This is usually done by showing the court disclosure statements, so those should be available in the courtroom.
Jury Selection The court typically conducts the majority of jury selection, with the parties having the opportunity for additional questions afterwards. The court uses the “struck” method of jury selection. Trial Practice and Procedure E-Courtroom. This court is in an e-courtroom with an “Elmo,” a screen for the jury and other bells and whistles. Staff has a document titled “E-Courtroom Tips” that explains how to use the equipment. If you’re unfamiliar with our equipment, it’s a good idea to read that and set a time to practice before trial. You can obtain the document from this division, and court staff can walk you through the courtroom equipment usage before trial.  
 
Objections: Objections should be stated only as legal objections (e.g. “hearsay,” “rule 403”) and not as speaking objections. If it is necessary to discuss an objection further, the court will ask the lawyers to approach the bench for a side bar.  
 
Jury Questions: It is the court’s practice to ask if there are any jury questions for a witness between cross-examination and redirect. This allows an opportunity for follow up questions after the jury questions.
Courtroom Etiquette Professionalism and decorum are expected at all times. All witnesses and parties shall be treated respectfully. No person should be called by their first name without asking their permission. Appropriate courtroom attire is expected. Other Courtroom Policies and Recommendations The record of trial is made using the “FTR” audio/video recording system unless a court reporter is requested. When no court reporter is present, it is essential that everyone be at a microphone when speaking; otherwise there is no record of what they said.  
 
The video portion of FTR generally records the loudest voice, but it can be locked in on the lawyer, the witness, or what is being shown on the projector. The court controls the FTR, so any request to lock it in on a particular view must be made to the judge.
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