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Protocol and Practice of Persons Appearing in the Court of Judge Janice Crawford << return to previous page
Specific Comments or Advice for Litigants Specific Requirements or Preferences Under the procedural rules, a self-represented party is held to the same standard as a represented party. I do allow a self-represented party to submit a separate pretrial statement instead of a joint pretrial statement.  
 
Pre-Trial Practice and Management Issues Motion Practice E-filing is not currently an option in family court. Please provide the division with a copy of all pleadings and motions.  
 
None. There are certain issues that can be resolved as a matter of law through motion practice, and I encourage the use of this process where appropriate. Courtesy copies of all pleadings are appreciated.  
 
A party should file a request to schedule oral argument.  
 
It is not particularly helpful for a party to use oral argument just to restate the argument set forth in the motion. I read the pleadings and relevant cases before oral argument and may have specific question.
Discovery or Disclosure Disputes and/or Sanctions Many discovery disputes can be resolved without formal briefing. I expect the parties to have actually met and conferred before seeking court intervention. In an effort to help resolve discovery disputes, counsel can jointly place a telephone call to my division to schedule a telephonic conference. The division will make every effort to schedule the telephonic conference within 24 hours.  
 
Filings under seal are decided on a case-by-case basis.  
 
Sanctions for discovery related disputes are decided on a case-by-case basis.  
 
Trials are generally scheduled far enough in advance to allow the parties sufficient time to complete discovery. I am not inclined to grant trial continuances at the last minute that are the result of discovery disputes that could have been brought to the Court’s attention well in advance of the scheduled hearing.
Other Pre-trial Practice Guidelines or Comments I try to make resolution management conferences and return hearings productive rather than simply a mechanism to schedule future hearing dates. I determine what services may be helpful in assisting the parties in coming to a resolution. I do not take testimony at a resolution management conference or a return hearing, unless it specifically states in the order to appear that evidence will be taken or the parties agree to have evidence taken. I do expect the parties and/or counsel to have met and discussed the issues before the resolution management conference.  
 
Temporary orders hearing are usually set for one hour.  
 
I expect the parties to participate in a mediation, either through conciliation services or with a private mediator, before trial.  
 
Requests for expedited consideration must involve issues that truly need to be considered in an expedited fashion. Requesting expedited consideration does not shorten the time permitted for the other party to file a response. A copy of any request for expedited consideration should be brought to the division.  
 
Counsel may email my staff regarding scheduling, but opposing counsel must be copied on such correspondence. Alternatively, counsel may make a joint call to my judicial assistant to discuss scheduling matters. It is possible for telephonic conferences to be scheduled to process issues attorneys believe are easy to resolve. For example, if a scheduling conflict makes it necessary for a party to ask for a continuance of a resolution management conference, it would be appropriate for counsel to make a joint call to the division instead of filing a formal motion to continue.  
 
If I rule from the Bench, I will make a determination about attorney fees, providing deadlines for China Doll affidavits if such fees are awarded. Parties should not file an affidavit until an order is provided.
Trial Practice and Protocol Trial Schedule Trials are held between 9am-12pm, and 1:30pm-4:30pm, with 12:00pm-1:30pm reserved for lunch.  
 
Parties are asked how much time they need to present their case. If something occurs that counsel believes requires additional time, the matter will likely have to be continued to a later date to accommodate a request for additional time.
Joint Pre-Trial Memo and/or Conference; Exhibits and Objections Counsel should file a joint pretrial statement. Self-represented parties are permitted to file individual pretrial statements. All pretrial statements are read in advance of the trial. A party will not be permitted to present an issue, evidence, or witness that is not included in the pretrial statement.  
 
Exhibits should be brought to the division five (5) days before the trial to be marked in advance. If it is necessary to mark exhibits during a hearing, the party seeking to use the exhibit will be charged with the time it takes to mark the exhibit. I appreciate a bench copy of the exhibits. If a bench copy is provided, it is very helpful to include tabbed numbered dividers so that I can easily locate the particular exhibit during the hearing. Parties are encouraged to arrive early to ensure that the exhibit number used by the Court is coordinated with the exhibit number used in the bench copy.  
 
Objections should be limited to the legal basis for the objection. The division complies with the applicable rules, including Rule 2 of the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure.
Trial Practice and Procedure The courtroom is equipped for the use of technology. Parties should contact my judicial assistant with any questions regarding the use of the technology.  
 
Time is divided equally between the parties. For a two (2) hour proceeding, each party will have fifty (50) minutes, with ten (10) minutes reserved for housekeeping matters. For a three (3) hours proceeding, each party will have seventy-five (75) minutes to allow time for breaks and housekeeping matters.  
 
Time allocated between the parties will be tracked during a hearing with a dual timer. I generally allow the parties to decide how to utilize their time, but if a party is spending too much time on matters that are not helpful to the Court, counsel will be so informed. I try to give a warning when a party has between ten (10) to fifteen (15) minutes remaining, but the parties are ultimately responsible for managing their time.
Courtroom Etiquette All litigants should be professional and courteous, especially to court staff.  
 
Distractions are not expected in the courtroom, be it food, drink, or use of personal devices. The parties are expected to pay attention to all aspects of a proceeding.  
 
Parties and counsel are welcome to use the podium for oral argument or witness examination. However, they are not required to use the podium if they prefer to present from their table.
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