Protocol and Practice of Persons Appearing in the Court of Judge David Palmer

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Specific Comments or Advice for Litigants

Specific Requirements or Preferences • All litigants must be prepared for Court.  
• When speaking within the courtroom, please speak into the microphone, so that a proper record can be established.  
• Self representing litigants are responsible for knowing the law that is relevant to their case (e.g. custody factors, relocation factors, etc.).  
• If the rules are not invoked, I may opt to do so.

Pre-Trial Practice and Management Issues

Motion Practice • Brevity is the soul of persuasive legal writing; please be to the point.  
• Oral argument may be scheduled upon request. When set, each side is allocated fifteen (15) minutes to clearly present their position, and why it is legally, and equitably correct.
Discovery or Disclosure Disputes and/or Sanctions • Speaking objections are discouraged.  
• A file may be placed under seal when justified, but because this makes access difficult for all involved, it should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.  
• Sanctions are issued as appropriate. For example, if a motion to compel ultimately becomes necessary, sanctions will be imposed, in all likelihood.
Other Pre-trial Practice Guidelines or Comments • Temporary orders should be as narrow, and as brief as possible, because time is valuable. I prefer to resolve temporary matters during resolution management conferences if possible. If agreement is not reached on all issues at the conference, the Court may then, immediately thereafter, take evidence and testimony and conduct a temporary orders hearing.  
• Telephonic conferences may be utilized in place of non-evidentiary hearings, if requested in advance.  
• Time limitations will be honored, and time allocated to the parties will be tracked via a dual timer clock. Only in unusual circumstances will time limitations be altered once set.

Trial Practice and Protocol

Trial Schedule • Tuesday afternoons, and Fridays are reserved as office days. The rest of the week is formally scheduled.  
• Party accommodations will be addressed as requested.
Joint Pre-Trial Memo and/or Conference; Exhibits and Objections • Joint Pretrial Statements are required and relied upon.  
• Exhibits must be marked at least five (5) days ahead of trial. The rules require this, and the court will so direct. To permit otherwise is unfair to court staff.  
• Motions in limine should be filed with as much notice as possible.  
• Stipulations are encouraged.
Trial Practice and Procedure • Technology is limited however; counsel may bring their own equipment into the courtroom.  
• Witness processing involves direct examination, cross, and redirect. If counsel asks one time to approach the witness, they need not ask again.
Courtroom Etiquette • All litigants and counsel must be civil to each other.  
• Counsel may present from anywhere in the courtroom that is comfortable and reasonable, so long as their comments are picked up by the recording system microphone.  
• Interaction between the attorney, and his or her client, must not be distracting. If the conversation cannot be addressed during a normally scheduled break in a long proceeding, counsel may ask for a recess to regroup, with the expectation recess time will be deducted from the total time allocated.  
• Treat staff as if you were interacting with the Bench.