Protocol and Practice of Persons Appearing in the Court of Judge John Hannah
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Specific Comments or Advice for LitigantsSpecific Requirements or Preferences My Judicial Assistant, Gail Cody, usually handles scheduling. My courtroom assistant, Tomi Polvorosa, will help you in Gail's absence. Our telephone is 602 372-0759, and our fax is 602 372-8707. Our hours are 8:30a.m. to 5:00 p.m. We are closed from 12:00 to 1:30.
My staff is permitted to speak with the parties to a case about routine, uncontested scheduling and administrative issues ONLY. If someone contacts you about those matters, please respond without being argumentative. Objections or arguments must be directed to me in writing with a copy sent to the other party, or presented to me in person in court with the other party present.
If you are representing yourself, go to the Superior Court Self-Help Center for information. https://superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/llrc/self-help-resources/ It is important to follow the Rules of Civil Procedure for the Superior Courts of Arizona. https://govt.westlaw.com/azrules/
Pre-Trial Practice and Management IssuesMotion Practice
Motions with Exhibits: If you file a motion or response that includes more than 50 pages of exhibits, please mail or hand-deliver a hard copy with an index of the tabbed exhibits to my Judicial Assistant. Sequential pagination of voluminous exhibits is very helpful.
Filings Immediately Before or During Hearing or Trial: It can take more than 24 hours for a document that is efiled to make it to my Judicial Assistant's efile inbox. If you file a document less than three days before a hearing that you want me to address at that hearing, please email it to my Judicial Assistant. The same goes for filings before or during a trial.
Page Limits and Other Matters of Form: The Rule 7.1(a) page limits (17 pages for an initial or responsive memorandum, 11 pages for a reply memorandum) apply to all legal briefs and memoranda -- including those that address more than one matter (e.g. a combined responsive memorandum and cross-motion) and those that are not technically motions (e.g. trial briefs) -- unless a Rule of Civil Procedure, a Local Rule of Practice or an order of this Court expressly provides otherwise. A filing without court permission that exceeds the Rule 7.1(a) page limits or violates the Rule 5.2 provisions concerning type size, margins, line spacing and other matters of form may be summarily rejected.
Citations: Include all case citations in the body of the brief and not in footnotes.
Forms of Order: All stipulations, joint scheduling reports, unopposed motions, etc., must be filed with a separate proposed form of judgment or order. Please submit all forms of order in WORD format.
Extensions of Time: Agreed-upon extensions of time for response or reply to a motion do not require the Court's permission, but please let us know by email to the judicial assistant or filing of a notice in the docket. Otherwise, the Court may assume that no responses/replies will be filed and rule without the benefit of the response/reply.
Motions to Extend Time and Requests for Expedited Consideration: See "Other Pre-trial Practice Guidelines or Comments" section below.
Unauthorized Briefing: Sur-responses, sur-replies and supplemental briefing may be rejected if filed without the court's permission.
SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTIONS
Each party is presumptively limited to filing one motion for summary judgment. The motion must identify each claim or defense – or the part of each claim or defense – on which summary judgment is sought, as required by Rule 56(a). If a party believes that the seventeen-page limit is not enough to permit identification of all such claims or defenses and explanation of why summary judgment on each is warranted, the party must obtain leave to exceed the page limit before filing the motion. For purposes of this order, all parties represented by the same attorney are treated as one party.
Requests for oral argument are granted or denied on a case by case basis. Generally, oral argument is not set when neither party specifically requests it, except that contested discovery motions are often set for a brief telephone hearing. Assume that the Court has read the briefs unless you are told otherwise. Discovery or Disclosure Disputes and/or Sanctions Written discovery and Rule 26.1: I disfavor boilerplate objections when it is clear that some do not apply. With respect to requests for production, if a party objects to a request as overly broad, I expect the party to produce any documents that the party would have produced had the request been more narrowly constructed.
Personal Consultation: I take very seriously the obligation imposed on counsel by the Rules of Civil Procedure to personally consult in an attempt to resolve a dispute before raising it with the Court. Personal consultation means either an in-person conference or a telephone conversation.
Telephonic Discovery Dispute Resolution: If a discovery dispute needs judicial intervention, the parties must follow the procedures set out in Rule 26(d). The “Joint Statement of Discovery or Discovery Dispute” should be in pleading form, emailed to this Division’s Judicial Assistant, Gail Cody, at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will see that it is filed with the Clerk. Please make certain all parties, including any that are not directly involved in the dispute, are copied on the email. We will set a telephonic conference after we have received the joint summary and the Good Faith Consultation Certificate required by Rule 26(i). Other Pre-trial Practice Guidelines or Comments
Hearings During the Pandemic (updated 10/15/20): Until the Presiding Judge orders a return to regular court operations, all hearings will be held by telephone or videoconference unless the order setting the hearing says the parties should appear in person. Most routine hearings and oral arguments will be held by telephone. Videoconference ordinarily will be used for cases involving multiple parties, arguments on complicated motions, or hearings that involve presentation of evidence. Requests for a hearing to be conducted by videoconference instead of by telephone may be made informally. A request for in-person hearing must be made in advance by motion, preferably in writing, with an explanation of why videoconference would not be good enough
Videoconference and Telephonic Appearances: All telephone and video appearances must be made from a quiet location using a device that transmits the speaker's voice clearly. A landline telephone is generally better than a cell phone; and a handset is generally better than a speakerphone. If a cell phone is used it is the caller's responsibility to make or receive the call from a location with reliable service. Calls from moving vehicles are not appropriate. If a failure to follow these rules disrupts a hearing, the responsible party may be deemed to have waived the right to participate in the hearing.
Call-in Instructions: For instructions on how to call in to a hearing or join a videoconference, refer to the hearing notice or the order setting the hearing. Do not assume that the procedure will be the same as previous hearings, because technologies and procedures change. If you are unsure of what to do, or if you are having trouble making a connection work, please do not hesitate to call us for help.
Requests for Expedited Consideration: A request for expedited ruling must state consult in good faith with g (e.g. personal consultation with opposing counsel) and in connection with the filing (e.g. hand delivery or electronic service of papers on the opposing party). The following procedures Expedited consideration or action may be requested must be stated conspicuously in the caption of the motion or presented by separate motion. The requesting party must state specifically what is being requested the expedited process that is requested, including, if appropriate, a proposed form of order that provides a response date or deadline or some other provision for the other side's right to be heard. It is not the responsibility of court staff to coordinate an expedited response with the other side.
Expedited Consideration: A request for expedited consideration to which the opposing party has not agreed If the parties do not agree on expedited briefing, the requesting party must (a) file a separate motion for expedited briefing, together with a form of order that sets forth the proposed briefing schedule and a good faith consultation certificate pursuant to Rule 7.1(h), (b) e-file the motion for expedited briefing and the motion for which expedited treatment is sought, and (c) email the motion for expedited briefing and the motion for which expedited treatment is sought to the opposing party and to this Division’s judicial assistant. An unopposed request for expedited consideration may be stated in the motion in the motion for which or other request for relief If the parties agree that the circumstances warrant expedited briefing and decision, the motion should so indicate, along with a statement of the agreed-upon briefing schedule and the date by which a ruling is needed. The proAll requests for expedited consideration , except routine motions for brief extensions of time, will be held for the briefing period provided in the rules unless expedited the motion states that the opposing party has been consulted and does not oppose it, or expedited briefing and decision are requested. using the following procedures. (1) The party seeking expedited briefing or ruling must confer in good faith with the opposing party. (4) The Court will review the motion for expedited briefing and, if the motion is granted, email all parties with a briefing schedule.
Joint Report and Proposed Scheduling Order: In cases to which Rule 16(b)applies, the parties are required to meet and confer about scheduling within 60 days after any party has filed an answer or 180 days after the filing of the complaint, whichever is sooner, and to file a Joint Report and Proposed Scheduling Order two weeks after that. I do not interpret the "150 Day Notice" as extending the deadline for this filing. I anticipate that the Joint Report will be filed timely even if some parties have not been served or answered or motions to dismiss are pending.
Trial Practice and ProtocolTrial Schedule
Our first hearing is usually at 8:30. Trials run 9 to noon and 1:30 to
4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday.
If your presentation will involve financial records or other data compilations, please ask for enough court time to walk through the key points during the hearing. The Court does not have the time or the resources to take cases under advisement and then pore over the records to figure out what they show. Joint Pre-Trial Memo and/or Conference; Exhibits and Objections Joint pretrial statements: I generally don't review these until the day before trial except in complex cases, so don't sweat a day or two past the formal deadline. I do, however, expect that the parties will work together to create a single joint pretrial statement (not two separate pretrial statements under the same caption), and to narrow issues and streamline the admission of evidence to the extent possible.
Marking exhibits: The deadline in the pretrial order for providing copies of exhibits to this division's Deputy Clerk is firm. Please note that we are closed from 12 to 1:30, so no one will be here to take your exhibits during those hours.
Bench copies: I no longer require a complete set of bench copies of the exhibits, but please be prepared to provide me with copies of key exhibits (if I am the fact finder) or exhibits as to which I will be asked to make evidentiary rulings. If you choose to provide a set of bench copies, please make sure that the numbering of the bench copies corresponds to the exhibit numbers.
Use of exhibits in opening statement: If you intend to show an exhibit to the jury in opening statement, you should seek a stipulation from the opposing party or ask for a ruling on admissibility in advance.
MOTIONS IN LIMINE
The granting or denial of a motion in limine turns on whether the admission of evidence reaches the level of reversible error or a mistrial. Motions in limine are not granted “except upon a clear showing of non-admissibility.” The Court will not consider motions denominated as “in limine” that are, in substance, late-filed motions for summary judgment ("Evidence concerning X is not relevant because that evidence bears only on theory A and the plaintiff is not entitled to relief on that theory because it is not legally cognizable/because he cannot prove causation/etc.").
1. Page Limit and Format: Neither the motion in limine nor the response may exceed three pages, including the caption. Showing that the motion has merit should not require more than that. Motions in limine shall be consecutively numbered in the caption identifying the party filing it and the subject of the motion; e.g. “Defendant’s Motion in Limine No. 1 Re: Insurance Agreement,” and shall deal with one discrete subject per motion. Do not respond to more than one motion in limine in each response.
Any motion in limine or response to such a motion should begin with a simple declarative sentence that identifies the evidence that is the subject of the motion, with the understanding that the broader the scope of the evidence to be excluded, the less likely it is that a motion in limine will be granted. The remainder of the motion or response should then explain why a mistrial or reversible error would or would not result if the motion is denied, with citations to authority that have reached the same conclusion in the same or similar circumstances (this also applies to motions in limine based on any failure to disclose, keeping in mind that nondisclosure implicates Ariz. R. Civ. P. 37(c)). If the motion is unable to explain why its denial would result in a mistrial or reversible error, the remainder should then demonstrate persuasively what efficiency, economy, or other benefit is to be gained by granting the motion.
2. Rule 7.2: Motions in limine shall be filed in accordance with Ariz.R.Civ.P. 7.2. Prior to filing any motion in limine, the parties through counsel must meet and confer to attempt to resolve issues to be raised by such motions, and any motions in limine must include a certification that counsel have so conferred.
3. Deadlines: The deadline for m Jury Selection
Number of jurors: Any deviation from the Civil Rules with respect to the number of jurors who deliberate or how many are needed for a verdict requires agreement of all parties.
Voir dire: Struck method is used. Copies of my standard voir dire script will be distributed at the final pretrial conference. Please let me know any additional topics that you will want me to cover. I generally allow each attorney 15-20 minutes of voir dire, which can be used either to address additional questions to the jurors generally or follow up with specific jurors. Questions that are argumentative or meant to "commit" the jurors will not be permitted. I try to seat the jury before lunch on the first day of trial, which means that we may not break for lunch until about 1 p.m., and that the plaintiff generally should have a witness standing by as early as 3 or 3:30.
Preliminary jury instructions: Copies of my standard preliminary jury instructions will be distributed at the final pretrial conference. They differ in wording from the RAJIs but they are not meant to vary in substance. The parties will be asked to draft a "claims made and issues to be proved" instruction or instructions, laying out the elements of each claim and any key defenses. Trial Practice and Procedure Time: During Family Court trials I try to keep rough track of time, but the parties are responsible for tracking time and will need to confer prior to trial the following day to reach an agreement on the remaining time for each party. In Civil trials I generally do not keep track of time unless one of the parties indicates that the allocation of time may be an issue. I allocate time equitably, not necessarily equally, to ensure both sides a fair opportunity to be heard.
Witness appearances: Permission for witness to appear by telephone or Skype must be requested in writing in advance. The motion must explain the reason for having the witness appear telephonically. All telephone appearances must be made from a quiet location, preferably on a landline using a handset as opposed to a speakerphone. Telephonic appearance is at the party's own risk if the signal is bad or the courtroom equipment malfunctions.
Depositions: If deposition testimony will be presented to the jury other than for impeachment purposes, and there are objections to the designated testimony, please provide me with a copy of the deposition on which both sides' designated testimony and their objections to the opposing parties' testimony are clearly marked. Ideally the designations and objections should be submitted at the final pretrial conference. At a minimum I need two business days to make the rulings; and, if the rulings will be used to edit video to be shown to the jury, you need to allow enough additional lead time for the editing process. Courtroom Etiquette
General courtesy: Be courteous to one another, the parties, witnesses and court staff. Please address all comments to me and not the opposing parties and attorneys.
Speaking objections: Please do not make arguments on the admissibility of evidence in front of the jury. State the basis for your objection (e.g., "relevance," "hearsay) and stop. If I need an explanation I will ask. When objecting to admission of an exhibit, do not argue the merits of the evidence. I will entertain requests for a bench conference provided the number of requests is limited.
Moving around the courtroom: You do not have to ask permission to approach the witness, but you may not question the witness while standing next to the witness or directly in front of the witness stand without permission. When arguing, stay a respectful distance back from the jury box.