Protocol and Practice of Persons Appearing in the Court of Commissioner John Doody

Pre-Trial Practice and Management Issues

Motion Practice

• If you file anything with the Court, be sure to send a copy to the other side or the other side’s attorney, and indicate on your pleading that you have done the same. Otherwise I cannot consider the controversy outlined within your materials.  
• Oral arguments may be scheduled when a written motion is filed or requested inside the body of a motion or response.

Other Pre-trial Practice Guidelines or Comments

• Requests for attorney fees must always be supported with a China Doll Affidavit, with notice to the other side. In a probate cases, additional information about the impact of your proposed order on the ward will be required in compliance with the Sleeth case.

Trial Practice and Protocol

Joint Pre-Trial Memo and/or Conference; Exhibits and Objections

• Not later than 2 court days before the hearing, scan and lodge exhibits in electronic form using the following link:( Within the same two day advance time, coordinate with the Court Clerk to mark exhibits before a hearing, and share a copy of each exhibit with the opposing party before the proceeding starts. Please note exhibits have a direct correlation with time limitations also. In cases where you are time limited, such as hearings on Injunctions against Harassment or Orders of Protection, the time I spend reading exhibits will count against the time allocated to each party to present their case (presumptively 30 minutes per side). It is important to consider whether an exhibit is truly necessary, or if there is a way to testify about the same.

Trial Practice and Procedure

• Parties involved in hearings on an Injunction against Harassment or an Order of Protection are given fifteen (15) minutes to state their case. Other hearings are scheduled by the Court as appropriate and assigned time limitations.  
• Witness processing and examination is generally limited to direct examination, cross examination and redirect examination, with redirect examination being limited to the material issues raised on cross examination.

Courtroom Etiquette

• Counsel must abide by courtroom etiquette. For example, when testifying it is important to speak directly into the microphone and direct commentary to the Bench and not the other side. Please do not interrupt or argue with the opposing party when they are speaking. Save questions and comments for later, as you will be given a turn to speak. Listen politely to the other side and present arguments to the Court. When you ask questions, accept the answer at face value and do not comment further. You can argue your case after the evidence is closed.