Protocol and Practice of Persons Appearing in the Court of Judge Patricia Starr

Specific Comments or Advice for Litigants

Specific Requirements or Preferences

Please be courteous to staff. They will assist you if they can, but remember they cannot answer legal questions.  
I strive to show respect to everyone who appears in my courtroom. Likewise, I expect courtesy and mutual respect between parties and attorneys.  
If you are self-represented, you can obtain assistance at the Self Service Center on the first floor of the East Court Building. You can also find information and forms at

Pre-Trial Practice and Management Issues

Discovery or Disclosure Disputes and/or Sanctions

I expect the parties to follow all rules requiring personal consultation or "meet and confer" with a good faith effort to resolve a dispute before asking for court involvement. Please discuss possible resolution of issues before the hearing.  
Discovery disputes should first be addressed by contacting my judicial assistant and jointly providing a short (one paragraph) description of the dispute. In most cases I will set a virtual status conference to discuss the dispute. If the matter is too complicated, I will tell you that you must file an appropriate motion, such as a motion to compel. If you do file a motion, remember that Local Rule 3.2(h) requires a separate document setting forth the request, the response, and the reason the response is insufficient.

Other Pre-trial Practice Guidelines or Comments

Any request to extend time or continue a matter must include the position of the opposing party, or a statement that efforts to determine that position were unsuccessful.  
Motions should include a proposed form of order.

Trial Practice and Protocol

Trial Schedule

Out of necessity, I impose time limits on litigants. If you have a three hour hearing, for example, you can anticipate dividing the time equally, minus ten minutes for a break and ten minutes for my questions.

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

I do not allow speaking objections. Counsel should simply state the basis for the objection; for example, "objection, hearsay," or "objection, asked and answered." Further discussion will be had only if necessary.

Courtroom Etiquette

Professional and polite behavior is expected at all times. All witnesses, staff, parties, and opposing counsel should be treated with respect.  
All parties must be near a microphone when speaking on the record.