Protocol and Practice of Persons Appearing in the Court of Judge Arthur Anderson
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Specific Comments or Advice for LitigantsSpecific Requirements or Preferences • Please note this Court provides detailed minute entries, which generally encompass the topics addressed below. Litigants are encouraged to read and abide by the direction provided within the minute entries, in an effort to better facilitate each stage of a proceeding.
Pre-Trial Practice and Management IssuesMotion Practice • Pleadings must be filed electronically.
• Overall, the Court expects counsel will file motions in compliance with the rules. Attorneys are encouraged to file single subject, rather than omnibus, motions. Motions to exceed page limitations are not favored and will only be accepted by the Court in rare circumstances. When motions to exceed page limits are granted, the motion to exceed should not be attached to a proposed motion, but filed separately.
• Your cooperation to label motions serially would be most appreciated. For example, the plaintiff's first motion to be filed would be marked, "Plaintiff's Motion #1 - Motion for Summary Judgment." The response to this motion would be marked, "Defendant's Response to Plaintiff's Motion #1 - Motion for Summary Judgment." Conversely, the defendant's first motion would be marked, "Defendant's Motion #1 - Motion to Dismiss." The response to this motion would be marked "Plaintiff's Response to Defendant's Motion #1 - Motion to Dismiss." Such a simple gesture is requested mainly for the litigant's benefit, so that each side may stay organized, and properly address the other side's contentions.
• After I review the pleadings, I determine if an oral argument is warranted, whether or not oral argument is requested by a litigant. My style on oral argument depends upon the nature of the case. The discussion could either be directed via questions of the Court, or counsel may be permitted to make a presentation accordingly. Discovery or Disclosure Disputes and/or Sanctions • Written discovery motions may not be filed, unless so directed by this Court.
• Litigants are strongly encouraged to meet, confer and resolve any disputes, if possible. In the rare instance a dispute cannot be resolved; litigants should contact my judicial assistant to schedule a telephone conference to further vet the issue(s). Other Pre-trial Practice Guidelines or Comments • Except for evidentiary hearings, most matters may be handled telephonically. When proceedings are conducted over the phone, the parties must participate via land lines. Cell phones or speaker phone settings must be avoided in order to accommodate the needs of the courtroom's recording system (FTR). Counsel should remind their party members that ancillary noise must be kept to a minimum to prevent recording interference.
Trial Practice and ProtocolTrial Schedule • Trials are held Monday-Thursday, 9:30am-4:45pm, with a break in the morning, and a break in the afternoon. Lunch is held between 12:00pm and 1:30pm.
• The critical factor in determining the length of trial is counsel time estimates.
• The Court will place time limitations on openings, and closings, and may further limit counsel's presentation of their case depending upon the state of affairs.
• Party accommodations will be honored as requested.
Joint Pre-Trial Memo and/or Conference; Exhibits and Objections • As will be noted within the minute entry to set trial, issued at least thirty (30) days prior to a trial date, exhibits must be provided two (2) weeks before the beginning of trial for marking purposes. The Court may require assistance from the attorney's staff when marking exhibits. An 8.5x11 photo must be provided of large exhibits (e.g. poster board or house appliances), which will be substituted into evidence for the record.
• Counsel is required to stand whenever addressing the Court, and particularly when objecting.
• If either side expects to file more than five (5) motions in limine, then that litigant must request a status conference with the Court. The motion and its response are due by date specific and must not include amendments.
• If counsel seeks a stipulation to extend filing deadlines, counsel must file the stipulation, and obtain a court order as acknowledgement the court is aware of the change in schedule. Jury Selection • Voir dire is facilitated by the struck method, not the strike-and-replace method.
• Mini-openings and jury questionnaires are discouraged. However, counsel may submit questions on the time table set forth in the pre-trial conference minute entry. Additionally, limited follow up by the attorneys is permitted.
• Because the method for challenging or excusing a juror for cause is complex, this matter will be reviewed with litigants in another fashion. Trial Practice and Procedure • The courtroom is very well equipped with technology. Counsel is encouraged to set an appointment to interface with courtroom equipment prior to trial, to ensure its use goes smoothly on the day of trial.
• Depending upon the circumstances of the case, juror notebooks may be utilized.
• Jury questions will be handled at side bar, after the questioning of a particular witness has been completed. Courtroom Etiquette • This Court expects litigants to act professionally when interacting with the Bench, court staff, and one another, be it in their writings or in discussion.
• Water is permitted in the courtroom.
• Cell phones and other personal electronics must be turned off during any given proceeding, except when being accessed for scheduling purposes. If calls/texts must be processed, please address the matter outside of the courtroom.
• Counsel is required to stand when addressing the Court; use of the podium is optional.