Protocol and Practice of Persons Appearing in the Court of Judge Michael Mandell

Specific Comments or Advice for Litigants

Specific Requirements or Preferences

All hearings are presumptively in-person. If you need to appear virtually, please contact my JA in advance of the hearing. However, if a defendant is in custody, their counsel must appear in person. Additionally, I do not conduct virtual settlement conferences. All parties and counsel must appear in-person.  
Motions to Continue: If a party files a motion prior to a hearing, it should indicate the opposing party's position if you want me to vacate instead of holding the hearing. But my general practice is to hold a hearing even where there is an uncontested motion to continue pending.  
Whenever practical, please include proposed orders with any filed motions.  
The division Judicial Assistant can be reached at mina.garnica@JBAZMC.Maricopa.Gov. The division phone number is 602-372-5052

Pre-Trial Practice and Management Issues

Motion Practice

Please double space your motions. Please start or end your motion telling me exactly what you are requesting. Often times, the Court receives motions and while the Court wants to assist, the Court does not know what is being requested. In those cases, the Court is likely to deny the motions. This causes you unnecessary delay.  
If you file a motion that is time sensitive, please email the division with a copy.

Other Pre-trial Practice Guidelines or Comments

Starting September 12, 2022 all newly set CPTCs and CCMCs are appearance hearings and are presumptively in person. All CPTCs will be set at 8:31 am but lawyers may appear at any time during that day's morning calendar. CCMCs will be time certain hearings.

Trial Practice and Protocol

Jury Selection

The Court uses an electronic questionnaire in all trials. The Court does an initial cut for hardship and then the parties will meet and confer on any stipulated strikes for cause. The Court will resolve any disputes and begin in person voir dire with all remaining jurors. The lawyers are then permitted to question the panel. The Court does not impose time limits on voir dire but expects counsel to use their time efficiently.

Courtroom Etiquette

Please be courteous in the courtroom. Do not speak over each other or me. The Court will enforce a professional dress code. For men, that means you MUST wear a tie!

Other Courtroom Policies and Recommendations

Myself or my staff will often communicate with attorneys and their staff by email for various reasons. If I or one of my staff members contacts you by email, please respond promptly, even if it is just to acknowledge the email and estimate when you will be able to respond substantively. While I understand email etiquette frowns on a reply to all, in the case of emails from the Court it is essential to avoid ex parte communications. We will never contact just one side and the parties must make sure that everyone is copied on all communications to the Court.  
On a related point, the parties or their lawyers should not copy the court on their email spats. The court will not consider them and it just makes everyone look less professional.  
I try to make myself as accessible to the parties as possible. Attorneys may contact my judicial assistant if a problem arises that I would likely be able to address through a brief status conference.  
If something has been pending and you have waited for a reasonable amount of time but have not heard from us, please reach out to my staff. Keep in mind, however, that we often have to allow time to pass before we act, to give the opposing party a chance to respond or for a variety of other reasons. My staff works very hard. Please be courteous to them.