Protocol and Practice of Persons Appearing in the Court of Judge Jennifer Ryan-Touhill


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Specific Comments or Advice for Litigants

Specific Requirements or Preferences The judicial system is the mechanism by which our society upholds the law. This system requires respect, courtesy, impartiality, and fairness--all behaviors I strive to exhibit in my courtroom. While I understand litigation is an adversarial process, I expect the professionals and litigants participating in this system will show each other and the judicial institution itself the respect and courtesy one would show a friend, family member, or stranger on the street.  
 
Everyone involved in the judicial system is important and valued--this includes security officers at entrances to the courthouse, employees at the clerk's office, judge's staff, and everyone else with a role at court. I expect these individuals will receive the same level of respect and courtesy provided to me, the judge.

Pre-Trial Practice and Management Issues

Motion Practice Use spellcheck. Your reputation matters.  
 
Confirm the case is assigned to this division.  
 
Make sure your form of order matches the content contained in your motion.  
 
When you file a motion you must communicate with the other party/parties to obtain their position in the motion if the matter is time-sensitive.  
 
Talk. Talk again. Or if talking isn't working. . . write. Narrow the scope of the disputes--I rarely see a situation where parties cannot resolve anything at all and must have the judge decide every issue pending. Be prepared to negotiate--no one will be 100% happy but both parties should feel the outcome is reasonable under the circumstances.  
 
To the extent you have not talked (or written). . . please be prepared to explain to me why you have failed to do so. To the extent you have not responded to the other party's efforts to talk (or write). . . please be prepared to explain to me why you have failed to do so.  
 
Please remember you need at least two lines of text on a signature page, including a form of order.
Discovery or Disclosure Disputes and/or Sanctions If you have a discovery dispute please put it in writing--a quick motion will suffice--and ask this Court to set a telephonic hearing for me to address the matter. This way everyone is aware of the dispute and what is alleged to have happened/not happened. Other Pre-trial Practice Guidelines or Comments Submit a form of order with your motion. Please avoid rhetoric--your order may be useless to me if it contains argument or has a disrespectful tone. Moreover, your order needs to match the content of your motion and must contain at least two lines of text on the signature page.  
 
Read the minute entry. I expect you to follow the orders. They are orders, not suggestions. Having provided this admonition, please understand I do not strive to elevate form over function but I do believe in the importance of doing your best work.

Trial Practice and Protocol

Joint Pre-Trial Memo and/or Conference; Exhibits and Objections Exhibits must be delivered to this Division as ordered in the minute entry. This is not to be punitive but rather for the benefit of our court clerk. Trial Practice and Procedure Speaking objections are not allowed. Courtroom Etiquette My courtroom is a balance of informality and respect. (By now you should realize I value respect.)  
 
Court is open to the public but this does not mean the public has a right to be heard as they choose. Both verbal and non-verbal communication is unacceptable and I will excuse a person from the courtroom if I believe they fail to show the judicial institution the respect it deserves.