Protocol and Practice of Persons Appearing in the Court of Judge Janet BARTON
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Pre-Trial Practice and Management IssuesOther Pre-trial Practice Guidelines or Comments When the Court receives a motion to set or a request for a Rule 16 scheduling conference, my clerk will generate a form minute entry which, in essence, asks the parties to prepare a stipulated scheduling order for the Court's signature. The scheduling order will include dates for disclosing expert and lay witnesses, completing discovery, exchanging final Rule 26.1 disclosure statements, conducting a settlement conference and filing dispositive motions. The order signed by the Court will also include a date and time for a future status conference. The status conference will be set for a date after discovery has been completed and the parties have participated in a settlement conference. At the status conference, the Court will set a FIRM trial date. My practice is to not set a trial date until after discovery is completed and the settlement conference has occured.
Trial Practice and ProtocolTrial Schedule My trial days are Tuesday through Friday. My trial hours are 9:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. There is one 15 minute break during both the morning and afternoon sessions. The lunch break is from 12:00 until 1:30 p.m. Joint Pre-Trial Memo and/or Conference; Exhibits and Objections The minute entry setting the trial date sets forth the parties' pre-trial obligations, including the filing and contents of the Joint Pre-Trial Memorandum and the due date for filing motions in limine. Motions in limine should be numbered sequentially by each party, e.g., plaintiff's motion in limine no. 1, and each motion in limine should address only one issue. Responses to motions in limine are due ten calendar days afer the filing of the motion in limine. I do not permit replies or oral argument with respect to motions in limine. Motions in limine will be ruled on at the final pre-trial conference.
Proposed jury instructions, forms of verdict and voir dire questions, including any proposed jury questionaires, should be submitted with the Joint Pre-Trial Memorandum. Jury Selection Any questions, proposed jury questionaires and/or areas of inquiry a party has for the jury panel should be submitted to the Court in writing with the Joint Pre-Trial Memorandum. The Court conducts voir dire incorporating into its questions those appropriate, non-redundant questions submitted by the parties. Afer the Court concludes is voir dire, the attorneys will be given 10 minutes to ask any follow up questions they may have. Trial Practice and Procedure At the final pre-trial conference I usually discuss setting time limits for the entire trial based upon representations from counsel and/or the parties about how much time they need. If I do set such time limits, each party is free to use their time allotment however they see fit, assuming their usage complies with the Rules of Evidence. Any time limits that are set will not be extended unless good cause exists for doing so.
I apprerciate deposition summaries (as do juries).
The parties should cooperate and communicate regarding the scheduling of witnesses. Typically I require at least 24 hours advance notice of all trial witnesses. I also expect the parties to schedule their witnesses so as to fully utilize each trial day.
I encourage the use of juror notebooks and the inclusion in such notebooks of copies of any exhibits that will be frequently used or alluded to during the trial. I provide jurors with note pads for taking notes during the trial.