Protocol and Practice of Persons Appearing in the Court of Judge Sara Agne


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Specific Comments or Advice for Litigants

Specific Requirements or Preferences My Judicial Assistant is reachable via (602) 506-8288; my Courtroom Assistant is available at (602) 506-0379 when not in the courtroom.  
 
The Court expects lawyers and all parties to treat each other, opposing parties, court staff, and everyone with respect and professionalism.  
 
Harassment, bias, or prejudice on the basis of race, sex, gender, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, socioeconomic status, or affiliation is strictly prohibited.  
 
Division 65 (Judge Agne) is a Division holding virtual proceedings on Court Connect at times. The links you receive from my staff, from the automated court calendar notification, from scheduling orders, or from minute entries in tax, civil, or Commercial Court cases may look different, but they all lead to my virtual courtroom. Once you click a link to join, please assume you are in the courtroom and on-the-record, so please conduct yourself as if in court and advise others that you may have asked to attend to do the same.  
 
Judge Agne's Division is also one of those piloting CaseCenter, a state-wide electronic exhibit portal. All exhibits must be submitted through CaseCenter. When the case has been initiated by the Clerk of Court, the attorney of record will receive an email invitation to the case created in CaseCenter. Please access self-guided training and register for an account here: https://www.azcourts.gov/digitalevidence/Training/Attorney-and-Self-Represented-Litigants  
 
Proposed orders of any kind should be lodged in eFile as separate Word documents related to the filing they accompany; there is no need to include the word "Proposed" on the Word-format order. (Local Rule 2.17)  
 
Please know and follow all required exhibit and witness procedures in the civil rules, the rules of practice for the Tax Court, the local rules, Court orders, and presently in-effect administrative orders.  
 
Judge Agne does not require courtesy hard copies of any item, unless you are submitting deposition designations per the procedure noted in the Trial Setting minute entry. Only then are paper copies of designated deposition transcripts with objection and response charts/annotations helpful.  
 
Counsel preparing witnesses for remote hearings should provide them with the Notice to Witness re: Testimony in Remote Hearing. Please request a PDF copy of the Notice to Witness from Division 65 staff should you need it.  

Pre-Trial Practice and Management Issues

Motion Practice Division 65 handles most motions via eFile; please lodge a Word format electronic form of order. There is no need to include the word "Proposed" or "[Proposed]" on Word format forms of order; omitting it makes e-filing more efficient for the Division.  
 
The Division adheres to ARCAP 13(f) regarding citation to case law and encourages counsel to save space by omitting parallel citations--citation to the volume and page number(s) of the official Arizona reporter, only, is sufficient. Citation of non-Arizona case law must be to the volume and page number of applicable regional or federal reporters.  
 
If a case is not available in an official Arizona reporter or in an applicable regional or federal reporter, a party may provide a citation to an electronic database or another source, but should also provide a copy of, or working link to, the case. The Division also requires strict compliance with Arizona Supreme Court Rule 111(c)(1)(C) regarding citation to memorandum decisions for persuasive value.  
 
If agreement on a brief extension of a response or reply deadline is reached, please email, copying all counsel and self-represented parties, Division 65 staff (Jaime.Ferniza@jbazmc.maricopa.gov and Sebastian.Inman@jbazmc.maricopa.gov) to advise of that. For longer extensions, or those affecting Court-ordered deadlines or hearings, please e-file a motion or stipulation, lodging with it a Word-format electronic form of order.
Discovery or Disclosure Disputes and/or Sanctions This Division requires strict compliance with Ariz. R. Civ. P. 26(d), the Expedited Procedure for Resolving Discovery and Disclosure Disputes. All disputes between parties that could be addressed in motions for protective order under Rule 26(c) or motions to compel discovery or disclosure under Rule 37(a) must first proceed pursuant to Rule 26(d). The Court may decide to later permit full briefing under Ariz. R. Civ. P. 26(d)(1), but the parties may not engage in full briefing without the advance permission of the Court. Attempted full briefing without advance permission of the Court subjects any such motion by a party to summary denial.

Trial Practice and Protocol

Trial Practice and Procedure When calling a witness to testify virtually during a trial or hearing, please ensure you or your co-counsel are in communication with the witness so they are aware of when to connect to the virtual proceeding. Trial time is limited and precious.  
 
When the Rule of Exclusion, Ariz. R. Evid. 615, has been invoked, all counsel should inform their party’s witnesses of its invocation and meaning, and all counsel and parties should be vigilant to assist the Court in ensuring that no witnesses enter the courtroom, or dial-in or link-in to the courtroom telephonically or otherwise, while other witnesses are testifying, which would be in violation of the rule.
Other Courtroom Policies and Recommendations Please do not email Judge Agne directly about a case, even if you copy all counsel on the email. Please also do not use Court Connect, GoToMeeting, or any other electronic platform to 'chat' Judge Agne, whether we are on the record or off the record at the time.  
 
If you need to communicate with the Division, please contact staff at the email addresses listed above. Exigencies during an on-the-record proceeding might also be handled by 'chatting' staff only if they are available in Court Connect for that function. Please ensure that your chat message only goes to the Division staff member you intended and not to all in a proceeding.  
 
In any event, DO NOT use Court Connect, GoToMeeting, or any other text or electronic platform to chat or message a witness while they are testifying or to side-chat any party in a virtual proceeding. Chat-logs are public and permanent, and virtual court proceedings operate with the same formality and prohibitions as in-person proceedings. Please advise clients and witnesses of the same. Thank you.