Protocol and Practice of Persons Appearing in the Court of Judge Melody Harmon

Specific Comments or Advice for Litigants

Specific Requirements or Preferences

For remote hearings, please join Teams by Video, whenever possible.  
+1 917-781-4590 United States, New York City (Toll)  
Conference ID: 865 783 452#  
Please be prompt. Please be mindful of the time set for the hearing, and be as brief as possible to allow all parties to be heard. This Court is always willing to reset a hearing later in the day or to the next available day when the time set does not allow all parties to be sufficiently heard.  
The morning calendar will be conducted virtually. Our courtroom is set up with ipads and is accessible for any party who wishes to appear via video from the courtroom.  
Adoptions and contested hearings are presumed to be in-person, however, the Court will consider any request for a remote appearance or a virtual hearing.

Pre-Trial Practice and Management Issues

Motion Practice

• E-file all pleadings.  
• Provide a proposed order, when applicable, in WORD format. Do not use the heading "proposed" in your order. Do not use strikethrough format for the Orders - they should be in final format.  
• Please provide the position of all parties in your Motion if at all possible.  
• AFSAs: AG's are directed to file a Notice of Lodging with AFSA after any hearing where the Court makes an AFSA finding.

Other Pre-trial Practice Guidelines or Comments

• If you are filing a Motion and requesting expedited consideration, please include that information in the heading of your Motion. In addition, communicate with the other side and place their position in your Motion.  
• If you need a continuance, contact the other party to see if you can file a Stipulation.  
• It is expected that the parties will participate in some form of alternative dispute resolution prior to the court scheduling trial.

Trial Practice and Protocol

Trial Schedule

Each side will have 1/2 the time allotted for trial. If a trial is scheduled for 3 hours, we will take a short break approximately 1/2 way through the trial.

Joint Pre-Trial Memo and/or Conference; Exhibits and Objections

• Parties should submit their exhibits according to the instructions on the Clerk of Court website at  
• Confer regarding stipulating to exhibits prior to the trial.  
• Any objections to exhibits will be ruled upon at the time of trial when the exhibit is being offered.

Trial Practice and Procedure

• Please make sure every effort is made for parties and witnesses to appear via video during the hearing and not just by phone.  
• Make sure your device is on mute when you are not speaking.  
• If you have an objection, state the basic reason for the objection. For example: relevance, foundation, lack of disclosure, etc. Speaking objections are highly discouraged.

Courtroom Etiquette

Parties who appear virtually or in person are expected to be dressed appropriately for court. No hats are allowed in the courtroom. No gum chewing is allowed.  
Parties are prohibited from recording by audio or video any virtual or in person hearing.  
Everyone is expected to be respectful and professional to staff members, parties, witnesses and opposing counsel.