Protocol and Practice of Persons Appearing in the Court of Judge John Blanchard

Specific Comments or Advice for Litigants

Specific Requirements or Preferences

Welcome to Judge Blanchard's civil division. We are located in the Old Court Building. Our address is 125 West Washington Street, Suite 201, Phoenix, Arizona 85003. Our division phone number is 602.506.3005.  
Judge Blanchard conducts evidentiary court hearings in person and procedural conferences and argument by video using Court Connect. If the hearing is oral argument, the Judge typically has his camera activated. If the hearing is a scheduling conference, or discovery dispute, the Court proceeds as if it were a phone conference without an activated camera. Parties/counsel are free to use cameras at their discretion during Court Connect non-evidentiary hearings.  
Carla Waymire is the Judicial Assistant and her email address is  
Martha Fields is the Courtroom Assistant and her email address is  
Motions and Orders  
• It is the party’s responsibility to make sure that a copy of each document filed is submitted to the division. The Clerk of Court does not make copies for the divisions.  
• No more than ONE Motion for Summary Judgment per side without leave of court.  
• Forms of Order. Judge Blanchard handles most motions through eFile, so lodging an electronic form of order is strongly encouraged.  
• If a short extension of a response or reply time is granted, please email division staff. For longer extensions, or extensions that may affect court-ordered deadlines or hearings, please file a motion.  
• Attorney requests to withdraw filed within two weeks of a hearing must include a statement that the moving attorney notified the opposing counsel or opposing party of his/her intent to withdraw. This is just a notification to the other side; not a requirement to obtain the opposing party’s position on the issue. If the opposing party will be materially prejudiced by the attorney’s withdrawal just before trial, it is on the opposing party to make that argument to the Court.  
• Discovery Disputes Generally: 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 will consider expanding the briefing from three pages to six pages upon a showing of good cause in exceptional cases.  
• Good Faith Certificate: Please remember that when using the procedures under Rule 26(d), or many other Rules governing the filing of motions, resolution of disputes, or seeking of sanctions, the moving party is required to “attach to the motion a separate statement certifying and demonstrating that the movant has tried in good faith to resolve the issue by conferring with, or attempting to confer with – the party against whom the motion is directed. The consultation must be in person or by telephone and not merely by letter or email.” Rule 7.1(h), Ariz.R.Civ.P.  
• Untimely Discovery Disputes: The Court will generally not consider discovery disputes or non-disclosure disputes that are raised for the first time after the Trial Setting Conference deadline, except for disclosures occurring for the first time after the Trial Setting Conference Deadline.  
• The Court understands that when a party is appearing in propia persona (representing him/herself without an attorney), the process can be scary and confusing. The Court will do its best to explain the process to unrepresented parties during the hearing or answer questions about process. If you have questions, it is best to ask. But the Court cannot give legal advice. Please note that all parties, whether represented by an attorney or unrepresented, are bound by the Rules equally.  
• There is a Self-Service Center located on the first floor of the East Court Building where parties can obtain information and assistance with the process. Parties unrepresented by an attorney are encouraged to utilize this free service.  
• Please be courteous to court staff. Remember that they can be helpful to you. But, please do not ask them legal questions or for legal advice. They are not lawyers and they cannot answer those questions.  
Evidentiary Hearings and Trials  
• The Court will not set a trial date until (1) the parties have completed their ADR or Mediation; AND (2) all discovery is completed; AND (3) any dispositive motions have been fully resolved. If all of these items are NOT complete prior to a trial-setting conference, the parties must seek to vacate and reset that conference to an appropriate date.  
• 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. The Court will excuse a person from the courtroom if it is believed they failed to show the judicial institution the respect it deserves.  
• Each hearing is recorded through the Court’s recording system. Outside or personal recording of a hearing by any means (cell phone, tape recorder, laptop, etc.) is prohibited without prior approval from the Court.  
• Requests to vacate or continue a hearing must include the other parties’ position or indicate that a reasonable attempt was made to contact the other party, and a form of order.  
Courtroom Decorum:  
o Do not interrupt the other party (except for proper objections) when the other party is speaking.  
o Do not make comments at/to the other party or opposing counsel. It does not help your case and will more than likely make you appear unreasonable to the Court.  
o Stand to announce yourself and your client at the beginning of the hearing. After that you may, at your option, conduct business while seated at your table.  
o Ask to approach the witness or the bench the first time you approach. After that you may approach the witness as necessary.  
o Question witnesses from either the podium or from your respective table. Do not stand next to the witness box while questioning witnesses.  
o Please do not argue with the other party. Your comments are directed to the Court. Please remind those people who come with you to court that they are also expected to be courteous and abide by Courtroom procedures.