Protocol and Practice of Persons Appearing in the Court of Judge Rosa Mroz


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Pre-Trial Practice and Management Issues

Motion Practice If you have a motion that necessitates an evidentiary hearing, please file those motions sooner rather than later. Any motion brought for a Daubert hearing or brought under Evidence Rule 702, should be filed by the same deadline as the dispositive motions deadline. By the time you get to court, I will have read what you filed. That means you only have to talk about those things you did not put in your pleadings or to clarify something you put in your pleadings. I do not see much use in telling me what I have already read.  
 
I prefer each motion to deal with one discrete subject. Cross-motions are strongly discouraged. DO NOT combine a dispositive motion with ANY other motion and DO NOT respond or reply to more than one motion in each response or reply. Please label responses and replies to motions by identifying subject of the motion being responded to: e.g. “Defendant’s Response to Plaintiff’s Motion Summary Judgment Re: Contract Claim.”  
 
The parties are limited to filing one motion for summary judgment. If you need more than one motion for summary judgment, please file a motion explaining why the filing limit is impractical in the circumstances.  
 
Not all "oral argument requested" will be granted. Some just do not seem to need it. If the purpose of the argument is to help me make a decision, I do not need it in most cases. If you have a winning argument, you should already have included it in the motion or response. You will have a presumptive time limit for the oral argument so use it wisely. I start oral argument with the party who is OPPOSING the motion.  
 
Motions for reconsideration is discouraged unless there is something new that the court has not considered. If you just disagree with my ruling, you are better off just filing an appeal.
Discovery or Disclosure Disputes and/or Sanctions Motion to Compel and/or Motion for Sanctions are strongly discouraged. When you are required to "meet and confer", I will require you to have an actual conversation with the opposing party and not just an exchange of voice mails and emails. The Court follows Civil Rule 26(d) in resolving discovery disputes. If the issue is truly too complicated to resolve over the phone, I will direct you to file something in writing. This will save you time and your client's money.  
 
When you are objecting to a discovery request because it is too burdensome, you should couple that objection with a showing that you have offered to produce if the other party assumes the burden. If the objection is based on privilege or the information is too sensitive, you may also be more persuasive if you submit a protective order with your objection.

Trial Practice and Protocol

Trial Schedule Trial is held from 9:30 a.m. to noon, and from 1:30 to 4:30, Mondays through Thursdays. Each trial day is budgeted to be 4.5 hours of actual in court time, exclusive of breaks and bench conferences. When you are estimating how much time you will need to try a case, please add in the time necessary for voir dire and jury deliberations. If you tell me it is a 4-day trial, I will tell the jury that the trial will be done in 4 days. For example, for a 4-day trial, the Court reserves for itself 4.5 hours for the Court to do its portion of voir dire, read preliminary and final jury instructions, and for jury deliberations. The parties will then be splitting the remaining 3-days for each party's portion of voir dire, opening statements, witness examinations, and closing arguments. I will use a timer to keep track of your time. When you are out of time, you are out of words. Joint Pre-Trial Memo and/or Conference; Exhibits and Objections One of my biggest pet peeves is that the litigants do not submit JOINT Pretrial Statements before the trial/evidentiary hearing. This is required in the rules and in my orders setting the case for the trial/evidentiary hearing. Joint Pretrial Statements help the litigants narrow the issues to be tried, and help the Court understand each side's position. If there is a rule, statute or case law that will help me make my decision, cite to it in the Joint Pretrial Statement. If I don't get the Joint Pretrial Statement, I may fine you $50 per day for each day that you are late. Jury Selection In general, you should submit questions related to jury selection to the Court for approval. I will ask basic voir dire questions and then let the attorneys do the voir dire. In general, jury questionnaires and mini-openings are not necessary. However, in a complex case or a case with controversial facts, it may be necessary. The attorneys should discuss these issues with me if they want to use these. I also prefer that all jurors who are seated to participate in deliberation and would appreciate it if the attorneys can stipulate to the number required for a verdict if more than 8 jurors deliberate. Trial Practice and Procedure Be brief and to the point: Say only what is necessary. Often, the Court will be able to grasp what you are saying the first time you say it. If I don't get it or didn't hear it, I'll ask you to repeat it.  
 
Arguments and evidence presentation are better if they come alive with graphics - charts, handouts, photos, slides, movies, whatever. If you have exhibits you want me to consider, provide me with a copy so I can follow along with the witness.  
 
The time for oral argument/presentation of evidence will be limited and stated in the minute entry setting the hearing. Keep to that time limit. If you "need" more time, ask for it by motion, way in advance of the hearing. My inclination is to not give more, but it could happen. Don't feel obligated to take all the time the minute entry gives you. If the minute entry gives you a presumptive time limit of an hour and you only need 15 minutes, don't take any more. Everyone will appreciate it.  
 
If you are requesting findings of fact and conclusions of law, you must provide me with your proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law in Microsoft Word format and it should be emailed to this division to nageottes@superiorcourt.maricopa.gov.
Courtroom Etiquette The courtroom is not a place for the parties and/or their attorneys to launch personal attacks on each other. If you engage in such attacks, it tends to make me think that your case is weak. Be courteous to one another. If there is something you really want the Court to hear, wait your turn. Don't talk over each other. I can only hear one person at a time. Please address all comments to me and not the opposing parties and attorneys. Other Courtroom Policies and Recommendations If you have agreed to extend deadlines for filing a response or reply, please notify the court so that the court doesn't just rule on the motion thinking that no response or reply will be filed.  
 
If you settled a case that has pending motions or has an upcoming oral argument or evidentiary hearing, please notify the court as soon as possible. This will prevent the court from having to do unnecessary work and it will be much appreciated.  
 
Please read my minute entries. There are orders in them that I expect litigants to follow. I also expect the litigants to follow the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure.