Protocol and Practice of Persons Appearing in the Court of Commissioner Michael Barth

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Specific Comments or Advice for Litigants

Specific Requirements or Preferences • This Court conducts all matters on the record.  
• This Court issues detailed instructions as necessary.

Pre-Trial Practice and Management Issues

Motion Practice • When oral argument is held, its function is to clarify questions of the Court. Discovery or Disclosure Disputes and/or Sanctions • Parties are encouraged to settle their own discovery controversies. Resolution is best achieved through actual communication, rather than electronic correspondence, to prevent further miscommunication. However, when disputes arise in the middle of a deposition, especially during an out-of-state deposition, litigants may opt to contact my division. I will vet the matter on record in the courtroom.  
• The Old Courthouse offers limited access to technology. Litigants wishing to utilize personal electronics during a proceeding may do so with court permission.
Other Pre-trial Practice Guidelines or Comments • Litigants may request a proceeding be facilitated telephonically. Without express permission, parties are expected to appear in person.

Trial Practice and Protocol

Trial Schedule • Cases are generally calendared through court administration. Joint Pre-Trial Memo and/or Conference; Exhibits and Objections • Because of the nature of the Commissioner’s calendar, exhibits must be hand delivered to the division within twenty-four (24) hours of a hearing for marking.  
• Objections must be made in accordance with the rules.  
• Motion practice for motions in limine (motions and responses for a particular hearing) may be set in light of special evidentiary issues.  
• Parties are encouraged to confer prior to trial to determine if there are exhibits which can be stipulated into evidence.
Trial Practice and Procedure • While parties must follow the rules when presenting cases, witnesses may be called out of order when availability issues arise. Courtroom Etiquette • Water is permitted in the courtroom.  
• Litigants may at request present from the counsel table, or the podium, whichever is more comfortable.  
• Communication at the counsel table is best conducted through an exchange of written note, over whispering, which tends to be disruptive to the proceeding and/or the FTR recording of the proceeding.  
• Litigants should direct all commentary through the Bench.