Final Pre-Trial in a Civil Jury Case
Trial Dates & Times
If your case is scheduled for trial at 8:30 a.m., you are expected to be ready to start the trial at 8:30 a.m. We generally take one hour for lunch, and trials continue until 5 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday. Generally, on Tuesday and Thursday, trials start at 1 p.m. and continue until 5 p.m.
Counsel are expected to arrive to Court 15 minutes before the scheduled start time any day in order to discuss any last minute matters with opposing counsel and to get set up in the Courtroom.
Attendance at Pre-Trial
Your final pre-trial is usually 1-3 weeks before trial. Although I will normally allow attorneys to appear at scheduling conferences and early pre-trials by phone, at the final pre-trial before trial, I would like counsel present. Parties or representatives of parties should either be present or available by phone.
If you wish your final pre-trial to be a settlement conference, please notify my office ahead of time.
I expect all exhibits to be exchanged as required in the Case Scheduling Order and marked prior to the start of trial. After they are marked, they should again be reviewed by opposing counsel to avoid delays during the trial.
Exhibits for Jurors
If you want to publish exhibits to the jury during the trial, I would like you to have 1 copy for each juror if that is practical.
Audio Visual Equipment
The Court has a projector and a screen which can be used by attorneys. You may hook up your own laptop to the equipment and it can play DVDs and VHS tapes. If you need assistance in using the equipment, please contact the Court Officer before trial.
Jury Instructions & Trial Briefs
Standard Jury Instructions should be provided on separate pages. If possible, any special jury instructions should be emailed to my secretary, in Word format. Jury Instructions and Trial Briefs must be filed with the Court by noon on the Friday before the scheduled trial date. A list of potential jurors and a summary of the juror information questionnaires will be available on the morning of trial.
Number of Jurors
I normally select one alternate juror. Please discuss with your client and the other attorney whether you want to have the alternate included in the deliberations, and if so, whether the verdict will be 5 of 7 or 6 of 7.
Re-Direct & Re-Cross Examinations
I generally do not allow an attorney on re-direct to review everything that was covered on direct. Re-Direct is normally limited to a brief rebuttal of new matters that came up in cross examination which were not covered during direct examination. I generally do not allow a re-cross examination unless there is good cause for further examination.
Motions on Day of Trial
If there are short motions that need to be decided before the start of trial, they should be noticed for 8:15 a.m. on the morning of trial. Lengthy motions will not be heard on the morning of trial absent good cause.