All jury cases:
Trial hours are generally 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. All persons must be prompt. Counsel are required to mark all proposed exhibits in advance of trial. Plaintiff's exhibits shall use numbers and Defendant's exhibits shall use letters. A consecutive number and lettering system should be used by each party. Marked exhibits must be exchanged three (3) days prior to trial. Counsel are required to maintain a record of all admitted exhibits during trial. Counsel for each party must keep custody of that party's admitted exhibits during trial. A party who objects to this provision must file a written objection prior to jury selection. A benchbook of exhibits is required.
Also within three (3) days prior to the start of trial, counsel for each party must submit a Witness Synopsis List. The Witness Synopsis List shall list all of the witnesses who will be called at trial, a synopsis of their testimony, and the anticipated length of time the direct and cross examination will take. The Witness Synopsis List does not alter the obligation of each party to file witness lists, lay and expert, by the deadline contained in the scheduling order.
If depositions are to be read into evidence, they must be reviewed by all of the attorneys. If the attorneys have not resolved objections, a copy of the deposition transcript must be delivered to the Court. Counsel shall attach a statement indicating the date they met to resolve the objections and the page and line number of the objections on which the Court is to rule. This statement must be filed no later than three (3) days prior to the start of trial.
Voir dire is conducted by the court. Requests for voir dire generally must be submitted at least one (1) week prior to the start of trial. The court may allow the attorneys to present follow up questions at a sidebar conference, and when appropriate, the court will also ask the requested follow up questions.
Jurors are allowed to take notes. The court typically charges the jury after closing arguments. Jurors are permitted to take written instructions into the jury room.
Civil jury cases:
The parties are required to submit a statement of claims or defenses, no longer than two (2) pages, suitable to be read to the jury during opening instructions.
If trial briefs are required by the court, they must be filed one (1) week prior to trial.
Because of the substantial costs incurred in convening jurors, juror costs typically will be assessed in civil cases which settle on the day of jury selection/trial.
Criminal jury cases:
Trial in criminal cases are scheduled pursuant to the Speedy Trial Act of 1974.
Proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law are required to be submitted one (1) week prior to the commencement of trial.
Home -- Judicial Officers -- Practice Guidelines -- Practice Guidelines for Judge Gershwin A. Drain -- Trials