Trial hours normally are from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Trials expected to last more than two weeks may run from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. All persons must be prompt. Marked exhibits are to be exchanged three days prior to trial, and two copies of a bench book of exhibits are to be provided to the court. Trial briefs are expected by the Court, and must be filed and exchanged two days prior to trial unless the parties believe trial briefs are unnecessary and they seek permission of the Court to dispose with the requirement
Proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law are required to be submitted one week prior to the beginning of the trial term.
The parties are required to meet and confer prior to trial to discuss jury instructions and a verdict form. No later than one week prior to the first day of trial, the parties are to file with the court a single complete set of proposed, stipulated jury instructions and verdict form (in paper and e-mailed to chambers or on computer disc). All such instructions are to be typewritten and double spaced and shall contain references to authority (e.g., “Devitt and Blackmar, Section 11.08”). In addition, each party shall separately file any additional proposed instructions to which any other party objects. The parties must make a concerted, good faith effort to narrow the areas of dispute and to discuss each instruction with a view to reaching agreement as to an acceptable form.
Also, at least one week prior to the beginning of the trial term, the parties must submit a statement of claims or defenses, suitable to be read by the Court to the jury during opening instructions.
Voir Dire is conducted by counsel and by the court. Requests for voir dire must be submitted at least one week prior to the beginning of the trial term.
Jurors are allowed to take notes in complex cases. The jury is charged after closing arguments, although opening instructions are given at the commencement of trial. The instructions are read to the jury, and jurors also take copies of the instructions into the jury room during deliberation.
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.