Thursday, November 26, 2009
JUDGE’S EXPECTATIONS FOR TRIAL ADVOCACY
Superior Court Judge Timothy Bradshaw’s Web Site
Before going to trial, a trial lawyer wants to get to know what the judge likes and dislikes. This can be a challenge because procedures and customs vary from courthouse to courthouse and courtroom to courtroom in the same courthouse. Judge Timothy Bradshaw, of King County Superior Court, informs trial lawyers of what he expects from them before they enter his courtroom by posting his expectations on his Web site.
Judge Bradshaw Presides
Judge Bradshaw’s lists of Procedures cover things such as:
· Interaction with the lower bench;
· When to have witnesses available and what to tell them, such as to inform them of the court’s rulings on motions in limine, and
· Handling exhibits, such as not showing or asking a witness to show anything to the jury unless it has been admitted.
Regarding Jury Selection, Judge Bradshaw not only provides a list of the general questions that will be asked but also the precise procedures that he will use during voir dire.
Judge Bradshaw has counsel submit on a chart, provided on the Web site, whom the parties intend to call as Witnesses along with anticipated length of their testimony on direct, cross, redirect and so on.
Among the other matters covered on his Web site are these:
· Jury instructions – What the parties are expected to submit in terms of proposed instructions;
· Exhibits – Two sets are to be submitted (a judge’s working copy in addition to the one used in trial along with an exhibits list for which a template is provided;
· Depositions – They remain with counsel until filed and the process after they have been filed, and
· Technology – What is available and what counsel needs to do to get access to it and use it in trial.
Judge Bradshaw’s compendium of requirements serves both as an aid for practice in his court and also as a nice set of guidelines for practicing lawyers on how to conduct business with and in a court.