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Court Quirks

Every court has its quirks and the 506th is no different. The following items are not part of the local rules but constitute those quirks and preferences of the Court that are intended to more efficiently and effectively manage the dockets. Any conflict between these preferences and the Rules of Civil Procedure will be resolved in favor of the Rules. Feel free to contact the Court for comments or concerns.

Quirk 1. My real pet peeve!  At the end of all motions and other documents on which is included a Certificate of Service, please include the opposing counsel’s name, address, phone number and fax number. Please do not put "... a copy has been sent to all opposing counsel." That is next to worthless in a multi-county district. Providing the full name and address will provide the Court with the contact information on all the attorneys in the case. In a multi-county district, the Court does not have access to all court files all of the time. For pro se litigants, the same rules apply.

Quirk 2. Criminal Cases. Local Rules in both counties provide for a Standard Discovery Order. Either the State or the Defense may ask that such an order be entered, which may be done at the Arraignment or at the Motions docket day. Requesting such entry on Pretrial Day is generally too late unless good cause is shown and sufficient time exists prior to trial for compliance with the order.

Quirk 3. Criminal Cases. On entry of a Standard Discovery Order counsel must show good cause to the Court about why additional discovery motions are required, and specifically how such additional motions differ from the Standard Discovery Order. Additional discovery motions will not be signed and entered without a hearing unless agreed to and signed off on by the State.

Quirk 4. Email addresses. Email works for many communications. While not required, it would be very helpful if counsel would include email addresses in signature blocks on pleadings and in correspondence.

Quirk 5. When appearing for the uncontested docket ALWAYS look in the Court's file before coming into court. You may find: a pro se answer, or, that the return has not been on file for 10 days, or, that the respondent's waiver did not waive notice of hearing, or, that the case was actually DWOP'ed last year, or, that the Attorney General is involved and is entitled to notice or even service in the matter

Quirk 6. Read the Docket Control Order and follow it.

Quirk 7. Bring your requested jury charge on a disc in a format compatible to the Court's. That would be either WordPerfect 10 or 12, or Word in any level. A flash drive is helpful but a CD is OK if that is what you have. Whatever medium you give to the court, make sure that you don’t have your diary or pictures of your kids on it.

Quirk 8. Talk to opposing counsel. You may vociferously disagree with his or her position or interpretation of the law, but what we do as lawyers is hard enough without being offensive or inconsiderate of other people’s schedules. Confer regarding motions prior to the hearing on the motions.

Quirk 9. Be truthful when you estimate the time needed for a hearing or trial before the court. If you underestimate the time you actually need just to get an earlier setting, you might just get a bifurcated hearing.

Quirk 10. If you settle your case or no longer need your hearing, please call the Court Coordinator and inform her so we can use the time for another matter.

Quirk 11. Do not flog a dead horse. Once a point is made, move on. I actually read the file before hearings and trials.