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Marie Carnes

Also (if I may be so bold since I'm not a lawyer), as to the first item, when preparing for a trial in non-familiar territory, try to find out as far in advance as possible what hours of the day the judge will devote to your case.

For instance, you may be used to judges holding court from 9:00 a.m. to noon, and resuming at 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. But, another judge, for whatever reasons, may only go from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m., and resume at 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. This could turn what might have been expected to be a two and a half day trial into a five day trial. This is especially important when trying a case out of town.

Mahan Atma

"Put the question as directly as possible: "Your Honor, do you have any special trial procedures that I should know about?" "

Most federal judges who care a lot about procedure and decor will post standing orders. There are also local rules for any given federal district.

The judge I clerked for expected all lawyers to read them in advance, and would actually be insulted if a lawyer asked something they were supposed to know already.


Is it possible that some federal judges are too easily insulted? Hmmm . . .


Evan -

Great post. I recently suggested on The Practice that lawyers with some free time, especially new ones, go to watch what goes on in a court room. You should watch every phase of a trial. It also is a great opportunity to meet the judges.

Keep up the great work.


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