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Court Procedures
 Judge Baker's Court Procedures:

Motions

Discovery motions

Always confer before filing any motion related to discovery. Be sure to attach a copy of the discovery response at issue or state verbatim the request and answer in the body of your motion. Proposed orders should list each discovery issue separately. Certificate of Conference is required for all discovery motions to be set for oral hearing.

Responses

If time is short before a hearing, please file your response directly with the court clerk so that the judge will be able to read the response before the hearing date. Include an order denying your opponent’s motion.

Special exceptions

Attach a copy of the pleading you are excepting to (unless the exception is only to the amount of damages sought) or state verbatim the paragraph you except to in the pleading. Proposed orders should list each exception separately.

Sanctions

Sanctions should not be requested unless the opponent has violated a previous order. Instead, ask for reimbursement of your costs in the form of attorney fees.

Severance

The party requesting the severance must tab and paperclip all pleadings that you need copied for transfer to the new file. You must obtain certified copies of all pleadings. Coordinate with the court clerk on the procedures. A less expensive alternative in some cases is to ask for abatement of one cause of action or separate trials on a cause of action.

Continuances

Motions for Continuance should be filed early, be verified and should state that the client consents to the requested continuance. Joint motions may be, but are not automatically granted. The more detail in your motion, the better the chance for granting.

Agreed Motion

Agreed motions do not have to be placed on the court’s docket. Just file them with the court for consideration. If an agreed motion is denied without a hearing, you can request a subsequent oral hearing on the motion.

Hearings

Emergencies

If both sides agree to an emergency hearing, call the court clerk and set up a phone conference with the judge. If only one side thinks it is an emergency, file a motion for emergency hearing. File it directly with the court clerk who will then give it to the judge to set a hearing time.

Oral Docket

Any party requesting an oral hearing should call the court clerk for a date and time. A formal request for oral hearing is required. The court’s oral docket is Monday at 9:00 for most motions, 10:00 for summary judgments and 11:00 for hearings where evidence is put into the record.

Submission Docket

The submission docket are held on Mondays at 8:00 am after 10 days notice.

Appearance by phone

Anyone can appear by phone for any scheduled hearing. If more than one person wants to appear by phone at a scheduled hearing, the attorneys can request the courts conference line number. Court clerks can provide the conference line number.

Temporary Injunctions

Please call the court clerk before your scheduled hearing. TIs are automatically set on Mondays at 11:00. It is imperative that we know whether or not you are ready to proceed with the hearing and how long the hearing will take. If it is lengthy, we may need to reschedule your hearing (because of other hearings or trial) and extend the TRO until an available time for the court. Do not bring your witnesses to court until you have spoken to the court clerk!

Trials

Motions in limine and exhibits (marked) must be exchanged with the other parties one week before trial. This can be extended by agreement. The notice from the court sets out the requirements.

If you anticipate a challenge to an expert’s qualifications that will take more than 15-30 minutes to hear, do not wait until the first day of trial. Please discuss scheduling of the challenge with the court at an earlier status conference.

Time for voir dire depends on the complexity of the case. After the general voir dire, individual jurors can be questioned at the bench for cause. Do not bring a jury questionnaire to the first day of trial. Discuss this with the court at an earlier status conference.

All cases are automatically set for trial after the answer of a defendant. Most cases are reset within 2 to 4 months if not reached at the first setting.

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