PART 1. CIVIL RULES AND GENERAL PROVISIONS

Section VI. Trials


RULE 38.1

NOTATION OF "JURY DEMAND" IN THE PLEADING

If a party demands a jury trial by endorsing it on a pleading, as permitted by Fed. R. Civ. P. 38(b), a notation shall be placed on the front page of the pleading, immediately following the title of the pleading, stating "Demand For Jury Trial" or an equivalent statement. This notation will serve as a sufficient demand under Rule 38(b). Failure to use this manner of noting the demand will not result in a waiver under Rule 38(d).

RELATED AUTHORITY

Fed. R. Civ. P. 38(b)


RULE 39.1

OPENING STATEMENTS AND CLOSING ARGUMENTS

(a) Opening Statements. Prior to offering any evidence, counsel for the plaintiff shall make a statement of the facts which counsel intends to establish in support of plaintiff's claim, unless such statement is waived with permission of the court. Such waiver or statement shall be made as a matter of record. Following the statement of plaintiff or at the opening of defendant's case, at the election of counsel for the defendant, the defendant's counsel shall make a statement of facts which defendant's counsel intends to establish, unless such statement is waived with permission of the court. Such waiver or statement shall be made as a matter of record.

(b) Arguments. Only one attorney shall open and one attorney shall close, except with the permission of the court; provided that if the opening attorney does not intend to close, the opening attorney shall so inform the court so that the court may appropriately apportion the arguments between the counsel.

RELATED AUTHORITY

NONE


RULE 40.1

ASSIGNMENT OF CASES

With the exception of death penalty cases, all actions, causes, and proceedings, civil and criminal, shall be assigned by the clerk to the respective judges of the court by lot. However, all cases to be heard in the northern or eastern calendar areas shall be automatically assigned by the clerk to the judge currently in charge of the calendar for that particular calendar area. If it appears that a case has been improperly assigned for any reason, the court may, in its discretion, reassign the case to another calendar area without prior notice.

 

Revised 8/1/97

RELATED AUTHORITY

28 U.S.C. 137

Fed. R. Civ. P. 40


RULE 41.1

DISMISSAL OF ACTIONS

Actions or proceedings which have been pending in this court for more than six (6) months without any proceedings having been taken therein during such period may, after notice, be dismissed by the court for lack of prosecution. Such dismissal shall be without prejudice, unless otherwise ordered.

RELATED AUTHORITY

Fed. R. Civ. P. 41


RULE 43.1

EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES

Only one attorney for each party shall examine or cross-examine a witness except with the permission of the court.

RELATED AUTHORITY

NONE


RULE 47.1

VOIR DIRE OF JURORS

(a) The jury box shall be filled before examination on voir dire. The court will examine the jurors as to their qualifications and, if permitted, will direct the order and manner of examination by counsel. Not less than five (5) days before trial, attorneys may submit written requests for voir dire questions.

(b) The Court, after reviewing the complexity and possible length of the case, will determine the number of trial jurors necessary. This number of jurors, not less than six nor more than twelve, plus a number of jurors equal to the total number of peremptory challenges which are allowed by law shall be called in the first instance. These jurors constitute the initial panel. As the initial panel is called, the clerk shall assign numbers to the jurors in the order in which they are called. If any juror in the initial panel is excused for cause, an additional juror shall be immediately called to fill out the initial panel. A juror called to replace a juror excused shall take the number of the juror who has been excused. When the initial panel is qualified, the parties shall exercise their peremptory challenges secretly and alternately, with plaintiff exercising the first challenge. When peremptory challenges have all been exercised or waived, the court shall call the names of the selected jurors having the lowest assigned numbers. These jurors shall constitute the trial jury. All jurors selected will deliberate on the verdict.

 

Revised 8/1/97

RELATED AUTHORITY

Fed. R. Civ. P. 47

28 U.S.C. 1870


RULE 51.1

INSTRUCTIONS TO JURY

(a) Submission of Proposed Jury Instructions.

In the case of a jury trial, written proposed jury instructions and any request for special interrogatories and special verdict forms shall be prepared and filed by counsel at least fourteen (14) days prior to the date of trial, but the court may, in its discretion, receive additional requests during the course of the trial.

Counsel shall file an original and two copies of proposed instructions and requests for special interrogatories and/or special verdict forms with the Clerk of Court. The original of each proposed instruction, requests for special interrogatory, and/or special verdict shall be numbered, shall indicate the identity of the party presenting the same and shall contain citations of authority. The two copies provided as judge’s copies shall include: (1) a numbered set with citations [a copy of the original set of instructions which was filed with the court] and (2) a clean set of instructions [no numbers, party identification, or citations] Individual instructions shall embrace one subject only, and the principle of law so embraced in any request for instruction shall not be repeated on subsequent requests. The original and all copies must have a cover sheet. Proposed jury instructions, requests for special interrogatories, and/or special verdict forms should also be submitted on a 3 inch diskette in a WordPerfect IBM-compatible 6.X format for use by the Court.

(b) Objections to Requested Instructions.

Copies of requested instructions together with any requests for special interrogatories and/or special verdicts shall be served upon the adverse party at the time of filing a copy with the clerk as hereinabove provided. The adverse party shall, at least one day prior to trial, specify objections to any of said instructions. Such objections shall be submitted in writing (or orally, if permitted by the court), shall be numbered, and shall identify the instructions objected to by number, and specify distinctly the matter to which said adverse party objects; said objection shall be accompanied by citations of authority in support thereof.

(c) Objections to the Instructions Given by the Court.

The trial judge shall fix the time, place, and procedure for making objections to the judge's charge to the jury. Objections shall be made outside the presence of the jury and shall be reported by the court reporter in the transcript.

(d) Instructions to the Jury.

The jury shall be instructed by the court, as provided in Fed. R. Civ. P. 51 either before or after arguments by counsel, or both, at the court's election. One copy of the final jury instructions, as given by the court, shall be docketed and become a part of the permanent case file.

 

Revised 8/1/97

RELATED AUTHORITY

Fed. R. Civ. P. 51