Judge's Corner

Article Index

Summary Judgment Motions - To File or Not to File? The Honorable Danielle J. Hunsaker, Washington County Circuit Court, Jason Kafoury, Kafoury & McDougal, and Joel Mullin, Stoel Rives, LLP (April 2019)

Judicial Challenges The Honorable Janet Stauffer, 7th Judicial Circuit (August/September 2017)

Use of Fictitious Names for Parties in Civil Litigation in Oregon The Honorable James Hargreaves (Senior Judge, retired), Lane County Circuit Court (June/July 2017)

The Judge's Pledge The Honorable Susan Tripp, Marion County Circuit Court (May/June 2017)

Organizing for the Courtroom The Honorable Daniel R. Murphy, Linn County Circuit Court (March/April 2017)

A Two Year Journey with Odyssey in Juvenile Court The Honorable Lindsay Partridge, Marion County Circuit Court (January/February 2017)

Lane County Streamlined Jury Trial Project The Honorable Curtis Conover, Lane County Circuit Court (November/December 2016)

20 Ways to Further Justice The Honorable Ilisa Rooke-Ley, Lane County Circuit Court (October/November 2016)

Managing Multi-Party/Complex Litigation without Driving Your Judge Crazy (and maybe even making it easier for everyone) The Honorable Henry Kantor, Multnomah County Circuit Court (September 2016)

Managing Multi-Party/Complex Litigation without Driving the Judge's Staff Crazy The Honorable Eve L. Miller, Clackamas County Circuit Court (August 2016)

Do's and Don'ts in the Courtroom The Honorable Lisa Greif, Jackson County Circuit Court (June/July 2016)

Preparation for a Status, Case Management, or Pretrial conference - or how to get more out of a non-evidentiary proceeding in criminal and family court cases The Honorable Kirsten E. Thompson, Washington County Circuit Court (April/May 2016)

Postponements The Honorable Richard Barron, Presiding Judge, Coos/Curry County Circuit Court (March 2016)

Consider Trying More Cases The Honorable Suzanne Chanti, Lane County Circuit Court Judge (February 2016)

Professionalism - It Counts Both In and Out of the Courtroom The Honorable Brian Dretke, Union County Circuit Court Judge (January 2016)

Changes to Sex Changes The Honorable Beth A. Allen, Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge (December 2015)

Top 25 Tips from a Senior Judge The Honorable Michael C. Sullivan, Senior Judge (retired), Deschutes County (November 2015)

How to Succeed at Power Point In the Courtroom The Honorable Michael McShane, US District Court (October 2015)

Effective Use of Evidence At Jury Trial The Honorable Matthew Donohue, Benton County Circuit Court (September 2015)

Making a Record for Appeal, The Honorable Charles M. Zennaché, Lane County Circuit Court (August 2015)

Access to Civil Justice in Oregon's State Courts, The Honorable David Brewer, Associate Justice, Oregon Supreme Court (July 2016)

What Jurors Want: A Look Into the Minds of Jurors, The Honorable John V. Acosta, United States Magistrate Judge (June 2015)

Handling the "Half-se" Hearing, The Honorable Mustafa Kasubhai, Lane County Circuit Court (May 2015)

Effective Voir Dire, Judge Thomas Hart, Marion County Circuit Court (April 2015)

The New Judge on the Block, Judge Lung S. Hung, Malheur County Circuit Court (March 2015)

The Gift of Finality: One PJ's Perspective, Judge Karsten H. Rasmussen, Lane County Circuit Court (February 2015)

ORCP 68 Attorney Fees - when, why and how to seek them, Judge Deanne L. Darling, Clackamas Juvenile Court (January 2015)

Difficult questions must be answered before they are asked, Judge Edward J. Jones, Multnomah County Circuit Court (December 2014)

Judicially Hosted Settlement Conferences, Judge Jamese L. Rhoades and Sr. Judge Don Dickey, Marion County Circuit Court (November 2014)

Working together to make discovery more efficient, The Honorable Youlee Yim You, Multnomah County Circuit Court (October 2014)

Court Trials - A Jury of One, The Honorable Katherine E. Tennyson, Multnomah County Circuit Court (September 2014)

Making the Most of Short Evidentiary Hearings, The Honorable Daniel R. Murphy, Linn County Circuit Court (August 2014)

Vouching, The Honorable Jay McAlpin, Lane County Circuit Court (July 2014)

Appropriate Jury Instructions Can Help Litigators Win Trials, The Honorable Paula Brownhill, Clatsop County Circuit Court (June 2014)

Evidentiary Hearings and Motion Practice in the era of Oregon e-court, The Honorable Benjamin Bloom, Jackson County Circuit Court (May 2014)

Motions in Limine - Tips for "Newer" Litigators, The Honorable Jodie Mooney, Lane County Circuit Court (April 2014)

The Honorable Eve L. Miller
Clackamas County Circuit Court
(August 2016)

Managing Multi-Party/Complex Litigation without Driving the Judge's Staff Crazy

Early on in my career as a lawyer, I learned that the key to my success was to keep the courthouse staff happy, especially the judicial clerks and assistants.

Fast forward to more than 30 years later, with 16 years of trial practice and 19 years as a circuit court judge, I still maintain that the way to a judge's heart is through good behavior in the courthouse. Further, I will tell you that just about everything that goes on in the courthouse or a particular courtroom gets back to the judges AND the judges talk amongst themselves about lawyers who behave badly to staff.

Here are a few important tips we want to share with trial attorneys, especially when you have a case that has been designated as complex and assigned to a particular judge.

Judicial Clerk (JC) PERSPECTIVE:

  • Please have all exhibits properly marked.
    • If there are multiple defendants, the court will assign each defendant a series of numbers, e.g., defendant 1 is 100-199; defendant 2 is 200-299, etc.
    • Provide the clerk with a list of pre-marked exhibits.
    • Bring extra exhibit stickers.
  • Power point/video and projector/computer needs.
    • Do not assume every courtroom is equipped with technology for the lawyer's laptops and projectors.
    • Make sure your audio and computer cords are compatible with the court's system. If you require a podium or easel with paper, check ahead of time; not every courtroom may be equipped.
    • Do not assume the JC is tech savvy and able to hook up or run your equipment.
    • Call ahead and meet with clerk to determine what is needed and available.

Judicial Assistant (JA) PERSPECTIVE:

  • Keep JA informed by email of newly filed pleadings.
    • Call to speak with the JA to determine that judge's preferences. Some judges want only electronic documents attached to an email; others may prefer paper. Some prefer 3-hole punched in a notebook; others may not.
    • Do not email the judge directly unless you have been given specific permission to do so.
  • Respond promptly to requests for scheduling dates.
    • Designate a legal assistant to obtain potential dates and times for hearings and trial. The designee can then coordinate with the other parties and save the JA from that task.
  • Organizational tools/charts are helpful.
    • If you need a chart to keep the parties and claims organized in cases with many parties and cross-claims and third-party claims, the judge and staff could use one as well. I am happy to use whatever charts and/or lists you have created if it saves me from having to create my own. For example, in a recent construction defect case involving 19 parties, there were a dozen or more motions for summary judgment and other pretrial motions. One of the attorneys created a detailed summary of the various claims and an indication of which attorney represented each party.


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