United States District Court, E.D. California
COURTROOM/TRIAL DECORUM MAGISTRATE JUDGE
JENNIFER L. THURSTON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
purpose of these guidelines is to state, for the guidance of
counsel, the basic rules concerning courtroom decorum while
in trial. The requirements stated are minimal, not
all-inclusive, and are intended to supplement, not supplant
or limit, the ethical obligations of counsel under the Code
of Professional Responsibility or the time-honored customs of
experienced trial counsel.
appearing in this Court, all counsel (and where, appropriate,
all persons seated at counsel table) shall abide by the
parties and witnesses should be appropriately attired. Public
officials (including law enforcement officers, fire
department personnel, military officers, etc.) who normally
wear an official uniform while on duty, if they are parties
to the action or counsel in the action, should not
wear their uniforms during trial unless they have obtained
prior permission from the Court.
Stand at the lectern while examining any witness; except that
counsel may approach the Courtroom Deputy Clerk’s desk
or the witness for the purposes of handing or tendering
exhibits, if permission is granted by the Court. If counsel
wish to depart from the area of the lectern during their
presentation, they must request permission to do this in
advance so they may be equipped with a lapel microphone.
Stand at or in the vicinity of the lectern while making
opening statements or closing arguments, except to refer to
exhibits. Do not crowd the jury.
Address all remarks to the Court, not to the opponent.
Avoid disparaging personal remarks or acrimony toward
opposing counsel and/or parties. Remain detached from any
ill-feeling between the litigants or witnesses.
not approach the jury box. Anything the jury needs will be
handled by the Courtroom Deputy Clerk.
Refer to all persons, including witnesses, other counsel, and
the parties, by their surnames and not by their first or
given names or nicknames.
one attorney for each party shall examine each witness on
direct or cross-examination. Only the attorney who examines a
witness shall state objections to questions by other counsel
to that witness.
one attorney for each party shall present oral argument on
motions, an opening statement, or closing argument.
Motions, the opening statement, or closing argument may be
divided among counsel if a party has more than one trial
counsel, if different subjects are addressed by counsel, ...