The court ordinarily places time limits on opening statements or closing arguments after consultation with counsel. Unless the request is quite unreasonable, counsel will be given the time requested. The court also will offer to inform counsel of the time remaining at requested points in the final argument (e.g., five minutes to go) so that counsel need not focus on the clock throughout.
Trial days ordinarily run from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with approximately one hour for the lunch break, though the court will adjust these times to accommodate counsel, jurors, witnesses, and other circumstances that might reasonably arise and to ensure a just and efficient completion of trial. A morning and afternoon break will occur as trial permits.
When a jury is deliberating, on the other hand, the court turns timing over to the jury, and generally will allow the jury to deliberate as long, or to break for the day as early, as the jury wishes. The court views the jury as an important participant and customer of the court, and counsel should be mindful and respectful of the jury’s time.
The court expects the parties to have enough witnesses on hand to fill the trial day. The court views the jurors’ time as valuable and will strive to avoid unexpectedly short trial days that might make the trial last an extra day.
The court strives to cooperate with the schedules of doctors and other non-party professionals and will allow them to testify out of sequence in the absence of persuasive objection. Please anticipate this possibility and discuss it with opposing counsel before raising it with the court.