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Browsing in Civil > General Trial Procedures > Judge Jeffrey Y. Hamilton, Jr.

Judge Jeffrey Y. Hamilton, Jr.

  Judge Jeffrey Y. Hamilton, Jr.
Maria Santana
Cindy Slaton
(559) 457-6309
(559) 457-1624
  1. Morning trial sessions will generally commence at 8:30. A lunch break will be taken at 12:00. The afternoon session will commence at 1:30. Evening recess will generally be taken at 3:20, depending on the Court’s law and motion calendar. Mondays will be longer. These times are subject to modification based upon other calendars, which may need to be completed by the department and the progress of the trial. Counsel are expected to be punctual and ready to proceed on time.
  2. Exhibits should be exchanged between counsel before commencement of trial and should be pre-marked in the anticipated order of presentation. All exhibits, regardless of who marks them, will be marked in numerical order. Counsel should meet and confer before trial to agree upon foundational issues, to the extent possible. The court should be provided with 5 sets from either side, or one if joint: 1) Official, 2) Court, 3) Witness, 4) Opposing Counsel, 5) Proponent.
  3. Counsel may not show an exhibit to a witness for any purpose unless it has been pre-marked for identification. Absent a stipulation, pre-approved by the court, counsel may not display any exhibit to the jury unless it has first been received into evidence.
  4. Counsel should provide the clerk and the reporter with a list of prospective witnesses in alphabetical order in MS Excel or Word format so that they may be shown through the court's electronic display for jury selection.
  5. The Court should be informed in advance, if possible, of any unusual legal issues or evidentiary matters that are anticipated during the trial in order to avoid any unnecessary delays for the jury. “Unusual evidentiary matters” include, but are not limited to, any question about prior criminal activity, which must be raised outside the presence of the jury before being asked in the jury’s presence.
  6. Counsel should meet and confer as to all possible factual stipulations on uncontroverted matters and inform the Court as soon as practical.
  7. Generally 21 prospective jurors will be seated for voir dire. Voir dire has specific and limited purposes. These do not include instructing the jury on the law or ingratiating counsel or counsel's side with the jurors. CCP Section 222.5 will be strictly enforced with or without objection from opposing counsel. Challenges for cause, if any, will be expressed in the hallway behind the courtroom after all counsel have completed questioning. Alternate jurors are chosen at random at the close of the case, just prior to deliberation.
  8. After first approaching the witness with permission, counsel may subsequently walk through the well and approach witnesses without permission.
  9. Speaking objections or argument regarding objections are not permitted. Period. State the legal objection only. Likewise, counsel should never suggest to any witness, with a speech appended to the objection, what the witness should say or has forgotten to say.
  10. Jury instructions and verdict forms must be submitted before the first witness is called. Counsel must meet and confer and submit a packet of all requested instructions to which there is no objection and a separate packet of instructions as to which there are objections. If objections are made to any jury instructions on other than relevancy grounds, the objecting party must also submit an instruction that is believed to be non-objectionable. Each instruction must indicate the party or parties requesting it, all blanks must be filled in and any irrelevant portions redacted.
  11. Counsel should discuss and inform the court if willing to enter into either or both of the following stipulations:
    1. Unless otherwise noted on the record, whenever the court is in session, all jurors, alternates, and counsel are present.
    2. Waiving the statutory language of the admonition to the jury at separation (CCP 611) so that after the Court gives the required admonition at the outset of the trial, it need not at each subsequent recess or adjournment repeat or remind the jury of this admonition.
  12. Counsel shall lodge with the clerk all depositions to be used in the trial. No reading from depositions (other than for purposes of impeachment) is permitted without first giving the court and opposing counsel notice of each page and line reference intending to be read.
  13. The court strongly prefers counsel to each prepare and deliver a brief, mini-opening to the jury prior to selection. In the alternative, a short, non-argumentative statement of the case for reading to the jury during jury selection must be jointly filed.
  14. All court fees, including jury fees and mileage are to be paid prior to the jury being sworn.
  15. Counsel has full responsibility to arrange for the appearance of witnesses during the presentation of their case so as to eliminate any possible delay in the proceedings. The Court suggests that counsel confer during trial as to when witnesses are needed. Counsel are expected to inform the court immediately upon discovering a problem with scheduling that might delay the trial so that arrangements can be made for the appearance of other witnesses out of order. If counsel does not comply with this procedure and there are no witnesses available to testify it is equivalent to resting. Counsel should inform each other at the end of the trial day who their witnesses will be for the following day.
  16. Witnesses who are excused by the court following their testimony are not subject to recall unless requested by counsel or for good cause shown pursuant to Evidence Code Section 778.
  17. If deposition transcripts are to be read to the jury counsel are expected to meet and confer in advance regarding any objections that will be offered to any of such testimony so as not to take up the time of the court or the jury. If objections to any of the testimony are raised, they must be addressed outside of the jury’s presence and without inconveniencing the jury.
  18. Bench conferences are generally not permitted and hallway conferences are strongly discouraged. No record is made of such conferences unless counsel requests it at the following recess.
  19. The Court is always willing to assist with settlement.