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Browsing in Civil > General Trial Procedures > Judge Rosemary T. McGuire

Judge Rosemary T. McGuire

  Judge Rosemary T. McGuire
Sam X. Garcia
Ken Licon
(559) 457-6316
(559) 457-1624
  1. Schedule:
    Morning trial sessions will generally begin at 9:00 a.m. A lunch break will be taken at 12:00 p.m. The afternoon session will being at 1:30 p.m. The evening recess will be taken at 3:45 p.m. on Mondays. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday the evening recess will be taken at 3:15 p.m. Friday’s are dark for trial purposes. These times are subject to modification based upon other calendars that may need to be completed by the court and the progress of the trial. Counsel is expected to be punctual and ready to proceed on time. This includes having witnesses available when needed.
  2. Exhibits:
    1. Exhibits must be exchanged between counsel before commencement of trial and should be pre-marked in the anticipated order and form 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.
    2. The court should be provided with 5 sets of exhibits from each proponent as follows: (1) Official; (2) Court; (3) Witness; (4) Opposing Counsel; and (5) Proponent.
    3. Exhibits will not be marked by the court until counsel request it or they are shown to a witness.
    4. Multiple page exhibits must be separately bound or included under a separate tab in a binder and each page must be separately numbered.
    5. Photographs shall be Bates-Stamped, present in a clear slip cover or 3 hole punched so they may be placed in a an exhibit binder.
    6. Counsel shall jointly prepare a single, joint exhibit list which accurately describes each exhibit submitted to the court.
    7. Absent stipulation or the permission of the court, counsel may not display any exhibit to the jury unless it has first been received into evidence.
  3. Witnesses:
    Counsel should provide the clerk and the reporter with a list of prospective witnesses and put the names of potential witnesses on display on the screen for jury selection.
    1. Counsel may walk through the well and approach witnesses without permission.
    2. Speaking objections or argument regarding objections are not permitted unless invited by the court. 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.
    3. 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 of a problem which may cause a delay with the trial, so that arrangements can be made for a special appearance of other witnesses out of order. Counsel are to inform each other at the end of the trial day who their witnesses will be for the following day.
    4. Witnesses who are excused by the court following their testimony are not subject to recall unless requested by counsel for good cause shown pursuant to Evidence Code Section 778.
  4. Jury Selection:
    1. 21 prospective jurors will be seated for voir dire. Voir dire has specific and limited purposes. CCP Section 222.5 will be strictly enforced with or without objection from opposing counsel. Among other things, Section 222.5 provides: “For purposes of this section, and improper question is any question which, as its dominant purpose, attempts to precondition the prospective jurors to a particular result, indoctrinate the jury, or question the prospective jurors concerning the pleadings or the applicable law.” Challenges for cause will be expressed in the hallway behind the courtroom after all counsel have completed questioning.
    2. Hardships are not entertained in open court before the entire panel. The court will provide a hardship questionnaire to the prospective jurors, while they are still in the Jury Assembly Room. The prospective jurors are to review and complete the form. Once the form is completed, they will be provided to the court for review. The court may dismiss some of the prospective jurors based on the hardship form or the court may decide to speak with the jurors outside of the courtroom.
    3. If the issue of hardship arises during voir dire, the potential juror who raises the issue will be examined by the court (and counsel) individually and on the record in the court’s anteroom.

    4. Jury Instructions and Verdict Forms: 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 that relevancy grounds, the objections 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 filed in and any irrelevant portions redacted.
    5. The court selects a jury which includes the twelve members and the number of “alternates” agreed upon at the pretrial conference. The number of preemptory challenges each party receives will be discussed and agreed to prior to selection beginning.
    6. 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.
    7. The court 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.
  5. Other Trial Information:
    1. Counsel should 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 reasonable notice of each page and line reference to the court and other counsel.
    2. 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.
    3. The following questions are generally not permitted: “Didn’t you testify yesterday that…?” “Didn’t you just testify that…?” “Were you in court when John Doe testified that…?” The jury has already heard what the witness testified to and, thus, these questions are cumulative and unnecessarily consumptive of time. The court may intervene even without objection if such questions are asked.
    4. The Court does not provide a court reporter. Counsel are responsible for arranging for and paying for a court reporter if they want a court reporter for the trial.
    5. Jury fees and mileage are to be paid no later than the last day of trial before the reading of the verdict.
    6. Bench conference are generally not permitted and hallway conference are strongly discouraged. No record is made of such conference unless counsel requests it at the following recess.
    7. While the court always appreciates stipulations as to admissibility of exhibits or other evidence, stipulations should never be offered by counsel in the presence of the jury unless counsel has previously discussed the stipulation with counsel and the court outside of the jury’s presence.
The Court is always willing to assist with settlement if the parties collectively agree and can do so without subjecting the jury to unnecessary delay.