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Bench Book

Judge Ann Boyden

JUDGE: Ann Boyden - Third District Court

1. Scheduling Conferences

Q: Are scheduling conferences needed or used in your court? If so, are they conducted in person or by telephone?

A: I usually conduct scheduling conferences by telephone, at the request of the parties.

Q: What are your preferences regarding Case Management Orders/Scheduling Orders? Do you require that specific things be included in such orders?

A: I encourage parties to agree on reasonable schedules regarding case management/discovery/scheduling/motion cut-off dates, etc., and submit a stipulated schedule.

2. Motions Practice

Q: Do you appreciate courtesy copies of briefs being delivered to your chambers prior to hearing on a motion? If so, how early do you want them?

A: Courtesy copies are not usually necessary.

Q: Do you schedule hearings on motions automatically upon receiving notices to submit, or do you prefer or require that counsel call to schedule hearings?

A: I review all notices to submit and determine if a hearing is appropriate. Parties are welcome to request a hearing, but the request is not always granted.

Q: Under what circumstances do you decline to grant a request for oral argument?

A: I decline to grant requests for oral argument if the issues are clear or if the applicable law is unambiguous, and the motion is non-dispositive.

Q: What is your policy on allowing overlength memoranda?

A: My experience is that overlength memoranda are rarely necessary, but I am very flexible in granting requests to file them, for good cause.

Q: Do you prefer that counsel provide copies of the relevant cases prior to a hearing?

A: Yes. It is helpful to review the relevant cases before a hearing, if the memoranda are not sufficient.

Q: Is there anything about the way you handle requests for temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions that you think the bar should be aware of?

A: I carefully follow the law requiring irreparable harm, which is different from monetary damages.

3. Final Pretrial Conference

Q: In your view, what is the purpose of a final pretrial conference?

A: My general philosophy is that the parties are in the best position to justly resolve most disputes. Throughout the process, I encourage settlement of any and all issues by the parties. This continues into the final pretrial conference (and even longer, if appropriate). So either clients or attorneys with settlement authority (usually, that means the client) are required to be present at final pretrial conferences.

4. Jury Trial Practice

Jury Selection:

Q: How is voir dire conducted in your courtroom?

A: Voir dire is conducted orally, by the judge.

Q: Do you allow counsel to participate in voir dire? If so, to what extent?

A: I allow counsel to have full input beforehand, but I ask the questions.

Q: What is your due date for requested voir dire questions?

A: In civil cases, at the final pretrial conference.

Q: Do you allow or encourage the use of jury questionnaires?

A: I discourage the use of questionnaires, and rarely allow it. I find that direct oral questioning of potential jurors assists me best on accurate “for cause” rulings.

Requested Instructions:

Q: When do you require requested instructions to be submitted?

A: In civil cases, at the final pretrial conference.

Q: What form do you prefer requested instructions to take (e.g., do you prefer instructions accompanied by supporting cases, etc.)? Is a citation to MUJI sufficient legal authority?

A: Citation to MUJI is not sufficient legal authority. I like to see one form without supporting information, and an additional copy with supporting legal authority.

Q: Do you have a set of stock jury instructions that you use?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you prefer to receive an electronic copy of requested instructions?

A: No, but the parties may need one, for changes.

Trial Procedures:

Q: What is your preferred trial schedule (e.g., 9 to 5 with an hour for lunch, 8 to 2 with no lunch, etc.)?

A: All parties and counsel need to be present at 8:30, to address preliminary matters before the jury is called in at 9:00. Trial proceeds 9 to 5, with a 1 to 1½ hour lunch break.

Q: What are your preferences with respect to motions in limine and other trial related motions?

A: I take a flexible, case-by-case approach.

Q: What are your preferences and/or procedures related to witness scheduling?

A: I am very flexible to witness needs, and handle scheduling issues on a case-by-case basis.

Q: What are your preferences with respect to trial exhibits?

A: Exhibits should be marked beforehand with my clerks.

5. Bench Trial Practice

Q: What are the major differences, in your courtroom, between bench trials and jury trials?

A: Bench trials are much less formal and more streamlined.

Q: Do you appreciate or require trial briefs or proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law from counsel?

A: I require either proposed findings or a trial brief—attorneys may choose which is more conducive to the particular case.

6. Criminal Matters

Q: How do you handle requests for continuance on pretrials, arraignments or roll calls?

A: I handle these requests on a case-by-case basis, on the merits. The first time such a request is made, I typically grant it. Stipulated requests are addressed by my clerk, who gives a new date.

Q: When may the issue of bail best be addressed in your courtroom?

A: Bail may be addressed at roll call and at the preliminary hearing, or at any hearing where the statutory notice is given to the opposing side.

Q: What information do you want from counsel at the time of sentencing?

A: I want general sentencing information, of course. But if the defendant is asking specifically for treatment programs, I will need specific information regarding the program, including admission, licensing, issues treated, etc. .

Q: Are private pre-sentence evaluations useful or encouraged?

A: Not typically, but I certainly consider information on a case-by-case basis.

Q: How should counsel on busy law and motion calendar handle calling a case?

A: My clerks enter the courtroom promptly at 8:30. Always let them know if you are ready for your case to be heard. Once I am on the bench, I invite counsel who are ready to advise me of those cases.

7. Special Issues for Domestic Cases

Q: What do you want to have on temporary order issues?

A: I handle these issues case-by-case.

Q: Do you have a policy on child interviews with respect to custody?

A: I handle these issues case-by-case.

8. Discovery Practices

Q: What is your approach to resolving discovery disputes?

A: I encourage parties to resolve as much as possible without court intervention. I demand absolute professionalism from attorneys and parties and full good-faith flexibility.

Q: Are you generally available to solve problems that arise during a deposition?

A: My current calendar is 80% criminal and accessibility is minimal. The vast bulk of my work is on the bench, rather than in chambers.

9. Thoughts on Courtroom Protocol

Q: Is lack of civility ever a problem in your courtroom? If so, do you take steps to improve civility in your courtroom?

A: Again, I demand and receive absolute professionalism. My style is for more informal than formal, but I am fully in control.

Q: Do you impose any limitations on courtroom movement (approaching witnesses, podium, etc.)?

A: I am flexible, as conducive to justice and getting large amounts of work done on very high case load calendars.

10. Clerk’s Comments

Q: The name and phone number of my clerk(s) is:

A: Pat Dees: 238-7337
Lynett McKinney: 238-7358


Biographies of 3rd District Judges