How the Newly Elected General Civil Docket Judges (and Chief Judge Reese) Manage their Courtrooms

July 16 2015 | Committees

On June 30, 2015 NOBA held a Professionalism CLE in which the newly elected General Civil Docket Judges explained how they manage their courtrooms. The panelists included Chief Judge Reese, Judge Clare Jupiter, and Judge Regina Woods.

Judge Jupiter started off the seminar by giving advice to the attendees. She said to make it easy to find support for your decision, be sure to highlight and make your important points visible to her. If you have a rule coming up, deliver a courtesy copy to her chambers no later than the Wednesday before. She went on to say that whatever is said and not written down cannot be valid. Finally Judge Jupiter made a point to tell the lawyers that she cannot overturn a decision made by another judge.

Judge Woods began with rule days and suggested that lawyers argue for three minutes. Essentially to keep it brief because majority of the time she has the judgment decided because she has prepared in advance. For her, the finality of the judgment is extremely important. In terms of how she runs her courtroom, she is strict with enforcing local rules and deadlines are really important so make sure to file all memos on time.  If something is late she suggests you file a motion for leave if its going to be late.  She will not go outside of deadlines unless their is good cause to do so.

Chief Judge Reese was the last speaker and addressed exhibits. It is important to offer them and notify the court. He prefers a copy of all briefs for rule day and a clocked in copy, but if you have attached a copy of what you have forwarded to the clerk, he will give you the benefit of the double unless you break his trust. He doesn't like to get things by fax because they need confirmation that documents have been properly filed. Finally, Judge Reese said "Deadlines are the most effective way to move things along" and your "oral arguments can turn the date and make all the difference."

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