UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
RULES FOR CONDUCT OF TRIALS BEFORE JUDGE GETTLEMAN
- Counsel will treat each other and all witnesses, including adverse witnesses,
professionally and courteously.
- All examination of witnesses must be conducted from the podium unless otherwise allowed
by the court.
- Counsel should disclose the identity and order of trial witnesses as far in advance as
possible but in no event less than 24 hours before the beginning of the trial day in which
the witnesses are to be called.
- Unless otherwise stipulated, examining counsel must show each exhibit to opposing
counsel prior to showing it to a witness. Demonstrative and summary exhibits must be shown
to opposing counsel in advance of trial, even if not offered into evidence. All exhibits
should be marked in advance.
- Counsel must stand for all objections. Counsel should instruct their witnesses not to
answer a question while an objection is pending. Counsel should not stand during witness
examination unless to make an objection.
- Counsel should avoid argumentative objections. Summarize objections by noting by number
the rule of evidence (e.g., "Rule 608(b)") or by describing nature of the
objection (e.g., "hearsay," "prior ruling," "foundation"
- All persons at counsel table should avoid reactions, facial expressions and other
expressions, verbal or non-verbal, that might be observed by the jury. Any signaling to a
witness on the stand will be treated as contempt of court.
- Side-bars are disfavored. Counsel are directed to "front" all anticipated
issues during breaks when the jury is not in the courtroom.
- Beepers and cell phones must be turned off. Violators face confiscation of their toys.
- Witnesses (other than parties and expert witnesses) are generally excluded from
proceedings until they testify. Counsel should instruct witnesses not to discuss court
proceedings with those who have not yet testified. Witnesses are sequestered during
adverse examination; they are forbidden from discussing the case with anyone during breaks
or recesses unless otherwise ordered by the court.
- Counsel are in charge of their own exhibits. Large exhibits may be stored in the
- Coats and jackets should be hung in the cloakroom rather than draped over benches.