The usual trial day is 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. with one break during the morning session and one break during the afternoon session. Trial days are usually Monday through Thursday with no trial on Friday. As to each particular trial, the parties and jury members will be advised of the particular schedule on a daily basis. Bench trials will be tried on a more flexible schedule than jury trials.
For voir dire, the judge will ask general questions and the attorneys will be permitted to ask follow up questions of particular venirepersons. If a general question is not covered by the judge, the attorney may ask the group as a whole and, where appropriate, ask follow up questions of each juror who responds by a raise of his or her hand. Exercise of peremptory challenges is done by written submission. The venire is not informed as to which side struck a particular venireperson. Challenges for cause are usually heard at sidebar.
Notebooks containing photocopies of exhibits are to be provided for each juror, each party, and the judge. Use of blowups, overhead projectors, and other such exhibits are discouraged in that it is difficult to display them so that all necessary persons can see the exhibit at the same time. The jurors generally will have the exhibit books available to them during deliberations.
Prior to closing arguments, after considering the proposed jury instructions of the parties, the court will submit a draft of jury instructions to the parties. Objections will be resolved and the court's staff will produce the final version of instructions. Each juror will be provided with a copy of the jury instructions for use while the court is reading the instructions and for use during deliberations.
During jury deliberations, counsel must be at a location where they can be contacted by telephone and return to the courtroom within 10 minutes of being called. Counsel will be informed as to when the jury is expected to be on a lunch break.
Following the trial, no party or attorney is permitted to contact any juror unless prior authorization of the court is obtained.