39.1 Courtroom Practice

(a) Conduct of Counsel

(1) Counsel shall be punctual and prepared for all court appearances so that hearings and trials may commence on time.  In the event of a delay, counsel shall notify the court and opposing counsel, if possible.

(2) Counsel shall stand when addressing the court and when examining and cross-examining witnesses unless the court expressly excuses counsel from so doing.

(3) When stating an objection, counsel shall state only the basis of the objection (e.g., "leading," or "nonresponsive," or "hearsay").  Under no circumstances shall counsel elaborate or present an argument or make reference to other evidence unless the court so requests.

(4) Counsel shall act and speak respectfully and civilly to the court, jurors, other counsel, parties, witnesses, and court personnel.

(b) Pre-View Statements

If a view will be conducted, each party shall be entitled to make a brief pre-view statement.

(c) Opening Statements

Opening statements shall be nonargumentative and no longer than thirty (30) minutes unless the court otherwise directs.

(d) Examination of Witnesses

Only one (1) attorney for each party shall examine any witness and offer objection relating to that examination unless the court otherwise directs. 

(e) Closing Arguments

Closing arguments shall be limited to one (1) hour and only one (1) attorney shall argue for each party, except by leave of the court.  The plaintiff in a civil action, the libelant in an admiralty action, and the claimant in a land condemnation action shall argue last In a criminal case, the government shall be permitted to offer rebuttal argument that shall not exceed fifteen (15) minutes.

(f) Length of Trial

(1) Trial Day

The court shall establish the limits of the trial day.

(2) Limits on Length of Trial

The court may, after consultation with counsel, establish the amount of time allotted to each side for its case, including cross-examination of witnesses.  Counsel may exceed such allotted time only for good cause shown.  The clerk will maintain a continuing record of time used by each party.


(§ (f)(2) amended 1/1/97)