Trials and Tribulations: Tips from Judge Karnow

ACBA News

By: Tim Hallahan

Tim HallahanI recently read an excellent article titled Trials and Tribulations by Hon. Curtis Karnow who is currently hearing complex litigation cases in San Francisco Superior Court. Judge Karnow has taught at Yale, USF, Hastings and Stanford in addition to authoring many articles and book chapters and teaching judges for the Center for Judiciary Education and Research. With his permission I’ve collected here a number of his suggestions on various litigation topics so you can see ideal and less than ideal lawyer behavior from the judge’s perspective. These are all direct quotes from his article.

Dealing with the Judge
Do not address the court staff members (while court is in session) without permission from the judge, including asking them to do a task for you such as look something up in the docket or the computer.Don’t use “Judge” in open court. Even during arraignments. Save that for chambers…

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