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CONFERENCES AT BENCH - MN Bench Book - Trial Procedures & Practices for Judges
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CONFERENCES AT BENCH

From MN Bench Book - Trial Procedures & Practices for Judges

A. Prohibit attorneys from arguing with each other at bench.
B. Limit length of arguments at bench
C. Control who speaks when. Only allows one attorney at a time to speak.
D. Uses the hand to stop an attorney who is attempting to interrupt attorney who is speaking.
E. Control movement of attorneys.
Does not let attorneys lean on bench or walk around
F. Control voice level of attorneys.
Keeps voice level low so jury can't hear
G. Clearly indicate when conference was over and politely directs attorneys to return counsel table.
H. Limit attorneys "invasion" of bench space.
Does not allow attorneys to lean on lean over bench.
I. Limits bench conferences and does not grant every request to approach bench.
J. Keeps track of issues and discussions at the bench that should be on the record. Record made either contemporatneously or done subsequently.
K. Rules on allowing party to come to bench for bench conferences.
L. At beginnin of trial and prior to first bench conference, instructs jury to stand and stretch and or chat among themselves for distraction and invigoration