» Entries tagged with "Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure"

Are They Breaking The Rule?

About two and a half years ago, I wrote about the Maricopa County Superior Court running out of judges to preside over a client’s trial. It happened again yesterday, but in a different way. At 8:00 a.m., I went to the master calendar assignment judge’s courtroom. If the system was a game show, he’d be the host. He spins his wheel of fortune and assigns your case to the judicial officer who’s next in line. Until that point, you don’t really know who you’re going to get. For all practical purposes, the case is assigned to what I like to call the “Honorable Master Calendar” on my captions. It was a huge docket, and the judge began assigning cases. Unlike the last time I wrote about … Read entire article »

Filed under: Procedural Rules, Trial

Tipping Our Hand

People who don’t practice criminal defense tend to have a number of funny misconceptions about how the process works. Sadly, some people who do practice criminal defense also tend to have a number of funny misconceptions about how the process works. One huge area where non-practitioners and even some practitioners seem to get confused is disclosure. “We’d better not tip our hand,” I hear over and over again. In Arizona state courts, far more so than in federal court, the disclosure rules are quite extensive. The state must comply with all kinds of requirements as the case proceeds. At the arraignment, it must turn over all law enforcement reports as well as the names and addresses of experts and the results of completed physical examinations, scientific … Read entire article »

Filed under: Practice in General, Procedural Rules

Rules v. Standard Practice

Recently, I amused a judge because I followed the text of a rule of criminal procedure instead of doing what everyone else in the jurisdiction does. He told me I deserved a “gold star,” and I’m not sure how I feel about that. According to the rule, which is very clear, I was responsible for editing a copy of a physicians report within 24 hours of receipt and returning it to the court so it could be made available to the State. Apparently, most attorneys just get the report, redact it at their leisure, and give it to the State a day or so before the hearing. At every step of a case, I tend to look at the governing statue or rule whenever there might be a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Practice in General, Procedural Rules, Professionalism

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