Motions; Orders

AuthorLeonard H. Bucklin
18. Motions; Orders
In this section place the following:
# 1. A double-sided copy of the pending, undecided (live) motions (whether
procedural or substantive) and the responses. If these motion papers are
bulky, you may have to keep them in a motion file folder instead of here in the
notebook. When the motion is decided, pull these double-sided copies out of
the trial notebook and throw them away.
# 2. A double-sided copy of any motion order that has decided a substantive
issue raised in the pleadings (e.g., a summary judgment on several of the issues).
# 3. A format for you to use to dictate into the record a Motion for Judgment
as a Matter of Law, also known as a Motion for Directed Verdict.
1. Live Motions. Having a copy of live motions in your trial notebook will prevent
fumbling through a file folder that probably has other things on top of the file papers.
Your crispness and order will be noticeable. You will also be prepared with ammunition
for courtroom or chambers without lugging around a motions folder.
2. Orders on Substantive Matters. Do not keep the orders on all motions here. Only
the orders on substantive motions are placed here. You will need instant access to this
type of order during trial and in chambers on matters like settling the instructions for
the jury. Pretrial motions on procedural matters and motions in limine are kept in the
sections by those names.
3. Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law, a.k.a. Motion for Directed Verdict.
During trial, always be ready to make a motion for directed verdict. Convince the judge
in a close case and you can win. That is because the judge has the power to direct a ver-
dict or enter a judgment notwithstanding the verdict. But the judge cannot issue a favor-
able ruling for you unless you make the initial Motion for Directed Verdict. Every attor-
ney, whether plaintiff or defendant, needs to make a Motion for Directed Verdict at the
close of the case testimony.
I have provided two forms for your use in dictating a motion into the record at the
close of the evidence. One is for the plaintiff to use. The other is for the defendant to use.
These forms will work in 99% of cases. At the close of testimony, go into chambers and
dictate the Motion into the record, using the plaintiff or defendant format that follows.

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