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2024 California Rules of Court

Rule 5.393. Setting trials and long-cause hearings

(a) Definitions

For purposes of this rule:

(1)  A "trial day" is defined as a period no less than two and a half hours of a single court day.

(2)  A "long-cause hearing" is defined as a hearing on a request for order that extends more than a single court day.

(3)  A "trial brief" or "hearing brief" is a written summary or statement submitted by a party that explains to a judge the party's position on particular issues that will be part of the trial or hearing.

(b) Conference with judge before trial or long-cause hearing

The judge may schedule a conference with the parties and their attorneys before any trial or long-cause hearing.

(1)  Time estimates

During the conference, each party must provide an estimate of the amount of time that will be needed to complete the trial or long-cause hearing. The estimate must take into account the time needed to examine witnesses and introduce evidence at the trial.

(2)  Trial or hearing brief

The judge must determine at the conference whether to require each party to submit a trial or hearing brief. If trial briefs will be required, they must comply with the requirements of rule 5.394. Any additional requirements to the brief must be provided to the parties in writing before the end of the conference.

(c) Sequential days

Consistent with the goal of affording family law litigants continuous trials and long-cause hearings without interruption, when trials or long-cause hearings are set, they must be scheduled on as close to sequential days as the calendar of the trial judge permits.

(d) Intervals between trial or hearing days

When trials or long-cause hearings are not completed in the number of days originally scheduled, the court must schedule the remaining trial days as soon as possible on the earliest available days with the goal of minimizing intervals between days for trials or long-cause hearings.

Rule 5.393 adopted effective January 1, 2013.

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