Practices and Preferences
Read and follow.
Distribution List / Certificate of Service
- List / reference lead attorney for each party.
- Include e-mail for each attorney or pro se
- Attach Order on relief sought.
- If applicable, also attach Rule to Show Cause.
- If Motion references a prior Order and / or seeks modification of a prior Order, ATTACH THE PRIOR ORDER.
- State concurrence / non-concurrence.
Case Management Order (CMO)
Following Application for a Status Conference, the Court will issue an Order for a Status Conference similar to Exhibit 1. At Status Conference, the Court will issue a CMO similar to Exhibit 2.
The Court is available to conduct Settlement Conferences.
- Usually one week prior to trial.
- Bring to conference Points for Charge and proposed Verdict Form.
- Will review / discuss stipulations.
- Will review / discuss agreement on exhibits.
- At conference, parties will argue Motions In Limine and Court will decide shortly thereafter.
- Jury selection may occur the same day as the Pre-Trial Conference.
- Current practice is to conduct jury selection a week or so before the trial week. If possible, jury selection will occur the same day as the Pre-Trial Conference.
- Schedule a time with the judge’s Judicial Assistant to have your technology company view the courtroom at some time during the week prior to trial.
Arraignment will be held on the date designated in the Court Calendar. All arraignment cases will be listed for Miscellaneous Court, Status Court, or Jury Trial Court.
Omnibus Pre-Trial Motions
All motions shall include a procedural history including the arraignment date and when the case is currently scheduled for Court.
Hearing on suppression motions will be held on the day indicated by the Court pursuant to Judge Dowling’s Calendar.
Rule 600 Motion
Defendant’s Rule 600 motion should contain facts and law supporting the motion.
Other Pre-Trial Motions
Hearing on other pre-trial motions will be held on the day indicated by the Court pursuant to Judge Dowling’s Calendar. The motion shall contain facts and law supporting the motion. The Commonwealth shall file a response to the motion within 7 days of the hearing. The response shall contain fact and law supporting the response.
Motions in Limine
Moving parties shall file their Motion in Limine by noon on the Monday two weeks prior to commencement of Criminal Jury Trials and shall include the facts and law supporting the relief requested. A courtesy copy shall be served on chambers.
Responding party shall file a response containing facts and law supporting the denial of the motion by Friday 9:00 A.M. immediately prior to the Jury Trial Week.
Final List of Cases for Trial
At some point prior to the trial term, a final list will be generated of which the bolded cases will be priority. When this final list is generated and approved by the Court, no additional lists will be generated. The Court and its team will work off this list.
From this final list, a priority of cases will be identified. Attorneys on the priority list need to be aware of the status of the case above them and be ready, on short notice, to commence Voir Dire and trial. Attorneys should check with other attorneys on the list and with Judge Dowling’s Judicial Assistant, Sheila Brown, to keep updated on the status of the cases on the priority list.
To the extent that there are concerns with out-of-town witnesses or other scheduling problems, these matters should be discussed with the Court during “Status Court” or specifically requesting pre-trial conference.
Pre-trial conferences must be requested in writing for a date set forth in the Court’s Non-Jury Trial Calendar.
The moving party shall plead concurrence/non-concurrence. The motion and requested order shall include the specific date to which the case is to be continued. The motion and requested order shall include a Rule 600 waiver, if applicable.
Call of the Trial List
During jury trial week, this Court will commence calling cases Monday at 2:00 P.M. at which time cases that turn into guilty pleas or continuances will be handled. In addition, this will be the opportunity to address Motions in Limine previously filed and briefed.
It is expected that commencing promptly on Tuesday at 9:00 A.M. a panel will be brought into Court to commence the first Jury Trial.
Points for charge and proposed verdict form are due prior to commencement of Voir Dire/Jury Selection.
If the requested points for charge are one of the standard jury instructions, the party can simply provide the jury instruction number. If the proposed jury instruction is tailored based on case law, the full instruction should be provided.
A proposed verdict form does not need to be provided if the Commonwealth or Defendant are only requesting the charges listed on the information be presented to the jury. If there are requested drop counts or other special interrogatory questions to the jury, a proposed verdict form should be submitted to the Court.
Status Court and Miscellaneous Court
Both of these Court days on the Court Calendar will be utilized for miscellaneous matters, including pleas, continuances, and other non-jury matters.
On Status Court day, the Court will also review the trial list for the following week, including prioritizing cases.
Judge Dowling Schedule August - December 2013
Judge Dowling - Court Calendar Jan-Dec 2014
Judge Dowling's Practice Order for Court Proceedings - 2014