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United States v. Benitez

United States District Court, D. Idaho

December 3, 2018

ROY BENITEZ, Defendant.



         On December 3, 2018, the Court held a pretrial conference in this case. Based on that conference, the Court issues the following order:

         NOW THEREFORE IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the following deadlines and procedures shall govern the remainder of this litigation:

         1. Trial Date: A 3-day trial is set for December 18, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. in the Federal Courthouse in Boise, Idaho. Beginning on day two, trial shall begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 2:30 p.m., with two fifteen-minute breaks.

         2. Pre-emptory Challenges: Pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 24, the Government has 6 pre-emptory challenges and the defendant has 10 pre-emptory challenges. In addition, the parties will have pre-emptory challenges to the alternate jurors as follows: one additional peremptory challenge for the Government and one additional peremptory challenge for the Defendant.

         3. Alternate Jurors: Pursuant to Fed.R.Crim.P. 24, the Court will impanel one Order -- Page 1 alternate jurors.

         4. Exhibit Lists, Witness Lists, Exhibits, Proposed Voir Dire, Proposed Jury Instructions, Trial Briefs and Motions in Limine: All exhibit lists, witness lists, proposed voir dire, proposed jury instructions, trial briefs, and any additional motions in limine shall be filed with the Court on or before December 7, 2018. Because of the use of electronic evidence presentation systems, it is unnecessary to provide any copies to the Court. Counsel may wish to have available in the courtroom a copy of any exhibits which the Court may find difficult to review through the evidence presentation system. The exhibit lists shall be prepared on form provided by the Deputy Clerk, with sufficient copies for the Judge, the Deputy Clerk, and the Law Clerk. Exhibit numbers 1 through 999 shall be reserved for joint exhibits; exhibit numbers 1000 through 1999 shall be reserved for Government's exhibits; exhibit numbers 2000 through 2999 shall be reserved for the first defendant listed on the caption; exhibit numbers 3000 through 3999 shall be reserved for the second defendant listed on the caption; and so on. Counsel shall review their exhibits, determine any duplication, and jointly mark and stipulate to the admission of those exhibits that both sides intend to offer and rely upon. The proposed jury instructions shall follow the guidelines set out in Civil Local Rule 51.1 to the extent it is not inconsistent with this Order. Additionally, counsel shall provide a clean copy of the Jury Instructions to the Court in Word Perfect format and emailed to

         5. Trial Procedures:

a. The Court will generally control voir dire, and counsel will be limited to 20-30 minutes. Counsel are cautioned not to repeat questions already asked by the Court or other counsel and are advised that the Court will not permit voir dire which appears intended to influence the jury rather than explore appropriate concerns with a juror's ability to be fair and impartial.
b. Counsel shall exercise good faith in attempting to reach a stipulation on undisputed facts and admission of exhibits.
c. During trial, the jury will be in the box hearing testimony the entire trial day between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., except for two standard fifteen minute morning and afternoon recesses.
d. During the time the jury is in the jury box, no argument, beyond one-sentence evidentiary objections, shall be allowed to interrupt the flow of testimony. Almost all objections should be stated in one to three words (“hearsay”, “asked & answered”, “irrelevant”, etc.). If counsel have matters that need to be resolved outside the presence of the jury, they are to advise the Court and counsel prior to the issue arising during trial so that it can be heard during a recess, or before or after the jury convenes. Where the need for such a hearing cannot be anticipated, the Court will direct the examining counsel to avoid the objectionable subject and continue on a different line of questioning so that the objection can be argued and resolved at the next recess. To avoid late-night sessions, counsel are advised to bring up all anticipated evidentiary questions in their pretrial briefs.
i. Examples of improper objections: “I object to that question, Your Honor, because I am sure that Charlie Witness did not read that document very carefully before he signed it”; or, “I object, Your Honor, because Charlene Witness has already testified that she can't remember”. These “speaking objections” would suggest an answer.
e. Counsel shall have enough witnesses ready to ensure a full day of testimony. If witnesses are unavoidable delayed, counsel shall promptly ...

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