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Criminal Law: Housekeeping tasks at the start of trial

Gary Muldoon

Gary Muldoon

“If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my ax.” A. Lincoln

At the start of a trial, the judge and attorneys may need to address a number of “housekeeping” tasks, as well as to resolve issues relating to motions made previously.

Attorneys often make motions in limine, which will need the judge’s attention near the beginning of trial.

The following is a list of issues that frequently arise:

Sandoval – Pretrial motion issues not yet ruled on

Molineux – Presence of all jurors after recesses

Brady – Numbering of indictment counts

• Discovery – Sequestration of witnesses

• Redaction – Preliminary jury instructions

• Preclusion – Renewal or reargument of previous motions

• Witness Lists – Proposed stipulations

• Audibility – Scheduling

• Protective order – Calling witnesses out of order; Use of charts or computers.

Gary Muldoon is a lawyer and author of “Handling a Criminal Case in New York.” His email address is