New York Courts dot gov
New York StateUnified Court System

Hon. Johnny Lee Baynes


Part Rules

Chambers: 360 Adams Street - Room 389
347-404-9417 Chambers
347-296-1590 Courtroom - 461

Law Secretary: Jill Epstein, Esq
Secretary: Barbara A. Chase
Clerk: Richard Murdoch

Added April 29, 2014

Pre-Trial Conference

The Court will conference every case when it is assigned for Trial. At this conference counsel should be prepared:

1. To alert the Court as to all anticipated disputed issues of law and fact, and provide the Court with citations to all statutory and common law authority upon which counsel will rely.

2. To Stipulate to undisputed facts and the admissibility of clearly admissible documents and records.

3. To submit marked pleadings to the Law Secretary as well as any motions in limine.

5. Requests to charge and proposed verdict sheets shall be made in writing and submitted to the Law Secretary.

Rules for Trial Counsel

1. Jury Selection

a. Prior to jury selection, counsel is cautioned to ascertain the availability of all witnesses and subpoenaed documents.

b. Plaintiff’s counsel shall requisition the file to the Courtroom as soon as possible after assignment of the case to this part.

2. Marked Pleadings and Other Material: Plaintiff’s counsel shall furnish the Court with copies of:

a. Marked pleadings as required by CPLR 4012;

b. A copy of any statutory provisions in effect at the time the cause of action arose upon which either the plaintiff or defendant relies;

c. The bill(s) of particulars;

d. Each attorney must provide the Court with a list of all witnesses expected to be called.

e. All expert reports relevant to the issues;

f. If any part of a deposition is to be read into evidence (as distinguished from mere use on cross-examination) you must, well in advance, provide the Court and your adversary with the page and line number of all such testimony so that all objections can be addressed prior to use before the jury.

3. Pre-Marked Exhibits: All trial exhibits should be pre-marked for identification, and copies of a list of exhibits must be given to the Court before the trial actually begins. Failure to comply with this rule may result in sanctions, which may include an order precluding the offering of such exhibits at trial. See, Davis Eckert v State of New York, 70 NY2d 632 (1987)

Trial Procedure:

a. No communication with Jurors: In order to maintain the appearance of total impartiality, once the jury has been selected no one is to communicate in any form at any time with any juror. This includes both verbal and non-verbal communication including, without limitation, nods, shrugs and shaking the head. Do not even say ‘hello” or “good morning."

b. Trial Objections and Arguments: If a lawyer wishes to make an objection, it can be accomplished by standing and saying the word “objection”, and by adding thereto up to three more words so as to state the generic grounds for the objection, such as “hearsay,” ‘bolstering,” “leading,” or “asked and answered.” If you believe further argument is required, ask permission to approach the bench. This request will almost always be granted. Keep in mind that you will always be given the opportunity to make a full record.

c. Courtroom Comments and Demeanor: All remarks should be directed to the Court. Comments should not be made to opposing counsel. Personal remarks, including name-calling and insults, to or about opposing counsel will not be tolerated. Remember do not try to “talk over” each other; only one person speaks at a time or the record of the proceeding will be incomprehensible. Simple requests (e.g., a request for a document or an exhibit), should be accomplished in a manner which does not disrupt the proceedings of your adversary. If you require a significant discussion with your adversary, such as a possible stipulation, ask for permission to approach the bench. I will grant that request, and you will have a chance to talk to each other outside the presence of the jury. In addition, no grandstanding in the presence of the jury, i.e., making demands, offers or statements that should properly be made outside the presence of the jury.

d. Use of Proposed Exhibits: Do not show anything, including an exhibit or proposed exhibit to a witness without first showing it to opposing counsel. If this procedure is claimed to compromise trial strategy, a pre offering rule outside the presence of the jury should be first obtained.

e. Examination of Witnesses: Do not approach a witness without permission of the Court. Please allow the witness to complete his/her answer to your question before asking another question. Do not interrupt the witness in the middle of an answer, unless it’s totally un-responsive in which event you should seek a ruling from the Court. Direct examination, cross, redirect and re-cross are permitted. However, the Court does not ordinarily permit re-direct examination of a witness.

f. Jury Charge & Verdict Sheet: At the commencement of the trial all counsel shall submit suggested jury charges and a suggested verdict questionnaire by email to my law secretary. Amendments thereto shall be permitted at the final charge conference. If counsel relies on a Pattern Jury Instruction [PJI] without any charge thereto, it should be referred to by PJI number and topic only. If any changes to the PJI are suggested, then the proposed charge should be set forth and the changes should be highlighted or otherwise called to the Court’s attention. Citations to appropriate statutory or common law authority shall be given in support of suggested non-PJI jury charges or suggested PJI modifications. In addition, unless a marshaling of the evidence is waived, counsel should, at the final charge conference, provide the Court with the proposed facts which counsel believes should be marshaled by the Court, and the respective contentions of the parties.

Motions

Parties are encouraged to work out discovery motions in (a) short form order(s) . On all other motions, all parties must be present and ready for argument. The motion will be marked off calendar if the movant fails to appear. If the non-moving party does not appear , the motion will be granted on default, a copy of the signed short form order must be served on the non-moving parties by certified mail and all parties are bound by the terms of the order.

1. Appearances: Appearances must be made by attorneys with knowledge of the case and the pending motion.

2. Calendar Calls: There will be two calendar calls. The first call is at 10:00 a.m. and the second call is at 11:00 a.m.

3. Ready Cases: Ready cases are called in the order in which they are marked ready. Oral argument is required on all ready cases.

4. Adjournments: Motions can be adjourned by stipulation on the first return date. After the second adjournment consent of the Court is required.

5. E-filing: Courtesy hard copies must be submitted to the Motion Support Office five (5) business days prior to the hearing date.

Infant Compromise

Dates for appearance shall be scheduled by the Law Clerk and/Court Clerk.

back to top