Being that each and every case in and of itself is unique, it should be apparent that trial preparation will vary from case to case. With this said, it is extremely important that the parties pay careful attention to the court’s minute entry that set the trial. This minute entry will not only provide you with the trial date, time, and location, but will also serve as a timeline of events. Particularly, parties should pay close attention to what type of documents your judge request be filed with the court and/or exchanged with the opposing party. Furthermore, the parties should pay careful attention to relevant deadlines regarding these filings and exchanges.
Many time when opposing a pro se (self represented) party I do not receive documents and/or filings in accord with the outlined schedule of the court. This can lead to problems for the offending party. When a party that I oppose fails to comply with the court schedule for document exchange and/or filing, I am left with no choice but to object to any piece of evidence and/or item not properly filed or disclosed in accord with the courts trial setting minute entry.
Nothing is more frustrating to the pro se client than preparing their case knowing they are opposing a represented party and then not being able to put submit anything into evidence, no matter how relevant, all because of some procedural technicality.
It is at least worth noting that the above outlined scenario I have been privy to see. However, generally the trial court judge or commissioner will be more liberal and understanding of a pro se party. However, even if you are afforded the most sympathetic of judges or commissioners, if you blatantly ignore the courts trial setting minute entry you are greatly minimizing your chances of success at the evidentiary hearing.
The thought of an evidentiary hearing or trial can be stressful. In efforts then to minimize this stress and increase your probability of success in your matter, it is highly suggested that if a evidentiary hearing or trial has been set in your case that you contact an experienced Arizona family law attorney.