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All contested matters are set for trial and the attorneys must provide accurate time estimates for trial because if an attorney exceeds his time the court may continue the trial, or worse, the judge may deem your case submitted or declare a mistrial. Probate trial statements are jointly submitted and the attorneys must meet and confer in person and in good faith thirty days before the probate trial to prepare the Joint Trial Statement. The petitioner has the duty to initiate the meet and confer process although the local rules state that the responding parties must initiate if petitioner fails to do so.
Probate Trial Joint Statement Filing
The Joint Trial Statement meet and confer must take place thirty days before the probate trial and must be filed directly with the clerk of the probate department ten calendar days before the trial date. In rare cases where the parties are unable to agree on a Joint Trial Statement after a good faith meet and confer, then each party shall file and serve a Separate Trial Statement no later than ten calendar days before the trial date. Compliance may be extended only by order of the court.
Contents of Joint Trial Statement or Separate Trial Statement
Summarization of attempted compliance activity including dates of meetings and discussions and total time spent attempting to reach compliance. The statement must discuss in detail the the use of summaries or statements or other expedited means of presenting evidence including stipulated facts, agreements regarding admission of evidence, and agreements re summary of testimony. The Statement must include a complete and objective factual statement of the case including the names ages and relationships of all persons relevant to the proceeding and the date and substance of any documents or lack thereof and other relevant information.
PROBATE TRIAL PRACTICE TIP: Have your probate paralegal prepare written summaries and other expedited means of presenting evidence, along with a detailed log of dates and methods such as email that were used to convey the expedition.
The Statement must include a concise statement of every contested issue and all factors relevant to that issue, a list of all documents or summaries to be offered at trial and a summary of each documents content and purpose,and a copy of each appraisal and expert report to be offered at trial
Any motions in limine for the probate trial must comply with the notice provisions of Code of Civil Procedure section 1005 and must be set for hearing no later than the first day of trial.