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Courtroom 20 - Civil Trials, Law & Motion
IMPORTANT NOTICE (Revised February 9, 2022):
Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure sections 128 and 367.75, and the Administrative Orders of the Presiding Judge, effective February 7, 2022, and until further notice, Judge Guasco strongly encourages all attorneys, self-represented parties and parties who appear for a proceeding calendared in Courtroom 20 to do so remotely by Court Call or Zoom in lieu of personally appearing in Courtroom 20.
Remote appearances by Zoom shall be by stipulation of the parties (if a proceeding involves more than one party); if all parties cannot agree to the hearing being conducted by Zoom, the hearing will be conducted remotely via Court Call or in person. This remote appearance policy applies to all calendar matters, excluding court trials and jury trials, including law and motion, minor's compromise, ex parte, Status Conference, Case Management Conference, and Trial Setting Conference hearings. Judge Guasco also permits default prove-up hearings and other evidentiary hearings to be conducted by Zoom with leave of the Court or stipulation of the parties upon a request made by email to Courtroom20@ventura.courts.ca.gov not later than 30 days before the hearing or otherwise by order of Judge Guasco. Court Trials may be conducted by Zoom upon the stipulation of the parties and with leave of Judge Guasco. The order permitting the conduct of a Court Trial by Zoom shall occur at the Trial Setting Conference or otherwise at Judge Guasco's direction.
Persons who wish to appear by Zoom for law and motion, minor's compromise, ex parte, Status Conference, Case Management Conference, and Trial Setting Conference hearings must notify the Court of the request and, if applicable, the stipulation of the parties to that effect, via email to Courtroom20@ventura.courts.ca.gov, not later than three (3) court days (excluding weekends and holidays) before the hearing. If the Court does not receive such timely notice, the parties must appear remotely via Court Call or in person. If a Zoom appearance is approved, each attorney or self-represented party shall receive an email from Judge Guasco's Judicial Assistant or Judicial Secretary confirming Judge Guasco's approval of the Zoom appearance and providing the Zoom invitation with log-on instructions.
All those appearing by Zoom shall comply with the following orders: (1) participants shall be dressed in business-like, not casual, attire appropriate to the formality of the courtroom; (2) participants may not use background features available on the Zoom app; (3) participants shall be in a private, quiet location devoid of distractions, including loud noises; (4) participants shall not be driving an automobile or otherwise engaged in any activity which distracts from the ability of participants to focus on the court proceeding; (5) participants shall not use any filters or graphics which modify or alter the video image or voices of the participants; (6) at all times, participants shall behave in a manner consistent with proper courtroom decorum; and (7) participants must arrange for reliable internet access which ensures, to the extent possible, uninterrupted audio and video connection during the Zoom proceeding. A willful or intentional violation of any of these orders may be punished by a monetary sanction pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 177.5, or by contempt of court, which may result in a fine of $1,500 or confinement in jail for up to five days for each violation. The Zoom invitation contains a phone-in access option in the event that video or audio connectivity is lost during the remote video session.
The public may access proceedings held remotely in Courtroom 20 via the audio live-stream portal on the Court's website at http://www.ventura.courts.ca.gov/live_stream.html.
Persons appearing by Court Call must register with Court Call not later than 4:30 p.m. the court day (excluding weekends and holidays) before the hearing.
Please be advised that Judge Guasco does not consider an in-person appearance to be any more or less persuasive than a remote appearance.
Any and all emails to the Courtroom 20 address must be simultaneously copied on all other attorneys or self-represented parties appearing in the action.
Effective July 15, 2020, Judge Guasco will conduct Informal Discovery Conferences ("IDC"s) in unlimited civil cases pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 2016.080. The purpose of an IDC is to permit the parties, with the assistance of the Court, to resolve a discovery dispute by mutual agreement and avoid the delay, expense, and uncertainty of litigation.
Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 2016.080, subdivision (a), Judge Guasco may conduct an IDC upon the request of a party or the stipulation of the parties or on the Court's own motion, but only after the parties have met and conferred in a good faith attempt to resolve the discovery dispute in compliance with Code of Civil Procedure section 2016.040. Judge Guasco expects that a good faith attempt to resolve the discovery dispute involves more than a cursory phone call, email, or letter exchange. The parties should diligently attempt an informal resolution of the discovery dispute to the fullest extent possible before requesting an IDC, including demonstrating a willingness to compromise to the extent consistent with the rights and duties of the parties.
A party requesting, or responding to a request for, an IDC must comply with Code of Civil Procedure section 2016.080, subdivision (b). The request and any response thereto must provide the following information in specific factual detail:
- The precise nature of the discovery dispute, including but not limited to the category of information sought, the interrogatory or request or demand number associated therewith, the response thereto, the relevance and importance of the information sought, the reasons for any objection to providing the information, the existence and scope of any privilege asserted, and the burden or expense, if any, of compliance.
- A concise summary of all efforts made by the parties demonstrating a diligent and good faith attempt to resolve the discovery dispute in whole or in part, including any offers or proposals for resolution of the discovery dispute which have been exchanged.
- Any issues of timing concerning the disputed discovery.
- The extent of any willingness on the part of the parties to modify the discovery request or response to accommodate the concerns raised by the parties in the course of the discovery dispute.
Judge Guasco conducts IDCs telephonically by Court Call only Tuesday-Friday at 9:30 a.m. The time limits for IDCs are 15 minutes for basic discovery disputes and 30 minutes for more complex discovery disputes. Judge Guasco limits IDCs to two (2) per morning.
To request an IDC, contact Judge Guasco's secretary, Denise Arreola, at (805) 289-8705. The requesting papers must be emailed, with a simultaneous email copy to all other counsel/self-represented parties, to Courtroom20@ventura.courts.ca.gov. If Judge Guasco grants the request for an IDC, he will issue an order to that effect and Ms. Jacques will contact the parties accordingly and advise them of available dates and times for the IDC. Any responding papers must be emailed to Courtroom20@ventura.courts.ca.gov not later than five (5) days after the date the responding party receives that email request. Requesting and responding papers shall not exceed five (5) pages in length. Do not include declarations or exhibits; a concise summary of the discovery dispute will suffice.
Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 2016.080, subdivision (c)(2), the Court may toll the deadline for filing a discovery motion pending the completion of the IDC.
Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 2016.080, subdivision (c)(1), the IDC will be conducted on a date not later than 30 days after the date the request is received by the Court.
Any agreement reached by the parties in the course of the IDC will be memorialized in a written stipulation to be signed by counsel/self-represented parties, and Judge Guasco will enter an order thereon.
Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 2016.080, subdivision (e), in the absence of a written stipulation and order, the occurrence or outcome of an IDC does not bar a party from timely filing a discovery motion or prejudice the disposition of such a discovery motion.
Only counsel who are primarily responsible for advising the parties and have full authority to resolve the discovery dispute shall participate in the IDC. Self-represented parties are required to participate in the IDC.
The responsibility to make the necessary arrangements with Court Call for the IDC shall be assigned as follows: (a) counsel of record for the requesting party; (b) if the requesting party is self-represented, then counsel of record for the responding party; or (c) if both parties are self-represented, then the requesting party. The parties are solely responsible for the fees charged by Court Call in relation to the IDC. For any party who has received a fee waiver from the Court, contact Court Call to determine if it will waive its fee accordingly.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chief Justice and the Ventura Superior Court Presiding Judge have issued administrative orders affecting civil actions. Effective June 9, 2020, the Presiding Judge implemented the Civil Reopening Plan. You may obtain a copy of this plan at: http://www.ventura.courts.ca.gov/covid19/CivilReopeningPlanFinal.pdf.
Section 2 of the Civil Reopening Plan states that all trial dates occurring on or after June 15, 2020, have been vacated and converted to Trial Setting Conferences ("TSC"s). The TSC must be attended by counsel of record who will be trying the case and all self-represented parties.
For TSCs occurring on or after July 1, 2020, the parties must serve and file a single, written, Joint TSC Statement not exceeding five (5) pages containing the following information at least 10 calendar days before the TSC:
- A brief summary of the nature of the case, including the date(s) of the incident(s) or event(s) or transaction(s) which is (are) the subject(s) of the action; a concise description of the incident(s) or event(s) or transaction(s) which is (are) the subject(s) of the action; the causes of action in the complaint and any cross-complaint; the primary monetary damages and/or other relief being claimed; and the primary defenses being alleged.
- The status of discovery, including that which has been completed as well as that yet to be completed, and the dates upon which the parties anticipate discovery will be completed.
- Any issues of statutory priority.
- Readiness for trial, including the date requested to begin trial.
- Whether the case will be tried before a jury or the Court in whole in or in part. Please note that, for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Court will strictly follow mask and social distancing protocols for all trial participants, including jurors, attorneys, parties, witnesses, court staff and judge. Based upon the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic and projections by the CDC and California State Department of Health, Judge Guasco is not setting any matters for jury trial sooner than February, 2021. Judge Guasco is setting matters for court trial beginning the week of August 17, 2020. All trial dates set at the TSC are dates certain.
- The timing of dispositive motions prior to trial.
- Amenability of the parties to Alternative Dispute Resolution ("ADR"), including mediation, arbitration, and Mandatory Settlement Conference ("MSC"). In light of the lengthy delay in setting and the severe restrictions in conducting jury trials during the COVID-19 pandemic, Judge Guasco urges the parties to consider some form of ADR as a method of achieving finality and closure on mutually acceptable terms.
- Reasonable time estimate for trial.
- Any issues of bifurcation.
- Any other issues or circumstances materially affecting resolution of the case.
Please type the date, time, and courtroom of the TSC to the right of the case caption on the front of the Joint TSC Statement.
The Joint TSC Statement may identify the parties' respective positions as to each of the items, including any areas of agreement or disagreement. The parties must meet and confer in good faith in the preparation of the Joint TSC Statement.
If the case is scheduled for a court trial at the TSC, the Court will give the parties a schedule for the service and filing of witness lists, exhibit lists, exchange of exhibits, and filing of trial briefs and in limine pleadings prior to trial.
When the Court sets a case for jury trial, the Court will schedule a Final Trial Setting Conference ("FTSC") 90 days before the trial date. The procedure described above applies to the FTSC, including the requirement that the parties meet and confer in good faith in the filing of the Joint FTSC Statement. At the FTSC, the Court will confirm the trial date, or advance the trial date (only on the stipulation of the parties), or continue the trial date to a date available on the Court's calendar (by stipulation of the parties or otherwise). If the trial date is confirmed at the FTSC, the Court will give the parties a schedule for the service and filing of witness lists, exhibit lists, exchange of exhibits, and filing of trial briefs and in limine pleadings prior to trial.
Pursuant to the current COVID-19 administrative orders of the Presiding Judge, all counsel of record and self-represented parties shall appear at the TSC or FTSC telephonically via Court Call. There are no exceptions. Counsel for plaintiff is responsible for making the necessary arrangements with Court Call. If the plaintiff is self-represented, then counsel for the defendant shall make the arrangements. If both parties are self-represented, then the plaintiff must make the necessary arrangements with Court Call. You may contact Court Call as follows: www.courtcall.com, or call 888-882-6878.
The Court entertains stipulations of the parties and proposed orders thereon modifying any of the orders made at the TSC or FTSC, provided that any such stipulation sets forth the good cause for doing so.
The Court calls the law and motion calendar Monday through Friday at or shortly after 8:30 a.m. Please check in with the judicial assistant in courtroom 20 at 8:20 a.m.
The Court may call the calendar out of order depending on the nature and complexity of the matters. The Court typically takes name change petitions first.
The Court issues written tentative decisions, time permitting. Typically, tentative decisions are published before 5:00 p.m. the day before the hearing on the Ventura Superior Court website: http://www.ventura.courts.ca.gov/. Tentative decisions are posted under the "Tentative Rulings" link on the website. Each tentative decision posted to the Court's website contains a notice concerning the option of the parties to appear or not appear at the hearing, or to submit on the tentative decision without argument or appearance.
The Court invites parties to address the tentative decision. Judge Guasco views tentative decisions as just that – tentative. They may change depending on points raised during argument.
The Court permits one round of argument, with the moving party addressing the Court first, followed by the opposing party responding, and then the moving party presenting brief rebuttal. Once argument in this fashion has concluded, the Court will advise the parties that it is adopting its tentative decision as its ruling with or without modification, or that the Court is taking the matter under submission and will rule at a later date.
The Court issues written rulings on submitted matters anywhere from one week to 60 days after the date of submission, depending upon the nature and complexity of the motion(s), as well as the press of other business before the Court. Most motions are resolved by adoption of the tentative decision as written or modified after argument. The Court takes very few matters under submission.
The Court requires that all exhibits submitted in support of or opposition to motions be tabbed with numbers (plaintiff) or letters (defendant) at the bottom of the pleadings. All exhibits must be identified and authenticated by a supporting declaration. The parties should make every effort to limit the number and volume of exhibits to only those relevant and necessary to the motion before the Court. If an exhibit consists of a document exceeding five (5) pages, please highlight the portions within the exhibit which are relevant to the motion or opposition.
The Court expects that most, if not all, discovery disputes can be resolved without the need for a formal motion and hearing if the parties meet and confer with reasonable diligence and in good faith. The Court expects the meet and confer process to narrow the disputed issues which will need to be resolved by a motion. No discovery motion will be heard unless the parties adhere to the requirement of a separate statement as directed by the Code of Civil Procedure and the Rules of Court.
The Court strictly adheres to the motion practice statutes and rules set forth in the Code of Civil Procedure and the Rules of Court, including but not limited to the format and content of pleadings, page limitations, and the required notice.
The Court expects that the litigation of motions will be limited to the following pleadings: (1) notice of motion and motion, memorandum, and supporting declarations and exhibits; (2) opposition, memorandum, and supporting declarations and exhibits; and (3) reply. The Court will not consider supplemental oppositions or replies filed without prior leave of the Court.
The Court typically directs the moving party to serve and file a notice of ruling and proposed order regardless of who prevails on the motion.
There is no "second call" on the law and motion calendar in Courtroom 20. While the Court attempts to accommodate calendar preferences, litigants should be prepared to have their matters heard during the time the Court is in session conducting the law and motion calendar. The law and motion calendar concludes when the last matter is heard, typically by no later than 10:00 a.m.
Summary judgment motions are heard on Mondays only at 8:20 a.m. Judge Guasco hears no more than two summary judgment motions on a Monday calendar. In those instances in which there are no available Monday dates on which to hear a summary judgment motion in the time required by the Code of Civil Procedure, the Court permits those motions to be heard on a law and motion calendar date other than a Monday by stipulation of the parties or otherwise at the direction of the Court. This is the exception and not the rule.
From time to time, the Court may ask the Legal Research Attorney to contact the attorneys (or self-represented litigants) concerning the need to continue a hearing to permit the Court and its research staff additional time to read and consider a motion.
1. Trial Briefs & In Limine Motions: All trial briefs and in limine motions shall be served on all parties and filed with the courtroom judicial assistant by no later than the dates ordered at the Final Trial Setting Conference, or otherwise at the direction of the Court. Service shall be either by personal service or by email service with pdf attachment. All trial documents shall be filed with the Judicial Assistant in Courtroom 20.
In limine motions shall be limited to those necessary to resolve evidentiary or other legal issues before the selection of the jury. Each in limine motion shall not exceed five (5) pages. The Court expects that each side shall file no more than five (5) in limine motions, but no party may file more than ten (10) in limine motions without leave of the Court to do so.
Oppositions to in limine motions shall be served on all parties and filed with the courtroom judicial assistant by no later than the date ordered at the Final Trial Setting Conference or otherwise at the direction of the Court. Service shall be either by personal service or by email service with pdf attachment.
2. Jury Questionnaires: The Court uses a standard questionnaire which is handed out to jurors during selection. The Court solicits the input of counsel and self-represented parties prior to distribution of the standard questionnaire to jurors. The standard questionnaire is answered orally by jurors during the Court's voir dire of the panel.
The Court discourages the use of questionnaires requiring jurors to respond in writing except in cases involving pre-trial publicity. If either party requests the use of such a jury questionnaire, the requesting party(ies) shall serve and file a joint proposed jury questionnaire (including all written instructions to jurors) not later than five (5) calendar days before the morning of the first day of trial or otherwise at the direction of the Court. Service shall be by personal service or email service with pdf attachment. The parties must agree on which party will assume the responsibility of preparing and copying the questionnaires, otherwise the Court will appoint a party to do so. The Court will not prepare or copy questionnaires (except the Court's standard questionnaire discussed in the preceding paragraph). Any questionnaires to be answered in writing by jurors(including copies of same in an amount to be determined by the Court) shall be present in Court before jury selection starts. Additional copies of the questionnaire shall be provided as needed by the party appointed by agreement of the parties or order of the Court. The party appointed to copy questionnaires will also be the party providing copies of the completed questionnaires to all other parties, with the originals being provided to the Court. Failure to follow these procedures may result in the waiver of the use of such juror questionnaires.
3. Jury Fees: All jury fees must be posted as required by the Code of Civil Procedure, the California Rules of Court, and the Ventura Superior Court Local Rules.
4. Jury or Court Trial: The parties shall advise the Court whether the trial will be by the Court or by a jury at the time of the Final Trial Setting Conference. Any waiver of jury occurring after the Final Trial Setting Conference shall be confirmed by written stipulation and order or by oral stipulation entered on the record on the first day of trial.
5. Time Estimate: The reasonable time for competition of the trial, including jury selection and deliberations, shall be estimated at the Final Trial Setting Conference. If the parties agree the reasonable time estimate has changed after the Final Trial Setting Conference, they must so advise the Court as soon as possible before the first day of trial.
6. Court Reporter: Please confirm that arrangements have been made for a court reporter upon receiving notice the case is being called out for trial. It is the parties' sole responsibility to hire and pay for a court reporter. If the parties waive a court reporter, the parties are advised that any challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence to support the verdict or any ruling by the Court will be deemed waived on appeal. (Aguilar v. Avis Rent A Car System, Inc. (1999) 21 Cal.4th 121, 132.) Accordingly, the Court strongly encourages the parties to retain a court reporter for in limine hearings, jury selection, and all trial proceedings, including but not limited to the rendering of a verdict and any post-trial motions. The Court requests that the court reporter retained by the parties have Realtime® capability as of the beginning of opening statements. The court reporter may charge an additional fee for this service, but the Court finds it helpful in ruling on evidentiary objections during trial. Indigent parties who have received a fee waiver are entitled to a court reporter without charge upon timely written request in conformity with the Ventura Superior Court's Administrative Order No. 18.06, which is available in the clerk's office and the court's website: http://www.ventura.courts.ca.gov/.
7. Emails: Judge Guasco does not accept emails directly from any of the parties. Instead, if Judge Guasco invites or approves an email from the parties, any such email shall be sent to the following email address: Courtroom20@ventura.courts.ca.gov (attn.: Judicial Assistant Courtroom 20) or otherwise at the direction of the Court.
8. Exhibits: All exhibits shall be exchanged and pre-marked before the start of jury selection. To the extent that the parties' exhibits duplicate each other, the parties shall agree on a master set of exhibits with plaintiff assigned a range of numbers beginning with the number "1," and additional plaintiffs with subsequent number ranges consecutively thereafter, proceeding to each of the defendants being assigned consecutive number ranges thereafter. Each distinct exhibit shall have only one number (i.e., no one exhibit shall have more than a single exhibit number designation). Exhibits shall not have letter designations, except letters may be used as a sub-designation of a numbered exhibit (e.g., "1A").
The parties shall exchange exhibit and witness lists, as well as exhibits, by the deadline ordered at the Final Trial Setting Conference unless otherwise directed by the Court.
9. Mini Opening Statements: Any request for "mini opening" statements during jury selection shall be made to the Court by no later than the first day of trial. (Code of Civ. Proc., § 222.5, subd. (d).) The mini opening statements shall be neutral, non-argumentative descriptions of each party's claims and/or defenses, and they may include a general overview of the facts of the case. The mini opening statements shall not exceed two (2) minutes per party. The Court shall admonish the prospective jurors that: (a) the mini opening statements are not evidence; (b) they are provided only to permit the jurors to better understand the nature of the case and of the questions they may be asked in voir dire; (c) they are provided to permit the jurors to determine if they have any life experiences, opinions, or biases that may prevent them from objectively, fairly, and impartially hearing the evidence and rendering a verdict in the type of case described; and (d) the jurors shall not form any prejudgments, biases, or assumptions about the case or the evidence from the mini opening statements.
10. Jury Instructions: Counsel shall meet and confer for the purpose of submitting a joint set of agreed-upon jury instructions and verdict forms to the Court by no later than the first day of trial or otherwise at the direction of the Court. To the extent possible, the instructions and verdict forms shall be those approved by the Judicial Council (CACI). A party or parties shall be appointed by mutual agreement of the parties or order of the Court to prepare an initial and final set of CACI pattern instructions and verdict forms. The Court does not encourage special jury instructions or verdict forms which vary from the CACI forms. To the extent that special instructions are essential to correctly instruct the jury, the party requesting a special instruction approved by the Court shall be responsible for preparing and submitting the initial and final versions of any such special instruction.
11. Audio/Visual: Parties are responsible for their own audio/visual needs in the course of their presentations. The Court will not provide technical support to any party. Any party showing a PowerPoint or similar projection presentation to the jury in opening statement or closing argument shall provide a hard copy of the slides to counsel and the clerk not later than 15 minutes before the presentation. The clerk shall mark the slide presentation as a Court's special exhibit for purposes of appellate review. All slide presentations shall adhere to the Court's in limine and other rulings, the evidence, and the law. Any objections to slides proposed to be shown to the jury shall be addressed to the Court outside the presence of the jury.
12. Jury Selection:
Hardships: Jurors are pre-screened for hardship excuses in the Jury Assembly Room using the following protocol: (a) Jurors are advised of the length of their service on the case; (b) jurors requesting a hardship excuse must fill out and sign a form under penalty of perjury asserting their specific hardship excuses; (c) Judge Guasco reviews the hardship excuse affidavits in an office adjacent to the Jury Assembly Room; (d) Judge Guasco marks on the hardship excuse affidavit form whether the juror's request to be excused is granted or denied; (e) if a hardship excuse affidavit form is incomplete or ambiguous, Judge Guasco asks the Jury Assembly Staff to call the juror to the window, the Jury Assembly Staff person will obtain additional information to be written on the form limited solely to the factual basis for the requested hardship excuse, and Judge Guasco indicates on the form whether the hardship excuse is granted or denied; (f) Judge Guasco has no contact with prospective jurors; (g) the Court provides the parties with a copy of any hardship excuse affidavit which Judge Guasco has denied; and (i) once this process is complete, the pre-screened jurors who have not been excused by Judge Guasco are directed to Courtroom 20 to begin jury selection.
Voir Dire: Judge Guasco and the parties will voir dire a panel of 24 pre-screened, time-qualified prospective jurors. 13 prospective jurors will be seated in and around the jury box. 11 prospective jurors will be seated in the first two rows of the audience. All prospective jurors will be seated in seats numbered plainly 1-24. Judge Guasco will voir dire the first 24 prospective jurors. Then the parties are permitted to voir dire the 24 jurors. At the conclusion of voir dire, the prospective jurors are sent on a recess until later in the day or the following day or otherwise as directed by the Court. The Court provides the parties with both the alphabetical and random juror lists before voir dire commences.
Challenges for cause are made outside the presence of the jury. The Court will make a record of all challenges for cause and rulings thereon. Once the Court has ruled on all challenges for cause, the parties have passed the remaining prospective jurors for cause, and there are 12 jurors in the box, the Court will proceed to the exercise of peremptory challenges.
Peremptory challenges are exercised outside the presence of the jury. Peremptory challenges shall be exercised only as to the 12 prospective jurors seated in the box. For each prospective juror in the box removed by the exercise of a peremptory challenge, one prospective juror from the remaining prospective jurors in that panel of 24 will be selected as a replacement, starting with number 13 and working up to number 24, before proceeding to the exercise of the next peremptory challenge. Judge Guasco confers with the parties at each stage during the exercise of peremptory challenges to make sure that prospective jurors are being seated, excused and replaced in the box of 12 in random consecutive order.
Acceptance of Panel and Selection of Alternate Jurors: When all parties "pass" on the exercise of peremptory challenges as to the 12 prospective jurors in the box, the parties will be deemed to have accepted the panel. The clerk will swear the 12 jurors in upon their return from the recess as directed by the Court. In the interim, the Court immediately will proceed to the selection of alternate jurors. Prospective alternate jurors will be seated according to the next prospective juror remaining in the panel of 24, the lowest number being first (starting with 13 and working up to 24). Each party will have a maximum of one (1) peremptory challenge for each prospective alternate juror (e.g., 1 alternate = each party has 1 peremptory challenge as to the alternate; 2 alternates = each party has 2 peremptory challenges as to the alternates). When all parties "pass" on the exercise of peremptory challenges as to the prospective alternate juror(s), the parties will deemed to have accepted the alternate jurors. The clerk will swear in the alternate juror(s) when the jurors return from the recess as directed by the Court.
13. Bench Conferences: The Court discourages bench conferences except by invitation of the Court. The parties should attempt in good faith and with due diligence to address any and all anticipated evidentiary or legal issues affecting the presentation of the evidence in limine. Bench conferences are not reported. The Court will make a record of any bench conference at the next available opportunity (typically at breaks).
14. Telephone Calls: Any telephone calls to the Court concerning scheduling issues must be directed to Judge Guasco's judicial secretary, Denise Arreola, at (805) 289-8705. The Court will not receive or consider ex parte communications from any party or attorney.
15. Trial Schedule: Monday – Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Typically, there is one, 15-minute break in the morning, and one, 15-minute break in the afternoon. The Court expects the parties, their attorneys, their witnesses, and the court reporter to be on time. The Court Reporter must be personally present (not attend by Court Call or remote video conference).
16. Entry of Judgment: The Court will direct the prevailing party(ies) to serve and file a proposed judgment(s) consistent with the jury's verdict(s) and in conformity with the Rules of Court and the Code of Civil Procedure. The Court invites the parties to stipulate to a longer period for entry of the judgment on the verdict.
Courtroom 20 Tentative Rulings
|Case Number||Event Type||Event Date||Event Time||Department||Document|
|56-2022-00563045-CU-PL-VTA||Motion to Compel||8/8/2022||8:20 AM||20||Tentative|
|56-2022-00562531-CU-PO-VTA||Motion to Compel||8/4/2022||8:20 AM||20||Tentative|
Courtroom 20 Calendar
|Event Time||Event Date||Event Type||Event Status||Case Number||Case Title||Case Category||Dept.|
|8:20 AM||8/8/2022||Demurrer (CLM)||SCHEDULED||56-2022-00563045-CU-PL-VTA||Merrick Brunker vs. Merck & Co Inc||Civil - Unlimited||20|
|8:20 AM||8/8/2022||Motion to Compel||SCHEDULED||56-2022-00563045-CU-PL-VTA||Merrick Brunker vs. Merck & Co Inc||Civil - Unlimited||20|
|8:20 AM||8/8/2022||OSC - Change of Name||SCHEDULED||56-2022-00567123-CU-PT-VTA||In the Matter of Kidd||Civil - Unlimited||20|
|8:20 AM||8/8/2022||Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel of Record (CLM)||SCHEDULED||56-2021-00558331-CL-BC-VTA||Pipelinersales Corporation vs. Genies Therapeutics Inc||Civil - Limited||20|
|8:20 AM||8/8/2022||Motion to Set Aside Dismissal||SCHEDULED||56-2020-00539122-CU-MC-VTA||Master vs Master||Civil - Unlimited||20|
|8:20 AM||8/8/2022||Motion to Strike||SCHEDULED||56-2022-00563045-CU-PL-VTA||Merrick Brunker vs. Merck & Co Inc||Civil - Unlimited||20|
|8:20 AM||8/9/2022||Motion for Attorney Fees (CLM)||SCHEDULED||56-2021-00549519-CU-MC-VTA||S&B Filters Inc vs. No Limit Enterprises Inc||Civil - Unlimited||20|
|8:20 AM||8/9/2022||Motion to Dismiss||SCHEDULED||56-2020-00542387-CU-PO-VTA||Murphy vs Simi Valley Healthcare||Civil - Unlimited||20|
|10:00 AM||8/9/2022||Jury Trial (LC)||VACATED||56-2019-00531557-CU-MM-VTA||Nan Sun Ballagh vs. Los Robles Regional Medical Center||Civil - Unlimited||20|
|10:00 AM||8/9/2022||Jury Trial (LC)||VACATED||56-2019-00532594-CU-PO-VTA||Yadira Palacios vs. Malorie Lanthier||Civil - Unlimited||20|
|8:20 AM||8/10/2022||Motion to Compel||SCHEDULED||56-2021-00555164-CU-MM-VTA||Harris vs. Dignity Health||Civil - Unlimited||20|
|8:20 AM||8/10/2022||Motion - Other (CLM)||SCHEDULED||56-2020-00542998-CU-PO-VTA||Comer vs. Piasecki||Civil - Unlimited||20|
|8:20 AM||8/10/2022||Motion to Compel||SCHEDULED||56-2021-00555164-CU-MM-VTA||Harris vs. Dignity Health||Civil - Unlimited||20|
|8:30 AM||8/10/2022||Case Management Conference||SCHEDULED||56-2021-00557755-CU-CR-VTA||Joshua Hartley vs. Superior Printing & Graphics Inc||Civil - Unlimited||20|
|8:30 AM||8/10/2022||Court's Order to Show Cause (CCM)||VACATED||56-2019-00535408-CU-BT-VTA||Ryan Tyler vs. FCA US LLC||Civil - Unlimited||20|
|8:30 AM||8/10/2022||Status Hearing||SCHEDULED||56-2020-00542998-CU-PO-VTA||Comer vs. Piasecki||Civil - Unlimited||20|
|8:30 AM||8/11/2022||Court's Order to Show Cause (CCM)||SCHEDULED||56-2019-00537664-CU-WT-VTA||Amie Jean Sulit vs. Community Memorial Health System||Civil - Unlimited||20|
|8:30 AM||8/11/2022||Trial Setting Conference||SCHEDULED||56-2019-00537664-CU-WT-VTA||Amie Jean Sulit vs. Community Memorial Health System||Civil - Unlimited||20|
|8:30 AM||8/11/2022||Trial Setting Conference||SCHEDULED||56-2018-00520072-CU-MM-VTA||Riss vs Los Robles Regional Medical Center||Civil - Unlimited||20|
|8:20 AM||8/12/2022||Motion - Other (CLM)||SCHEDULED||56-2020-00539122-CU-MC-VTA||Master vs Master||Civil - Unlimited||20|
|8:20 AM||8/12/2022||Motion for Summary Judgment and/or Adjudication||VACATED||56-2019-00527988-CU-IC-VTA||Benchmark Insurance vs. Fore Property||Civil - Unlimited||20|
|8:20 AM||8/12/2022||Motion for Summary Judgment and/or Adjudication||SCHEDULED||56-2019-00537664-CU-WT-VTA||Amie Jean Sulit vs. Community Memorial Health System||Civil - Unlimited||20|
|8:20 AM||8/12/2022||Motion - Other (CLM)||SCHEDULED||56-2022-00564418-CU-BC-VTA||Patricia Sisson vs. Hyundai Motor America||Civil - Unlimited||20|
|8:30 AM||8/12/2022||Case Management Conference||SCHEDULED||56-2021-00555376-CU-PO-VTA||Vicky Holmstrom vs. Jeanette Gomez||Civil - Unlimited||20|
|8:30 AM||8/12/2022||Case Management Conference||SCHEDULED||56-2021-00560004-CU-WT-VTA||Miguel Guardado vs. CTE South Inc||Civil - Unlimited||20|
|8:30 AM||8/12/2022||Case Management Conference||SCHEDULED||56-2019-00537073-CU-PO-VTA||Tejeda vs Casey||Civil - Unlimited||20|
|8:20 AM||8/15/2022||Demurrer (CLM)||SCHEDULED||56-2022-00564413-CU-WE-VTA||Jeffrey Lemasters Tahir vs. Lindsay Nielson||Civil - Unlimited||20|
|8:20 AM||8/15/2022||Motion to Strike||SCHEDULED||56-2022-00564413-CU-WE-VTA||Jeffrey Lemasters Tahir vs. Lindsay Nielson||Civil - Unlimited||20|
|8:30 AM||8/15/2022||Court Trial (SHC)||SCHEDULED||56-2020-00542463-CL-BC-VTA||Richard A Conrad vs. Dr. Ronald A Shoemaker||Civil - Limited||20|