When is a “trial” not a trial? In a petition for writ of administrative mandamus.

When a Petitioner files a Petition for Writ of Administrative Mandamus or Mandate, the Superior Court schedules a trial setting conference and then a trial. However, the “trial” on a petition for writ of administrative mandate is not really a trial. There is no voir dire, jury, opening and closing arguments, examination of witnesses, or marking or introduction of exhibits. It’s really a hearing, similar to the hearing on an appeal before the Court of Appeal. The briefs, citing to the administrative record, are generally far more important than the “trial.” Everything you want the trial court to consider should be in the Administrative Record, which must be lodged at least five days before the “trial” (Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 3.1140),¬†although Judges’ preferences vary as to when they want the administrative record lodged. ¬†You can call the clerk to ascertain your Judge’s preference.

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