Civil Pretrial

No case with the exception of F.E. & D. cases shall be called for trial unless a pre-trial conference has been held. Counsel shall agree on a trial date with the Judge or Clerk of the Civil Court or his/her Chief Deputy for Civil at the time of the pretrial conference. It shall be the duty of counsel to do the following at civil pretrial hearings:

Appearance: The counsel who will be trial counsel and who is authorized to act and negotiate on behalf of the party must be present. All parties in interest must be present at the pretrial unless such presence is excused by the Trial Judge. Telephone conferences may be arranged with approval of the Judge.

If the defense is being presented by an insurer, a representative of the casualty company should attend the pretrial conference and, in that event, it will not be necessary for the defendant to be personally present.

Statements: Each counsel shall present to the Court in writing, three (3) days before a pretrial hearing, a statement of the issues involved; whether or not a jury trial previously demanded will now be waived and if not, the number of jurors demanded; whether the case is one where the issue of liability should be tried separately with a subsequent trial on the issue of damages, if liability be found; estimate of trial time; discovery difficulties; exhibits; an itemization of special damages; witnesses; other matters which it is expected will be involved in the case; and whether a view is requested. Counsel will have in their Pretrial Statement a list of all witnesses they expect to call to testify. In the absence of reasonable notice to opposing counsel to the contrary, only those witnesses listed in the Pretrial Order will be permitted to testify at the trial. The only exceptions will be witnesses solely for the purpose of impeachment, rebuttal or other witnesses permitted to be called upon the showing of good cause.

All Pretrial Statements must contain certificates of service.

Discovery: All discovery shall be completed by the date of the pretrial conference, unless good cause is shown. Pretrial Order: Upon request of either party or the Judge, plaintiff’s counsel shall prepare and tender to opposing counsel for signature a Pretrial Order and the same shall be filed within fourteen (14) days subsequent to the pretrial and shall control the subsequent course of action unless modified at the trial to prevent manifest injustice. Exhibits: Each counsel shall bring to the pretrial conference all exhibits which are expected to be offered in evidence at the trial. Except for good cause shown, the Court will not permit the introduction of any exhibits unless they have been listed in the Pretrial Order, with the exception of exhibits to be used solely for the purpose of impeachment. Preliminary Conference: Counsel for all parties shall have a preliminary conference before the pretrial hearing at which time they will inspect exhibits, and arrive at all possible stipulations and fully explore the question of settlement. Jury Trial: An advance deposit of Four Hundred Dollars ($400.00)is required seven (7) days prior to the trial date or the jury is deemed waived. The Court will consider affidavits of hardship in appropriate circumstances. Views: A request for a view by the Judge or Jury will be made at the time of the pretrial conference. It is within the discretion of the Judge whether or not to permit a view.