Pretrial hearings are scheduled in all civil cases by the Assignment Office and any additional pretrial hearings are scheduled by the Court.
Pretrial conferences are scheduled in all civil cases for discussion of the case, discovery, and complex issues. Civil counsel for the parties should have authority to act on behalf of their clients as it is not necessary that the actual litigants be present at the pretrial hearing but should be available by telephone for consultations. Counsel are required to confer before the hearing pursuant to Local Court Rule 6.01 and to make a sincere effort to settle the case and to agree on evidentiary matters about which there is no genuine dispute. During Covid-19, The Court conducts all pretrials by telephone unless the party/parties is/are pro se and do not have current contact information. In such case(s), appearance is required by all parties. The Plaintiff in the case(s) is required to initiate a conference call with opposing counsel and the Court at the designated pretrial hearing time. Pretrial statements must be provided according to Local Court Rule 6.01 at all second pretrial hearings. Parties are only required to appear in court for a hearing or trial. Trial notebooks must be exchanged in accordance with pretrial memorandum for civil cases and should be submitted to the Court ten (10) days before the trial date.
Status Conferences are held only on request or if the Court feels it is needed. Parties should be prepared to discuss preliminary matters including but not limited to discovery issues, preliminary motions, etc. Status conferences may be held by phone or Zoom if parties agree or the Court requests.
If a resolution has been reached by the parties, prior to the court date, Plaintiff’s counsel is to notify the bailiff by email/fax of the resolution prior to the court date.