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RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

of the
COURT OF COMMON PLEAS
GENERAL DIVISION

of
SUMMIT COUNTY, OHIO


8. PRETRIAL AND TRIAL PROCEDURE

8.01 Pretrial Procedure

The procedure for civil pretrial conferences shall be as follows:

(A) Exceptions

A pretrial conference shall be held in every civil case filed, unless:

(1) the assigned judge enters an order dispensing with said conference; or

(2) said judge permits an agreed statement of counsel in lieu of said pretrial conference. Upon entry of such order or agreed statement dispensing with the pretrial conference, provision shall be made for scheduling the case for trial.

(B) Appearance of Counsel; Continuance

Counsel who will actually handle the trial of a case shall attend all pretrial conferences unless excused by the judge. Continuances may be granted only by the judge scheduled to preside at the pretrial conference. No trial continuance will be granted on the grounds that counsel is not prepared to go forward if such counsel has failed to attend the pretrial conference.

(C) Parties To Be Present

All parties must be present at the pretrial conference unless excused by the judge. If a claim for relief by any party is covered in whole or in part by insurance, a representative of the insurance company or carrier authorized to handle the claim(s) for relief in controversy must be present at the pretrial conference, unless otherwise ordered by the judge. If a claim for relief against any party is fully covered by insurance, that party's presence at the pretrial conference is not required unless otherwise ordered by the Court.

(D) Attorney Preparation

At the pretrial conference, attorneys for all parties should be prepared to:

(1) discuss factual and legal theories of the case;

(2) discuss necessity or desirability of amendments to any pleadings or the filing of any additional pleadings;

(3) discuss simplification of issues;

(4) make admissions as to facts and genuineness of documents and other exhibits not in dispute;

(5) eliminate parties unnecessary to the case;

(6) give names of witnesses whom they intend to call at trial, together with a statement of the general nature of the testimony of each witness; if the Court so orders, counsel shall not be permitted to call additional witnesses at trial, except rebuttal witnesses, unless the names and addresses of said witnesses and the general nature of their testimony are furnished, in writing, to opposing counsel of record within a reasonable time prior to trial;

(7) give names, addresses and area(s) of expertise of any anticipated expert witnesses;

(8) exchange reports of any expert witnesses expected to be called upon to testify at trial;

(9) discuss limitations on the number of expert witnesses;

(10) provide a list of exhibits to be introduced at trial, and, if required by the judge, produce the exhibits for examination by the judge or parties;

(11) furnish an itemized list of special damages and expenses, and a full description of the nature if any injuries for which compensation is claimed;

(12) exchange medical reports and hospital records;

(13) produce information relative to insurance agreements in accordance with Civ.R. 26(B)(2);

(14) discuss necessity of supplementing interrogatory answers or other previous discovery;

(15) discuss procedures and time limitations for completion of any additional discovery;

(16) discuss whether a view of the premises is appropriate or necessary;

(17) discuss possibility of consolidation of cases for trial;

(18) consider the possibility of separation of issues, if any, for determination by or to the judge or the jury, and separate determination of the issues of liability and damages;

(19) submit and consider authorities on unique or controverted issues, or guarantee their submittal at least two (2) working days prior to trial;

(20) fully explore and be authorized to conclude settlement; and,

(21) discuss any other matters that may expedite the trial or disposition of the case.

(E) Motions

The judge may decide or take under consideration for decision, any motions pending in the case at the time of the pretrial conference.

(F) Failure to Appear

Failure of any attorney or party to appear at a pretrial conference, failure of an attorney to be prepared, and/or failure of any party to cooperate in good faith in the conduct of the pretrial conference, shall render said attorney or party, subject to sanctions as provided by Civ.R. 37, at the judge's discretion. Such sanctions may include an award of expenses and/or attorney fees to any party prejudiced by said failure and any other appropriate sanctions ordered by the Court.

8.02 Trial Date Assignment - Civil

At the initial pretrial conference, the judge shall assign a firm trial date. Each case assigned for trial according to the provisions of the rule, shall proceed for trial on the date assigned. If, in the Court's opinion, the plaintiff is not ready to proceed with trial, the case may be dismissed without prejudice by the Court. If the defendant is not ready for trial, a judgment may be awarded to plaintiff. If a case that has been set for trial is settled, the trial counsel shall immediately notify the Court, and as provided by these rules, file a Stipulation of Dismissal or other appropriate entry.

8.03 Trial Date Assignment - Criminal

The Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure shall be incorporated into these local rules in their entirety, as if fully reproduced, and shall govern the proper procedures in criminal cases.

8.04 Indigents

(A) Application for Fees

Any attorney appointed by the Court to represent an indigent defendant charged with a felony shall not request nor receive from said indigent, the indigent's relatives or anyone else, any fees for professional services rendered in connection with said appointment, without first securing the approval of this Court, and the Court shall, by journal entry, discharge such attorney from responsibility as appointed counsel. All applications for attorney fees and reimbursement of expenses shall be submitted on the appropriate form.

(B) Transcripts

Transcripts of the voir dire examination shall not be furnished at County or State expense in an appeal for indigent defendants unless it is approved by the trial judge upon application and a showing of good cause.

(C) Attorney Fees

The fee schedule for court-appointed attorneys is fixed by the County Council and is as shown on the following Schedule For Maximum Fees for Court-Appointed Attorneys:

(D) SCHEDULE OF MAXIMUM FEES FOR COURT APPOINTED ATTORNEYS

1. Aggravated Murder with specifications, 2929.04(A) and 2941.14(B)
Maximum per case (2 attorneys) $35,000
Expenses As approved by Court
2. Aggravated Murder, 2903.01
Maximum per attorney $6,000
Maximum per case (2 attorneys) $8,000
Expenses As approved by Court
3. Murder, 2903.02
Maximum per case $3,000
Expenses As approved by Court
4. Felony 4, Felony 5 and Felony 5 Non-Support
Felony 4 (plea) Maximum per case $500
Felony 5 (plea) Maximum per case $500
Felony 5 Non-Support (plea) $350
Maximum per case - Trial $1,250
E. Expenses As approved by Court
5. Felony other than above
Maximum per case - Trial $1,250
Maximum per case - Plea $575
Expenses As approved by Court
6. All misdemeanors
Maximum per case per trial $750
Expenses As approved by Court
7. Post-Conviction
Maximum per case $250
Expenses As approved by Court
8. Sexual predator hearing
Maximum $300
No additional fees for agreed designation  
9. Hourly reimbursement rates
In court $50
Out of court $40
10. Appellate representation $1,250
11. Payment and/or reimbursement for expenses associated with providing representation shall be made upon submission of the Motion, Entry and Certification for Appointed Counsel Fees OPD-1026 and Affidavit of Indigency which has been approved by the assigned judge.
12. Reimbursement for attorney fees for indigent defense will be calculated utilizing the charges for which the defendant was originally indicted.
13. Post Conviction Matters/Multiple Billing: Any attorney requesting fees for post-conviction matters (judicial release, probation violation, etc.) or subsequent billing on an active case shall indicate so on the form OPD-1026 within the Summary of Charges, Hours, Expenses and Billing section. Attorneys shall clearly identify the type of post-conviction matter involved with the fees request within said section and utilize the date the assigned judge set forth a decision on the matter as the termination date.
14. Fees will not be paid if the request for payment in Item 11. above is submitted to the County Fiscal Office more than sixty (60) days after the termination of said case except upon approval of the Administrative Judge. All other fees will be reduced by fifty percent (50%) if the request for payment for indigent defendant is submitted to the assigned judge more than thirty (30) days after the termination of the case.
15. Approval for additional compensation for felony or misdemeanor cases in excess of the maximum, as indicated will only be made by thc assigned judge in extraordinary cases. The additional fees paid may not exceed fifty (50%) of the maximum scheduled fees and are subject to the hourly rates of Item 9.
16. All requests and documentation for attorney fees shall be subject to random audits by the Summit County Fiscal Office.

 

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