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20.01 Purpose

The purpose of this Rule is the prompt and fair disposition of litigation. To insure that all parties are equally and fairly treated, it is the goal of this Court to initiate early and continuing judicial control and management of each case assigned to a judge's docket.

It is therefore incumbent upon the judges to provide this general framework for management of cases, and the individual judges to articulate orders in each case for the uniform enforcement of procedural requirements and to insure that time deadlines applicable to any particular case or type of case are observed as is consistent with equitable treatment and the needs of the litigants.

20.02 Assignment of Cases

The assignment of cases shall conform to Rule 7.01 and 7.02 and in accordance with the Rules of Superintendence. The management and control shall then be the responsibility of that individual judge who is so assigned.

20.03 Limitations as to Time

Civil cases shall be divided into the following categories, with the time limitations for handling the case, as follows:

Professional Tort 24 months
Product Liability 24 months
Other Torts 24 months
Workers' Compensation 12 months
Foreclosures 12 months
Administrative Appeals 6 months
Complex Litigation 36 months
All Other Civil Matters 12 months

No trial shall be scheduled beyond the time limits without the express approval and concurrence of the individually assigned Judge, and for good cause shown.

(A) Judicial Control

As each case is filed and received, the bailiff of each judge shall index and record the case in the Court's card-filing system or computer-generated equipment. When service of the complaint on parties has been made, it shall proceed to the pretrial procedure.

(B) Pretrial Procedure

(1) The Court shall schedule a pretrial conference within ninety (90) days, with notice to all counsel, in accordance with Rule 8, of the pretrial date and time.

(2) At the pretrial conference, the judge shall determine:

(a) the status of discovery proceedings;

(b) the readiness of the matter for trial or settlement;

(c) motions filed or motions anticipated;

(d) alternate dispute resolution mechanisms; and,

(e) other matters affecting the finality of the case.

The Court may then make the necessary pretrial orders and shall set a date for final pretrial, if warranted.

(3) Counsel for the parties shall be prepared to discuss all of the issues and all those matters as outlined in Rule 8.

(4) If the matter is unusually complicated; the medical evidence is as yet undetermined; or, the litigant is under medical care, the Court may choose to order an additional status/pretrial conference before the trial date is set.

(C) Motions

All motions filed at the date of pretrial shall be scheduled for hearing, giving adequate response time to the adverse party. Any and all other motions shall be presented to the trial judge upon filing and the Court shall schedule hearing on these motions, if leave is granted, with adequate response time and notice of hearing date to the counsel for the parties.

(D) Pretrial Orders

All pretrial orders and rulings upon motions shall be signed by the Court and served upon all counsel-of-record.

(E) Trial

Trial shall proceed at the appointed time and date heretofore ordered by the Court. The Court may, but is not required to, have a status/settlement conference within two (2) weeks before the trial of any cause to determine if, in fact, the matter may be resolved, or if not, the following items:

(1) length of time for presentation of each side;

(2) number of witnesses;

(3) whether testimony is to be received by deposition, oral or video, and the requirement of an objection transcript so the Court may rule thereon;

(4) number of peremptory challenges;

(5) motions in limine;

(6) jury instructions; and,

(7) other matters necessary to the efficient determination of the matters to be presented at trial.

(F) Administrative Appeals

It shall also be the policy of the Court on all such appeals to follow Rule 19, and those rules shall apply herein.

(G) Post-Verdict/Post-Judgment Motions

All such motions shall be scheduled and heard by the Court, pursuant to either statute or to Rule 7.17 (D),(E), and (F).

20.04 Effect of These Rules

All other Rules of Court not inconsistent with these rules shall remain in full force and effect.


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