JUDGE RICHARD FERENC—PREFERENCES
SCHEDULING CONFERENCE/ PRE-TRIAL:
CIVIL: Scheduling conferences are generally conducted with all counsel of record participating by a phone conference call. Plaintiff’s counsel should initiate the call and connect the court when all counsel are joined. Initial scheduling conferences are set 90 days after an action is filed. Counsels’ appearance is required at any final pre-trial which is generally scheduled two weeks prior to a scheduled jury or court trial. Parties need not attend any conference or pre-trial unless so ordered.
CRIMINAL: Counsel for all parties must appear at all pre-trials. Initial pre-trials are generally set within two weeks of a defendant’s arraignment. Subsequent pre-trials are set on a case by case basis keeping in mind R.C. 2945.71-73, which this court strictly enforces.
CIVIL: At the initial scheduling conference, after consulting with all counsel, the court will set a reasonable timeframe, i.e., 60, 90, 120 days, for discovery under Civ. R. s 26-36 to be substantially completed, excluding expert depositions. After this initial period, a second conference will be set to schedule a trial date, generally within three to six months thereafter. More definitive dates will be set and a scheduling order will be issued and strictly enforced.
CRIMINAL: Given the statutory time limits, adherence to Crim. R. 16, appropriate statutory provisions and the rules of evidence will be strictly enforced. Again, R.C. 2945.72-73 will be strictly enforced when setting a trial date.
Counsel should follow Local R. 4, available on the Court’s website, in conjunction with any appropriate Civil Rule or Criminal Rule that may be applicable to a particular motion. Generally, motions will be considered on the written briefs and will be considered submitted for determination when all memoranda are submitted in accordance with the applicable rules. Requests for an oral hearing will be determined on a case by case basis. Counsel shall contact the Court’s Constable-only to schedule a hearing on any motion at: 732-7102, unless otherwise directed by the court.
For any civil or criminal case, once a trial date has been scheduled, a continuance of the trial will be considered only if due to unforeseen circumstances in the completion of discovery or other events that significantly interfere with adequate trial preparation.
For civil and criminal cases, the Court will discuss appropriate issues in each given case. Counsel using any electronic media must schedule a meeting with the Court’s Bailiff no later than three days prior to trial to verify that Counsel’s electronic devices are compatible with the Court’s equipment, especially when using the video depositions of experts. Failure to do so may result in the preclusion of such an exhibit or video presentation.
In civil cases, parties are free to agree to employ any reasonable method of alternative dispute resolution. This court will not generally order parties to any ADR process unless all counsel agree that such an avenue presents a realistic opportunity for settlement. Using any ADR process as an alternative to discovery or for any reason other than trying to reach a reasonable settlement is inappropriate and will not be condoned.
EXPECTATIONS AND COMMENTS:
The court is mindful of the demands involved in trial litigation and takes reasonable steps to work with counsel, particularly when scheduling hearings and trials. Punctuality and Professionalism are expected of all counsels’ conduct throughout the course of all litigation, be it a scheduling conference, motion hearing or trial.