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Pretrial Conferences

1.      Initial scheduling order: After the answer to the complaint is filed, the Court will issue a notice requiring the parties to submit, but not file, a short statement of the case. The short statement must summarize the factual background and legal basis for the action and outline proposed discovery. From that information, the Court will issue a scheduling order. If counsel have met pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(f), the proposed discovery plan may be submitted in lieu of these statements, although additional information required in the short statements may necessitate supplementing the proposed discovery plan. If the case poses unusual case management issues, the Court will hold a conference by telephone or in person.

2.      Settlement conference: This conference date is set in the initial scheduling order. It may, however, be advanced at the close of discovery if no dispositive motions are filed, or adjourned if an opinion on a dispositive motion is pending. All parties must attend the settlement conference with the TRIAL attorneys. Both counsel and clients should be prepared for serious settlement discussions. Insurance representatives and other persons necessary to the resolution of the case also must attend.

3.      Final pretrial conference: Trial procedures and final pretrial matters are discussed with the Court at this conference. Any final motions in limine will also be heard at the conference in order to avoid delay in the selection of the jury on the first day of trial. This conference generally occurs two weeks before trial. Two documents, a PROPOSED JOINT FINAL PRETRIAL ORDER and PROPOSED JOINT JURY INSTRUCTIONS, shall be submitted to chambers before the close of business one week before the final pretrial conference. The proposed joint jury instructions should be submitted electronically via the CM/ECF utilities, "Proposed Orders" function. As to the joint final pretrial order, in addition to complying with the requirements of E.D. Mich. LR 16.2 for its manner of preparation and content, the proposed joint final pretrial order must also include an estimate of time required for the direct examination of each witness.

4.     Status conference: The Court may schedule a status conference to facilitate the administration of a case when necessary. Counsel may, for good cause shown by motion, request a status conference at any time during the litigation. These are frequently conducted by conference call and should be scheduled through the case manager.


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