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The Court schedules an initial status conference within 30 days after the Answer is filed. At the first conference the Court sets the dates for the motion cutoff, discovery cutoff, final pretrial conference, the trial, settlement conference, witness lists, expert witnesses and preliminary pretrial conference. The scheduling of other status conferences is determined on a case-by-case basis. The Court will sometimes allow status and/or pretrial conferences to be conducted by phone on occasion, particularly for out-of-state counsel. Telephone conferences are never permitted for the final pretrial conference, and clients with settlement authority must be present. Conferences addressing discovery disputes and settlement can be scheduled upon request.