Part 3.00 Conferences Before Trial 

2-3.01 Pre-trial settlement conferences
2-3.02 Final Trial Conferences
2-3.03 Jury Instructions

2-3.01 Pre-Trial Settlement Conferences

A. Any party on Motion may request a pre-trial settlement conference in any civil action. In addition, the Court may order that a pre-trial settlement conference be held. 

B. At least one pre-trial settlement conference shall be held in all civil jury actions.

C. The responsible attorneys who will try the case shall attend pre-trial settlement conferences. 

D. The attorney for each party shall have ascertained in advance of the pre-trial settlement conference the extent of settlement authority. Each attorney shall have present in person or immediately available by telephone a representative with authority to discuss and determine each aspect of potential settlement.

E. It shall be the duty of the attorneys for each of the parties involved in a cause of action to prepare a full and complete typewritten Pre-Trial Memorandum in form in accordance with these Rules. Unless otherwise ordered, the foregoing requirement shall not apply to a pre-trial settlement conference held in connection with a special progress call under LCR 2-2.11.

F. All pre-trial settlement conferences shall be governed by the Supreme Court Rules.

G. In the event of settlement prior to a scheduled pre-trial settlement conference or prior to trial, the attorneys shall immediately notify the Judge that the cause has been settled.

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2-3.02 Final Trial Conferences

A. In addition to the pre-trial settlement conference, the Court, in its discretion, may order a final trial conference during which the attorneys for each party shall be prepared to exhaust any possibility of settlement and discuss all issues remaining prior to trial. 

B. All attorneys responsible for conducting the trial shall appear in court for the final trial conference and at the time the case is called for trial. If any such attorney is unable to appear, alternate counsel shall present an affidavit of the responsible counsel setting forth the reasons he is unable to appear.

C. Counsel appearing for the final trial conference shall be familiar with and comply with the Trial Judge’s Standing Order relating to trial deadlines and the conduct of the trial. Counsel responsible for conducting the trial shall appear, with full authority of their clients to discuss each issue. 

D. Each attorney shall have present in person or immediately available by telephone a representative with authority to discuss and determine each aspect of potential settlement.

E. Motions in Limine shall be in writing and shall be presented to the Court at the final trial conference unless the Court orders that they be presented on a different date. The Court, in its discretion, may consider Motions in Limine presented after the final trial conference if it determines that the grounds became known subsequent to the deadline or for other good cause. All Orders on Motions in Limine shall be reduced to writing by movant’s counsel and presented to the Court for signature prior to voir dire examination in jury cases and opening statements in bench cases.

F. At the final trial conference or at any other time as may be designated by the Court, the parties shall produce all of the exhibits they expect to offer into evidence. Each of the exhibits shall be marked for identification by the attorneys, or as the Court may direct. The parties shall then stipulate as to the exhibits to which there are no objections, and such exhibits shall be admitted into evidence without the necessity of further foundation. 

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2-3.03 Jury Instructions

Any party submitting jury instructions shall provide the Court with two copies of each instruction, typed double-spaced on 8½ inches x 11 inches plain paper. One set of instructions shall be unmarked. The second set of instructions shall be marked in advance in the following manner: the party’s designation and instruction number, the I.P.I. number or citation to legal authority supporting the giving of the instruction, and the words “Given,” or “Objected,” or “Refused,” followed by an underlined area to be checked as appropriate. In civil cases, the Plaintiff, after the Court has approved the jury instructions, shall be responsible for providing the Court with written copies of the instructions for each juror prior to the start of closing arguments, in accordance with Supreme Court Rule 239(e).

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