Rule 11-5. Trials and Pretrials

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Rule 11-5. Trials and Pretrials

   A. TERMS: Civil and criminal jury terms shall be set in Dawson and Lincoln Counties each year by the judges of the district. A schedule of such terms shall be distributed to the bar in the district and to all other attorneys who request such a schedule. Jury trials in the other counties of the district shall be set by the court for each particular case.

   B. PRELIMINARY CONFERENCES: Preliminary conferences shall be held after a case is at issue. Preliminary conferences may be held by telephone conference. If the Court has determined that the expedited procedures set forth in rule 11-3(B) shall not apply, a preliminary conference may be scheduled by either party or the court on its own motion. At the preliminary conference, counsel shall be prepared to:

   (i) Complete the pleadings;

   (ii) Set a schedule for completion of discovery;

   (iii) Arrange for physical examination of any party involved in an action for personal injury;

   (iv) Set a time for trial;

   (v) Set a time for pretrial conference;

   (vi) If counsel and parties are willing to do so, waive a jury trial or stipulate to a six person jury if possible.

   C. PRETRIAL CONFERENCES: Pretrial conferences shall be scheduled as near as practicable to the time set for trial of the action. At the pretrial conferences, trial counsel shall be present and shall be prepared to:

   (i) Finalize the issues in the case;

   (ii) Stipulate to all uncontested matters, including liability, medical expenses, property damage, other losses, and the fairness and reasonableness of any estimate or actual loss or damage;

   (iii) File a witness list with the name and address of all witnesses to be called in the case in chief;

   (iv) Mark all exhibits to be offered at trial;

   (v) If there are no objections, to waive foundation or stipulate to the admission of exhibits;

   (vi) Estimate the length of trial;

   (vii) Estimate the length of voir dire;

   (viii) Submit preliminary proposed jury instructions and trial briefs;

   (ix) Discuss with the court all efforts made to settle the case and have available the parties or their representatives in order to continue negotiations for settlement of the case.

   Unless otherwise ordered, the court shall prepare a final pretrial order based on the agreements at the pretrial conference which shall be binding on the parties.

   D. INSTRUCTIONS: All proposed instructions shall be filed prior to the conference on instructions. Counsel shall be prepared to conduct the conference on instructions immediately following the final rest entered in the case. Counsel shall be prepared to argue the case immediately following the conference on instructions.

   E. AVAILABILITY OF COUNSEL: Counsel shall be available on short notice, either personally or by phone, as ordered by the court, during jury deliberations in the event the jury has a question or verdict is reached. The clerk or bailiff shall be notified of counsel's location unless counsel is excused.

   F. ABSENCE OF COUNSEL: In civil cases, it is not necessary that any party or counsel be present when the verdict is read. Counsel and the defendant shall both be present when a verdict is returned in a criminal case.

   G. FAILURE TO COMPLY: Failure to comply with the rules of this court, without good cause having been shown, shall subject the party or counsel to sanctions, and a dismissal or judgment may be entered against a non-complying party or a non-complying counsel for that party.

Adopted effective November 3, 1995.