RULE 40. ASSIGNMENT OF CASES (b) Method. The Court Administrator shall schedule all trial dates. The moving party shall serve and file a request for a trial setting substantially in the form set forth at the end of these civil rules. The opposing party shall serve and file a similar request. If no response is received by the Court Administrator within 10 days from receipt of the moving party's request, the Court Administrator will schedule the trial. The initial request for trial setting shall be accompanied by a list of the names and addresses of all persons entitled to notice. All parties have the obligation to inform the Court Administrator promptly of any errors or changes in this list. It is the responsibility of all sides to a lawsuit as well as the court, to set a case to be tried within the "Advisory Case Processing Time Standards." The court may enter appropriate orders to insure that all cases are resolved within those time standards. (1) Scheduling Orders. If no agreed scheduling order is filed within sixty days after the trial date is assigned, the Court Administrator, under the supervision of the court, may set a scheduling order for the case. The scheduling order should include dates for the disclosure of primary witnesses and rebuttal witnesses. Other provisions may be required on a case by case basis. This pretrial schedule may be amended in writing by the mutual agreement of the parties. (i) Disclosure of Primary Witnesses. The date by which each party shall have disclosed all persons with relevant factual or expert knowledge whom the party intends to call at trial. (ii) Disclosure of Rebuttal Witnesses. The date by which each party shall have disclosed all persons whose knowledge did not appear relevant until the primary witnesses were disclosed and whom the party reserves the option to call as witnesses at trial. (iii) Scope of Disclosure. Disclosure of witnesses under this rule shall include the witnesses name, address, and phone number, along with a brief description of the witnesses relevant knowledge. Disclosure of expert witnesses shall also include a summary of the expert's opinions and the basis therefore and a brief description of the expert’s qualifications. (iv) Exclusion of Testimony. Any person not disclosed in compliance with this rule and a scheduling order may not be called to testify at trial, unless the Court orders otherwise for good cause and subject to such conditions as justice requires. (v) Discovery not Limited. This rule does not modify a party's responsibility to seasonably supplement responses to discovery requests or otherwise to comply with discovery before the deadlines set by a scheduling order. (d) Trials. (1) Trial Briefs. Trial briefs shall be filed and served in all cases. The original copy shall be filed with the Clerk, with one copy to the Judge and one copy to each opposing party. Plaintiff's brief shall be served and filed not less than four days before the trial and Defendant's brief by noon of the court day before the trial. If a party serves a brief on the court, copies of the brief shall be promptly served on all parties. (2) Jury Trials. Counsel shall report to the Judge at least one-half hour before the scheduled beginning of a jury trial and provide the Judge with a written list of the names and city of residence of witnesses and general voir dire questions to be asked of the jury. Counsel shall be prepared to present any final pretrial matters to the court. Pretrial matters requiring argument shall be noted for hearing prior to the morning of the trial. Jury trials should be conducted with minimal interruptions of the jury's time. To this end, matters which need to be heard outside the presence of the jury should be anticipated so that they can be considered during jury breaks or before or after the jury's day. Unless otherwise ordered or agreed, plaintiffs shall occupy the counsel table closest to the jury. (e) Continuances. Motions for trial continuances shall be in writing. Continuances of trials may be granted only by a judge in writing for good cause shown. Continuances shall be to a date certain. Ordinarily no trial shall be continued for a trial beyond the "Advisory Case Processing Time Standards" time periods. (g) Preassignment of Cases. (1) By the Court. The Judges may select those cases deemed appropriate for preassignment due to length of trial or complexity of issues. (2) By Motion. The parties by stipulation may request that a case be preassigned, or any party may place a motion for preassignment upon the appropriate motion calendar. (3) Discretionary Act. Preassignment of cases is a discretionary act. Affidavits of prejudice against the assigned judge which are not based on actual cause will be deemed waived unless filed before preassignment. (4) All Matters to be Heard by Preassigned Judge. After selection of the trial judge in the preassigned case, the trial, all motions, conferences and other matters and proceedings, except settlement conferences, should be heard before that Judge, if available. (h) Notice to Court of Calendar and Trial Changes. Whenever a cause which has been set for trial is settled or will not be tried for any reason, or if a jury is subsequently waived, the attorneys shall immediately give notice to the Court Administrator. If it becomes apparent that the time allocated for a trial will not be adequate to complete the trial, the parties shall promptly notify the Court Administrator of that fact and of the time necessary to complete the trial. The court may assess actual costs or other sanctions for a violation of this rule.
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